Stoking the New Year

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Visitors watch at a New Year’s ritual sagicho bonfire at Osu Kannon temple in Nagoya on Monday. Participants prayed for a peaceful year as the fire consumed traditional ornaments brought by visitors, including kadomatsu gateway decorations, shimenawa ceremonial ropes, and amulets, talismans and gomaki wood sticks. A priest lit the fire from this year’s lucky direction — north-northwest — as other priests recited Buddhist sutras.