A woman carries her baby as she walks across smoldering hot ground at the fire-walking festival at Mt.Takao in Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Worshippers brave smoldering coals to pray for safety

31 Comments

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31 Comments
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Great Idea to carry a baby through smoke! Children die of smoke inhalation! This is Child abuse and this woman should be arrested.

12 ( +24 / -12 )

Irony is lost in these people.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Pray for safety or do nothing.... You will get the same result.

There are things you can do to help yourself before a disaster.... walking on cinders is not one of them.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Crazy people doing dangerous things. Really dumb.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

"Praying I don't catch fire . . . . praying I rolled my trousers up high enough . . . . "

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Masks should be mandatory for these events on any occasion when the smoke is so thick.

Talk about a PM2.5 bomb to the lungs.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Pray for safety by doing something unsafe and unnecessary. Sure.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

I walked on fire in a ceremony at a temple in Nara. It transcends you from the real world into a spiritual one, it changes you in a positive way forever. There are so many different ways to pray, some pilgrims walk for miles on their knees or prostrate themselves on their stomachs to get to their spiritual destination.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

@lamilly. I agree.

i have done this twice, but not for religious reasons. the first time it was painful and I burnt the skin. But the second time I was taught about empty mind philosophy. It is a very special place. I felt no pain, just calmness. It is a special place.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

It transcends you from the real world into a spiritual one

No it doesn't.

It changes you in a positive way forever

No it doesn't.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

@RareReason.

You pretty much said it all. This is a cult ritual, nothing more. I don't need to cause harm to my body or my childs lungs to send me into another world.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

From the comments i can see this is just a clash once again concerning culture and believes. Let them do what they want. Is their body and they can do whatever they want. Is not you who have to endure the pain anyway. Each person has their own view how to pray.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

"The number of coronavirus cases in Japan is relatively low compared to other countries such as the United States,"

Yes, and its also relatively high compared to its neighboring countries such as Taiwan or SK...how much longer do we need to read this govt propaganda line and does it really need to be included at the end of this article about a Buddhist ritual?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

There is no magic involved. Just science. Walk fast, the ash insulates....

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There is no salvation in Buddhism. Who or what are they worshipping I wonder.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

HiroToday 10:02 am JST

From the comments i can see this is just a clash once again concerning culture and believes. Let them do what they want. Is their body and they can do whatever they want. Is not you who have to endure the pain anyway. Each person has their own view how to pray.

They can do what they want, pray how they want, etc. But don't present it with false claims, like ""Passing your body through the flames cleanses your soul and delivers your prayers to Buddha," said Kosho Kamimura, a Buddhist monk from Takao Yakuouin Temple.". Because that turns it from a culture/belief into a cult.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

False teaching and nothing to do with true Buddhism. Just ask the Buddha.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

During normal times this is an interesting, fascinating historical/cultural act, and surely an important part of their heritage to some, but even offering something like this as a kind of ’alternative’ for any real measurements to fight the pandemic is near criminal imo.

No tests, no social distancing, but walk on hot coals and inhale some smoke... sure, that will take care of the virus for all of us.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I walked on fire in a ceremony at a temple in Nara. It transcends you from the real world into a spiritual one, it changes you in a positive way forever. There are so many different ways to pray, some pilgrims walk for miles on their knees or prostrate themselves on their stomachs to get to their spiritual destination.

And

i have done this twice, but not for religious reasons. the first time it was painful and I burnt the skin. But the second time I was taught about empty mind philosophy. It is a very special place. I felt no pain, just calmness. It is a special place.

You both have a masochistic fetish, and the feelings you experienced were caused by the release of endorphins during your filtration with self-immolation.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

...flirtation, even.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What an idiot that woman is walking with her baby.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

You pretty much said it all. This is a cult ritual, nothing more. I don't need to cause harm to my body or my childs lungs to send me into another world.

Agreed. All religious ceremonies are cult rituals, to be fair.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

You'd have to be mad to believe that walking on hot coals will do anything other than burn your feet.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Yes, walking with a baby over hot coals and what if you slip?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Hiro

Yes, people can do what they want, but people can also call them idiots for doing it. People have every right to do both. Something doesn't get a pass simply by being cultural/traditional/religious.

Unfortunately, the ability to do what you want ceases to be relevant when you are bringing a baby into the situation. At the least you are risking tremendous amounts of smoke inhalation for the baby, and heaven forbid you fall while carrying them. I realise that may not be what most people here are doing, but shame on the monks for not stopping her.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Only by reading about such stupid things I just feel much more enlightened now. lol

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you want to test the power of your prayers just stop walking and stand still.....

Google... the science of fire walking.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Magic thinking, a classic product of ignorance.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I walked on the fire Hi-Watari 火渡りthree times at Mt Takao's Yakuno-In 高尾山 役の院 when I was living in Japan for 16 years as an American citizen, teaching in the DODDS/DODEA American Schools. I walked along with teaching colleagues who also reported no pain and we smiled and waved happily to cheer each other on.

Yes, you can feel the heat rising up (there is almost no smoke in hot coals) and somehow you know you are walking on the hot coals which you can see, yet it never hurts; and I was watching to make sure I walked on the coals and not just the warm ash. An acolyte guides one first to step into a small mound of salt. It may be that the salt coating has some cooling effect. I did once step on a twig that pierced the sole of my foot and drew a little blood that hurt a little, but there was no burning at all and no serious damage from the hole the twig poked. I am an atheist, totally anti-religion, yet make friends easily with thinking Buddhist, Christian and Jewish believers and clergy; but I walked the fire for the sake of immersing myself in Japanese culture and there is nothing to compare with the happy, radiant smile of the purple-robed Buddhist priest who congratulates one at the end of the walk as he lovingly presses to your heart a bronze vajra (Sanskrit for thunderbolt= enlightenment) ritual implement, shaped like two crossed thunderbolts, used in the Shingon, literally "True Word" or "True Teaching", esoteric sect which is practiced at Mt. Takao. It's a great cultural experience that exemplifies the open, accepting and encouraging character of all my Japanese friends.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's a great cultural experience that exemplifies the open, accepting and encouraging character of all my Japanese friends.

Your post also demonstrates your own open, accepting and encouraging attitude towards the beliefs and practices of another culture, unlike far too many other posts here which demonstrate exactly the opposite.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ricky SanchezMar. 15  09:59 am JST

@RareReason.

You pretty much said it all. This is a cult ritual, nothing more. I don't need to cause harm to my body or my childs lungs to send me into another world.

In the United States, esp. in rural areas there are 'Christian churches' where the parishioners dip their hands into a tank and handle poisonous rattlesnakes as a 'test of faith'. Of course it's only a test of God and even some of their ministers get bit and die, showing that they're not 'good enough' or they're not 'in God's favor'. Yet the practice continues, strange and abhorrent but true.

> zichiMar. 15  12:24 pm JST

False teaching and nothing to do with true Buddhism. Just ask the Buddha.

Siddhartha Gautama lived and died over 2500 years ago. And I don't think he said anything about fire walking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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