Nigatsudō in Tōdaiji Temple (the drawing of sacred water)
(courtesy of the tourist association of Nara City) (A picture taken by Akihiko Kimura)

Pictures of noted places of Yamato (courtesy of Nara Prefectural Library and Information Center)

Tōdaiji Nigatsudō

Nigatsudō is a temple that is located in the east of the Hall of the Great Buddha in Tōdaiji Temple. The ceremony of drawing sacred water at Nigatsudō is held in February according to the old calendar. That is why we call it Nigatsudō —Nigatsu means February in Japanese. It was saved from the fire caused by war, but it burnt down by accidental fire in 1667 while the ceremony was held. The present temple was reconstructed in 1669. Today, the ceremony is held from 1 March to 14 March. A lot of people come to see priests running up bravely onto a stage with a big torch and to wish for their good health by being under a rain of sparks.