On Sunday, I went to a firewalking festival (Hiwatari Matsuri) at Mount Takao which is about an hours train ride from Tokyo.
Priests believe that it was first started over 1300 years ago by yamabushi, mystics who mix Buddhist beliefs with Shintoism.
Before the firewalking begins the fire is blessed and ceremonial arrows are fired into it. It is then lit and after it has died down, the priests walk across the hot coals. It is believed that by doing this the soul is purified.
Members of the public are then allowed to have a go and I also tried it (my middle name is danger). Fortunately I didn't burn myself.
You can see the pictures here.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Posted by steve at 6:59 am