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Seiryue, the ritual of Kannon in Kyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto 青龍会英語で説明

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What is Seiryue? 青龍会とは?

清水寺千手観音像

Seiryue, or “The ritual of the blue dragon,” is a mobile ritual held in Kiyomizu-dera temple. The temple enshrines Senju Kannon. She is well known as the shape-shifting Deity of mercy. In Kiyomizu-dera, she transforms into a blue dragon. Take a look at the picture above. Over the roof of the temple, there is a beam of blue light. It stands for the dragon.

In the ritual, the dragon and monks stroll around in the temple and its neighborhood to bring it good fortunes.

シカさん
シカさん

We can enjoy it spring and fall.

あ

Spring: 14th and 15th of March

うん
うん

Fall: 14th and 15th of September

In 2020, Seiryue will take place on 14th and 15th of September though we are in the middle of COVID-19.

青龍会@清水寺/ Seiryue at Kiyomizu-dera
七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

Make sure what it is.

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Starring 行列の順番

The parade

As described before, Seiryue is a mobile ritual. It looks like a parade. Participants stroll around Kiyomizu-dera temple and its neighborhood. In this chapter, let us see who they are.

The blue dragon 青龍

清水寺千手観音像清水寺紅葉ライトアップ

Previously introduced, Senju Kannon of Kiyomizu-dera temple becomes a dragon. It is believed that she leaves the main hall and visit Otowano Taki fall to drink water. The fall is located in the temple.

Heiankyo (the ancient name of Kyoto) is constructed in “Shijin Soh Oh” philosophy. In this, the Four Sacred animal saves a city. They stays in north, south, east, and west of it. Kiyomizu-dera is in the east of Kyoto and a dragon saves it there. I suppose this is one of the reasons people saw Seinju Kannon as a dragon in Kiyomizu-dera.

青龍

In Seiryue, She appears as a 60′ paper dragon.

会奉行(えぶぎょう)

青龍会奉行

He is a chief of Seirue. He holds a stick which has a dragon head.

Tenpoh shu 転法衆

青龍会奉行

They plays sea-shell instrument called “Hora-gai” and lead the parade.

Shiten noh 四天王

青龍会四天王

Shiten noh are the four Deities who guards Buddhism. In this ritual, they are guardians of the dragon.

Juroku zenshin 十六善神

青龍会十六善神

They are the 12 guardians of the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra. They stroll around saying, “Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu (We believe in Kannnon).”

Yasha shin 夜叉神

清水寺混雑状況2020年7月

They also are the guardians of Buddhism. He is enshrined in a small temple belongs to Okuno in temple in Kiyomizu-dera.

青龍会夜叉神青龍会八功徳水

In Seiryue, he transforms into two ladies. They splash “Hako Kudoku Sui” water over us with sticks to give us good fortune.

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The parade

3 must-sees

Seirue consists of 3 must-sees. Let see us what they are.

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#1 Hakko Kudokusui no Gi at Okunoin temple 八功徳水の儀於奥の院

青龍

In Okunoin temple, Kannon is enshrined as in the main hall of Kiyomizu-dera temple. In Hakko Kudokusui no Gi, she gives Yasha Shin Hakko Kudoku Sui water. It is the sacred water found in Fudaraku Jodo paradise Kannon rules. Yasha Shin give us good fortune for us as described before.

After the ritual, the parade heads for Saimon Gate by way of Otowano Taki and Kyodo temple.

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#2 Seiryu no Mai dance at Sai Mon bridege 青龍の舞於西門

青龍会

Saimon used to be the main gate of Kiyomizu-dera temple. In Seiryue, the parade walk through it. In front of the gate, the dragon performs “The dragon dance.”

After it, it goes to it to a couple of shops in the neighborhood to give them good fortunes.

シカさん
シカさん

This is the most exciting thing in Seirye. Have splashes of Hakko Kudoku Sui water!

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#3 Rakkei no Gi 落慶の儀

After that, the parade goes back to Okunoin by way of the main hall. Yasha Shin give back Hakko Kudoku Sui water to Kannnon to complete Seiryue.

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About Kiyomizu-dera temple 清水寺の基本情報

  • Name: Otowazan Kiyomizu-dera 音羽山清水寺
  • Address:  294-1 Kiyomizu cho, Higashiyama ward, Kyoto
  • Phone: 075-551-1234
  • FAX: 075-551-1287
  • Web site: Kiyomizu-dera official 
  • Open hours:  6:00~ (Depends on seasons see the offcial website)
  • Entrance fee  Adult: 400 yen Under 15: 200円
  • Time required 1 hour~
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How to get to Kiyomizu-dera temple? 清水寺へのアクセス

About 15 minutes walk from Gojo Zaka or Kiyomizu michi bus stops.

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