Rokusai Nenbutsu (六斎念仏)
Rokusai Nenbutsu is one of Odori Nenbutsu (chanting of prayers while dancing).
It is said that Odori Nenbutsu was invented by Kuya, a Buddhist monk in the middle Heian period.
In the medieval times, a complicated rendition of the phrase 'Namu Amidabutsu' (prayer for Amida Buddha) was created, accompanied at first only by a gong, which, with the addition of a Japanese drum, developed into ohayashi (Japanese-style band music) and was performed on Rokusai-nichi (the Sabbath/six days per month), thus called 'Rokusai Nenbutsu.'
Incidentally, Rokusai-nichi refers to the Sabbath when laymen were required to obey Hassai-kai (eight precepts, or the Eight Commandments), which took place six days a month: 8th, 14th, 15th, 23th, 29th, and 30th days of the month.
Rokusai Nenbutsu is divided into two styles: the Hoshina-ji Temple (Kofuku-ji Temple on Mt. Hoshina: Tanaka Kamiyanagi-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City) style, which showcases the authentic form of traditional Odori Nenbutsu, and the Kuya-do Temple (Kosho-ji Temple Gokuraku-in on Mt. Shiun: Kameya-cho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City) style, which is characterized by a strong influence in entertainment. They are performed mainly in Kyoto and neighboring areas.