Daisaitogoma ceremony (大柴燈護摩供)
Daisaitogoma ceremony refers to large-scale Goma (Holy Fire) Mass held in the field.
The traditional Saitogoma is said to have been held for the first time by Shobo Rigen Daishi, a disciple of a disciple of Kukai, who established the Shingonshu sect, and it is mostly held by the temples inheriting the lineage of the Tozan school of Shugendo (Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts) including Daigo-ji Temple. It is, in other words, a Buddhist ceremony unique to Japan.
Saitogoma' held by the temples of the traditional Shingonshu sect Tozan school is originally an ascetic practice in the mountain performed only by practitioners, which does not regard the scale or the number of Gomagi (pieces of wood for ritual burning). However, Daisaitogoma ceremony of the Agonshu sect, one of the new religions, has tens of millions of Gomagi and is uniquely large-scale domestically and internationally and more of an event. Each organizer has a different point on the difference between Daisaitogoma of the Agonshu sect and Saitogoma of the traditional Shingonshu sect Tozan school Shugendo.
The reason why the character 柴 (brushwood) is used for saitogoma (柴燈護摩) of the traditional Shingonshu sect Tozan school is that they made a ceremonial mound with brushwood and firewood because they could not decorate even esoteric tools due to the ascetic practice in the mountain. The Goma Ritual in the field held by the Tendaishu sect Honzan school is called '採燈護摩' (saitogoma), because it was held with the fire picked ('採取') from the saitogoma of the Shingonshu sect Tozan school, and the character is used in it. Shinnyoen, a new religion alleging that they belong to the lineage of the Esoteric Buddhism of Daigo-ji Temple, calls it '斉燈護摩' (saitogoma) using the character 斉.
Daisaitogoma ceremonies in Japan
The biggest Daisaitogoma ceremony in Japan would be 'The fire rite festival Agon's Hoshi Matsuri: Shinto-Buddhist Daisaitogoma ceremony,' which is overwhelmingly large-scale with more than 30 million Gomagi to fire and hundreds of thousands of visitors, held in Omine, Kitakazan, Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City on February 11 each year.
Agon's Hoshimatsuri Daisaitogoma ceremony:http//www.agon.org/schedule/hoshimaturi/hoshimaturi_04.html
Daisaitogoma ceremony in Mt. Koya:http//www.pref.wakayama.lg.jp/prefg/000200/ren/web/ren11/pro_2.html
Saitogoma ceremonies held overseas by the Shingonshu-related new religion
July 8, 2007 (Khabarovsk, Russia) Agonshu sect Siberia Daisaitogoma ceremony:
April 20 and 21, 2007, (Los Angeles, USA) Shinnyoen LA Saitogoma Mass: Joint performance of Japanese traditional Buddhist mass, and the local dancers and orchestra sympathizing with the prayers.
June 13, 2006 (near Auschwitz concentration camp, Poland) Agonshu sect World Peace Dedication Auschwitz Daisaitogoma ceremony
June, 2003 (Champ de Mars, Paris) Agonshu sect World Peace Dedication Paris Daisaitogoma ceremony: Donation of an exhibition room for the visually-impaired to the Louvre Museum in France, and holding of a meditation presentation at the auditorium of the Louvre Museum in France.
May 15, 1998 (London, UK) Shinnyoen 60th Anniversary Shinjoen Europe UK Saitogoma Mass
April, 1977 (Palau) Agonshu sect South Pacific Peace Prayer Daisaitogoma ceremony: The first Saitogoma mass overseas