Sutras transcription course – Every Thursday


The course is held at the Daishoin building of the Zuiganji temple.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any question.
We are looking forward to working with you on the sutras transcription.

(A) Heart Sutra, (B) Zazen hymn of praise of monk Hakuin, (C) Buddha illustration tracing
The dates in bold characters are Buddhist sermons held by the great teacher 起雲軒 (only in the morning)

2020~2021 classes schedule

予定日(木曜日) 予定日(木曜日)
4月 2日(般) 9日(白) 16日(般)
23日(写・起) 30日(般)
10月 1日(般・起) 15日(白) 22日(般)
5月 7日(般・起) 14日(白) 21日(般)
11月 5日(般) 12日(白) 19日(般・起)
6月 4日(般・起) 11日(白) 18日(般)
12月 3日(般) 17日(白・起)
7月 2日(般・起) 9日(白) 16日(般)
23日(写) 30日(般)
1月 7日(般) 14日(白) 21日(般)
8月 6日(般) 20日(白) 27日(写) 2月 4日(般) 11日(白) 18日(般)
9月 3日(般) 10日(白・起) 17日(般)
3月 4日(般) 11日(白) 25日(写)

Classes timetable

Morning class : from 10:00am. to 11:00 am
Afternoon class : From 02:00 pm to 03:00 pm
*On event days the classes may be canceled.

Classes fee

1,000 JPY (will be donated to the temple)

Daisegaki ceremony (大施餓鬼会) (service for the benefit of suffering spirits) – August 16th

At the Zuiganji temple the Obon festival is called the “Kawasegaki” (川施餓鬼: Buddhist services in memory of those drowned in a river) and is held every year on the 16th of August evening.
A wooden stage is built in front of the gate near the coast, a Buddhist memorial service is held, prayers for the repose of the soul are done and paper-thin sheet wooden grave tablets are burned.
Then in the evening starting at 8pm, for about 1 hour, the chief priest followed by 50 monks come out of the temple one by one.

Shushō Daihannyae 修正大般若会 – January 1st~3rd

The Shushōe is a Buddhist memorial service conducted on New Year to pray for the peace and safety in the country as well as abundant harvest and the prosperity of Buddhism. The event is held from New Year’s morning for a period of 3 days in the main temple building where the priest Issan (一山僧侶) reads aloud 600 volumes of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra.

The pilgrim priest Kōrinsama 火鈴様 – December 31st

Every year on New Year’s Eve at 9 o’clock in the evening on the signal of the cloud shaped gong called unpan (雲版), the representative of the chief priest starts his long walk through the coast district of Matsushima shaking his bell and repeating Heart Sutras. A walk which will last all night.
To greet the pilgrim priest the inhabitants put paper lanterns on the aisles of the houses, tōmyō (灯明: candle offered to Buddha) on desks and plum hot water or sake in teacups in the entry hall. The monk after finishing the reading of 3 volumes of the Heart Sutra stirs up the teacups using chopsticks and does an act of drinking the content of the teacup, he will then repeat the same action for all the teacups of all the houses of the district.
It is said that if you stare at the pilgrim monk directly, you will become blind, or that if you pass the year without hearing the sound of the bell your liver, lungs, heart, kidney and spleen will rot.
Every family stays in their house silently, turns off the lights and patiently waits for the pilgrim monk to come by. Once the ceremony is done the members of each family share and drink the plum hot water or sake left in the teacups by the monk together which will protect them from disasters during the year.

Hansoki 藩祖忌 – June 24th

Every year on that day Yōtokuin (陽徳院 – known as Megohime (愛姫) before entering the priesthood) the legal wife of the feudal lord Date Masamune, used to mourn over the death of her husband who committed seppuku (the formal ritual form of harakiri) and his 20 rear vassals who followed their master into death also committing seppuku. To perpetuate this tradition, a mourning event is conducted every year on the 24th of June.
On the morning of May 24th 1636 (Kan’ei 13), Date Masamune died at the age of 70 after a life full of ups and downs. His posthumous Buddhist name is Zuiganjidenteizanzenridaikoji (瑞巌寺殿貞山禅利大居士). When the shogunate learned about the death of the feudal lord Date Masamune, they decided to stop all public performances of music, dance and other forms of entertainment for 7 days that were taking place in Edo at that time. Tokugawa Iemitsu the third shogun of the Edo shogunate even said that he considered Date Masamune as the vice-shogun of the country, and that he was mourning the loss of the great Date Masamune from the bottom of his heart. At the age of 86 years,on the 24th of January 1653 (Jōō 2), Date Masamune’s wife (陽徳院田村) died. Strangely enough, her death anniversary is the same as Masamune’s. Her posthumous Buddhist name is Yōtokuineianjushodaishi(陽徳院殿栄庵寿昌尼大姉).

Kaisanki 開山忌 – September 8th

Mourning day to commemorate the Zen monk Hosshin Shōzai (臨済宗円福寺開山法身禅師), the Zen monk Ungo Kiyō (瑞巌寺中興雲居禅師), and the Zen monk Dōsui Tōsho (同再中興洞水禅師). The Kaisanki is voluntary conducted every year on the 8th of September as a tribute to the achievements of the Zen monk Ungo Kyō (雲居希膺禅師) who built the base of Rinzai school of Buddhism and also died on the 8th of September.
When Date Masamune died, the seat for chief priest of the Zuiganji temple became vacant. The descendents of Masamune being too young and still practicing asceticism, he vacant seat was proposed to the Zen monk Dōsui Tōsho (洞水東初禅師) but he refused saying that he was too young and instead suggested the Zen monk Ungo Kiyō (雲居希膺禅師).