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Noda City / Yoshino 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 // Ninjutsu Memories

The Goma is a very dynamic ceremony. The yamabushi chant the Hanya Shingo (Heart Sutra) over and over as the drummer beats the rhythm on the large taiko drum. People watching often shake their shakujo and chant along with the priests. The drumming and chanting only stop when the conch shell horns are being blown. The combination of the deep taiko drum, the monotone of the chanting, and the high jingle of the shakujo create an energy that is felt by all.
The head priest (on the right) feeds the fire with various oils and seeds and also small cedar sticks. The sticks may be purchased beforehand for a small contribution to the temple, and upon them a wish or prayer may be written.  
 
The belief is that the smoke carries the wishes and intentions upward to Fudo Myo-o, who is of great significance to the yamabushi (as well as the ninja) and may be seen as an archetype of a fierce Dharma protector and warrior.

Noda City / Yoshino 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / Ninjutsu Memories