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Hanamaki City , Iwate Related category:
Mairi no Hotoke - Folk belief in Hanamaki region    



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Entire story: 60 minutes
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Mairi no Hotoke or worshipping before Buddhist paintings is a folk belief popularly practiced in Iwate Prefecture, in which a family or community people get together in October in the lunar calendar and worship Amida Buddha, Prince Shotoku, Rokujimyogo (the six-character name "Namo Amida Butsu), and others to hold a memorial service for ancestors. Mairi no Hotoke is distributed concentratedly in the southern part of Iwate Prefecture, and in the Hanamaki region, the existence of Mairi no Hotoke is confirmed in about 100 places, which account for about a quarter of those found in whole prefecture.

Scroll pictures and statues, which are subjects of belief, include those painted in and before the Muromachi period, and based on these materials, the conditions at the time when Shin Buddhism, the Cult of Zenko-ji Temple, and others were introduced into this region. On the other hand, future research is required on the reasons that it is held in October in the lunar calendar and the diversity of subjects and objects of belief. In the present circumstances, the situation of decline of the region, blood relations, and family, which have maintained the belief, is becoming a big issue.

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