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 South America was held.
Preliminary Memorial Ceremony for the 650th Anniversary of Daihonzan Sojiji's second abbot, Gasan Joseki Zenji, was held in South America on the Saturday, May 24th and Sunday, May 25th at Busshinji in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
On the morning of 24th, the conference organized by Soto Zen Buddhism South America Office, which were scheduled together with this ceremony, was held at Busshinji. The monks and nuns from all over South America gathered in the conference and participated in the ceremony. And Rev. Wagen Murata, Assistant General Director of Daionki Office at Daihonzan Sojiji, Rev. Dougen Takenouchi, Guest Prefect (Shika) of Daihonzan Sojiji and Rev. Seietsu Ito, Director of Visitor Division of Daionki Office, came to this ceremony, bringing Gasan Zenji's memorial tablet from Sojiji. The special Decoction-offering Ceremony at 6:00 p.m. was officiated by Rev. Dosho Saikawa, Director of Soto Zen Buddhism South America Office and held in a solemnly devout atmosphere with 30 monks and 60 Busshinji's members.
On the 25th, from 9:00 a.m., the Prayer Ceremony for the club of the aged was held to pray for good health of Busshinji members, accomplishment of their vows and completion of Preliminary Memorial Ceremony. And from 10:00 a.m., Rev. Seietsu Ito gave the Dharma talk on the life of Gasan Zenji. It was a grateful opportunity for Busshinji members to be familiar with the teaching of Gasan Zenji who laid the foundation of Sojiji and endeavored the education of many disciples. After that, an unveiling ceremony of the plate of "Kannon do" hall for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva was held at the main hall. This plate was written by Rev. Shinzan Egawa Zenji, Abbot of Daihonzan Sojiji, and exhibited to the people who participated in the ceremony.
The Preliminary Memorial Ceremony from 11:00 was officiated by Rev. Kodo Banno, Director of the General Affairs Division, and held solemnly. While the offerings were passed to the altar sincerely and the officiant made the eighteen prostrations, it was quite serene and silent in the hall as if we forgot we were in the middle of the big city. In this region, the circuiting Baika lectures by Rev. Shomyo Sato, Specially Dispatched Baika Teacher, were held and scheduled together with ceremony. During the ceremony, Rev. Sato and members of the Baika group in Busshinji sang the Hymns of the admiration for Daihonzan Sojiji's second abbot, Gasan Joseki Zenji. All the participants recalled the trace of Gasan Zenji and gave their attentions wholeheartedly to "the great sound of the holy footsteps" which should be transmitted to the future.
At the end of the ceremony, Rev. Kodo Banno read the message from Rev. Koichi Sasaki, the President of Soto School. Rev. Wagen Murata, 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. These ceremonies were completed safely and smoothly.
Address by Rev. Wagen Murata, Assistant General Director of Daihonzan Sojiji
Rev. Dosho Saikawa officiated Special Decoction-offering Ceremony
Rev. Kodo Banno, Director of General Affairs Division
Lecture about Gasan Joseki Zenji by Rev. Seietu Ito