SOTOZEN.COM > Activities > Past Reports / News > Special events > Preliminary Memorial Ceremony for the 650th Anniversary of Daihonzan Sojiji's second abbot, Gasan Joseki Zenji > Report: Preliminary Memorial Ceremony for the 650th Anniversary of Daihonzan Sojiji's second abbot, Gasan Joseki Zenji in Europe was held.
A Preliminary Memorial Ceremony for the 650th Anniversary of Daihonzan Sojiji's second abbot, Gasan Joseki Zenji, was held in Europe on Saturday, May 17th and Sunday, May 18th at the Temple Zen de la Gendronniere in France.
This year, the Preliminary Memorial Ceremony will be held in each region: Europe, North America, South America and Hawaii. Th e ceremony in Europe was the first one of these.
On May 17th, The General Assembly and Annual Conference of the Association "Centre Europe an du Bouddhisme Soto Zen," which were scheduled together with this Preliminary Memorial Ceremony, were held at la Gendronniere. 80 monks and nuns from all over Europe gathered in the assembly and conference and participated in the ceremony. And Rev. Shunitsu Okamoto, Assistant Comptroller (Fūsu) of Daihonzan Sojiji, Rev. Doko Maeda, Director of Donation Division of Daionki Office at Daihonzan Sojiji and Rev. Doshu Hirosawa, Chief of Donation Division of Daionki office, came to this ceremony, bringing Gasan Zenji's memorial tablet from Sojiji. In the main hall of la Gendronniere, the portrait of Gasan Zenji which was prepared in Europe was hung on the altar. Everything had been all ready.
The Special Decoction-offering Ceremony at 5:00 p.m. was officiated by Rev. Jiso Forzani, Director of Soto Zen Buddhism Europe Office. After that, we moved to the seminar room, and Rev. Doko Maeda lectured on the life of Gasan Joseki Zenji. All the participants seemed deeply impressed by the footsteps of Gasan Zenji who dedicated his effort to the development of Soto school and the education of disciples during his whole life.
In the next morning, on the 18th, we did zazen and morning service together. It was a bright and fresh morning which made us refreshed. The Preliminary Memorial Ceremony from 10:00 a.m. was officiated by Rev. Ryukan Sunakoshi, Director of the Publications Division, and held solemnly according to the most formal ceremonial liturgy in Soto school, which includes eighteen prostrations by the officiant. At the end of the ceremony, Rev. Shunitsu Okamoto, the representative of Daihonzan Sojiji and the Daionki Office, expressed appreciation for our performing this Ceremony. He announced that everybody is welcome to visit Sojiji on the day of the main Memorial Ceremony next year. He deeply encouraged the participants in this ceremony to transmit the teachings from the ancestors to people in the future. It was the first time for Europe to hold the Daionki Memorial Ceremony for Gasan Zenji. On this precious occasion, may the teaching of Gasan Zenji be transmitted to the future continuously.
Preliminary Memorial Ceremony
Address by Rev. Okamoto Shunichi, Assistant Comptroller of Daihonzan Sojiji
Rev. Ryukan Sunakoshi, Director of Publications Division
Rev. Jiso Forzani officiated Special Decoction-offering Ceremony
Lecture about Gasan Zenji by Rev. Doko Maeda