MIYAGI, JAPAN — On Saturday, the first annual memorial service was held at Jihuku temple in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture. The prayer ceremony was performed by 30 monks and to repose the victims’ lost souls, bamboo lantern was displayed at the ceremony (picture left).
People gathered at the ceremony with their hands in prayers for the victims, and a song “Look up in the sky with stars” was sung together at the end of the ceremony.
“To abandon the sadness and to get up our foot to step forward with what we can do is the best service for the deceased ones.” said, Venerable Hidemitsu Katayama from Juhuki temple (picture below).
The temple has 300 years of history, and at the 1896 tsunami, this temple was used as a aid station. The backyard of the temple was destroyed and was floored due to the tsunami but a group of young monks from he same lineage came for rescue right after the event for repair, and a truck loads of clothes were donated from Saitama Prefecture.
The 1,400 bamboo lantern was the number of victims in Oita Prefecture, and they were prepared by the volunteers from Oita Prefecture. The lanterns were lined from the temple to the memorial tower at the shore, with a length of about 800 meters.
At the ceremony, Ms. Sanjyou who has her mother and niece still missing said with teary eyes, “I thank everyone who had come for support. I wish my mother and niece can come back using the lanterns as a guide.”