Jul 9Jul 10

The Hozuki Ichi (ほおずき市, hōzuki-ichi) is a summer tradition that has been held since the Edo period on 9 and 10 July. It is related to kudoku-nichi (功徳日), a designated day that differs from temple to temple on which a single prayer counts for 100 or even 1,000 prayers. There is a kudoku-nichi every month at Sensoji Temple, but the 10 July gets you the most goodwill for your efforts. 46,000 prayers to be precise.

To get people in the spirits, the 9th is also celebrated as part of the Hozuki Ichi. Hozuki is a flower that goes by the name of “Japanese lantern” or “Chinese lantern” because of its unique red papery covering that resembles the paper lanterns of Asia. It was commonly believed that if you swallow the fruit whole with water adults and children alike would be cured of ailments, and so demand for these flowers was high on 10 July when people presumed they have 46,000 times their normal healing powers. Along with about 100 flower stalls, special charms are also sold at the temple. A summer event not to be missed!

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