The brochure about the intensive Bakuryo (drying of insects) in 2022 in Hitachiota city in Ibaraki Prefecture

Japanese custom|Beautiful Japanese culture!|Bakuryo


Do you know about Japanese customs? Bakuryo is the drying of insects and is one of the traditional Japanese events. At 4T-AMKY, Teachers and Students write about Japanese culture, food, history, many spots to visit, and other stuff. Enjoy reading and knowing about deeper Japanese culture!


Intensive Bakuryo of Cultural Properties

Every October, the Intensive Bakuryo of Cultural Properties is held, and at the same time, it is open to the public in Hitachiota city in Ibaraki Prefecture. Bakuryo means Mushiboshi (drying of insects). In other words, it means preventing mold and insects from growing by exposing them to the sun and allowing them to air.

Mushiboshi, which used to be held at a single temple, has spread throughout the city since 2007 (Heisei 19) and is now held simultaneously at 19 locations. This is a very popular event because valuable Buddhist statues and paintings, which are not usually available to the public, are shown to the public. It is held over two days, although some venues have only one day, and in case of rain, the event is canceled.

Unfortunately, the Intensive Bakuryo was canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Then, on October 15 and 16, 2022, it was held for the first time in three years. Although the event was held at Chinsekiji Temple only on the 15th, it was blessed with fine weather, and many people came to see the event.

During the event, visitors can enjoy touring cultural properties while listening to explanations, asking questions, and chatting with university student volunteers. Permission to photograph cultural properties depends on the venue. At Chinsekiji Temple, it was free. You will receive extensive explanatory materials at all venues.

I was very excited to finally see the long-awaited pillow stone. Here are some photos. However, due to my poor photographic skills in terms of light and other factors, I was unable to capture the real quality of the image, even though I photographed it from a very close distance.

The stone that Shinran Shonin used as a pillow
The stone that Shinran Shonin used as a pillow

This stone has been handed down as a temple treasure of Chinsekiji Temple. The three characters “Dai,” “Kokoro,” and “Umi” are carved on it by Shinran Shonin.

The statue of Shinran Shonin sleeping with the pillow stone in the snow
The statue of Shinran Shonin sleeping with the pillow stone in the snow

This statue shows how Shinran Shonin slept with the pillow stone in the snow. It was created by Nyusaibo Doen, just one year after the Chinseki incident.

The Buddhist scroll illustrating the legend of Chinsekiji Temple
The Buddhist scroll illustrating the legend of Chinsekiji Temple

This hanging scroll tells the legend of Chinsekiji Temple in a pictorial, easy-to-understand manner. It is meant to be read from bottom to top.