Day of "Siman Rokusen-nichi”
"Hozuki-ichi" Held in Precincts of Senso-ji Temple
A temple festival day for the Bodhisattva of Compassion is the 18th of each month. In addition to the day, "Kudoku-bi," or day of virtuous deeds, was newly set in the Muromachi Period. It is said that, if you visit the temple on the day, you can gain merit equivalent to 100 or 1,000 days of visits to the temple. July 10 is called "Siman Rokusen-nichi," and a visit to the temple on the day is equivalent to 46,000 days of visits, which is about 126 years. There is a belief that, since "Issho Masu," a 1.8 liter container, can be filled with about 46,000 grains of rice, and "Issho" is a pun on another Japanese word "Issho," or entire life, the day is called "Siman Rokusen-nichi." Visitors' prayer for their long lives and health can be imagined.
On the day of "Siman Rokusen-nichi," "Hozuki-ichi," or ground cherry fair, is also held. It is said that, if adults or children swallow up a ground cherry, adults' temper is controlled or children's bowel complaints are removed. A ground cherry has also been used as a medicinal herb. "Hozuki-ichi" held in Senso-ji Temple has gradually been crowded with visitors. Now, "Siman Rokusen-nichi" is synonymous with "Hozuki-ichi." In the Bunka Period (1804-18), "red corn" was sold at stores because people believed that it was a charm against lightning, and people hung it on their houses' entrances. However, since a crop of red corn was poor in the Meiji Period, instead of red corn, talismans against lightning began to be handed out by the temple.
"Hozuki-ichi" Crowded with Many Visitors
Ripened Ground Cherries Displayed in "Hozuki-ichi"