Shinran Shonin Memorial Day (Ho-on-ko)

“Each year, on the 16th of January, faithful followers of Shinran Shonin assemble together to pay homage to his memory and to Amida Buddha for having awakened man to the existence of life’s supreme debt of gratitude...

Shinran Shonin interpreted the acknowledgment of gratitude to mean an reciprocal thought or act motivated by a profound feeling of gratitude for Amida Buddha’s invocation of his power to enable us to attain faith.  Reciprocal acknowledgment is not, therefore, merely giving donations or attending religious services.  In other words, it is not just a duty or responsibility.  It is, rather, and opportunity -- a privilege and blessing -- which comes naturally as one becomes more deeply aware that all things, including one’s faith, comes from Amida Buddha.  Our faith and manner of living which are the very essense of life are bestowed upon us through the grace of Amida’s compassion and merciful benevolence.”

- Rev. Gibun Kimura (translated by Rev. Tour Kakimoto), taken from his article on Shinran Shonin Memorial Day in Buddhist Special Observances & National Holidays

In a Nut Shell...

Date: 16 January

Translation:  Goshoki Ho-onko: Honorific-death anniversary-repay-indebtedness-observance.

Description:  Shinran Shannon Memorial day commemorates the anniversary of the death of Shinran Shonin, the patron founder of the Jodo Shinshu school of Buddhism. 

What does the temple do to celebrate? one of the principle holidays in which one participates in the art of “hearing the light” through listening to sermons, talks, ritual, and Sangha fellowship (Masao Kodani and Russell Hamada from Traditions of Jodoshinshu Hongwanji-Ha (1984))

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