Thursday Evening, August 12, 1971
Zen Mountain Center
Tomorrow—tomorrow is the thirteenth, is it? In Japan tomorrow is—tomorrow—13th, 14th, 15th, 16th—is Obon—Obon days. We say Obon. At some place, we observe it July 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th. Thirteenth is the—thirteenth—[on the] evening of the thirteenth, old souls are supposed to visit their family—old family. And 16th is the day old souls leave their old family.
Why we observe two months? Before we observe it in the moon—by the moon calendar [July], but recently we observe it by your calendar [August]. That is why we observe, you know, sometime—in some place, July. Somewhere—in some place, August.
This is—this kind of observation started even before Buddha. Before Buddha—in India, they were—people were concerned about their future generation. And if they do not have their children, they worried very much. And they—they thought they are not faithful enough to their ancestors.
This kind of, you know, idea is also true in China, and maybe after Buddhism [was] introduced to Japan. Japan [was] also concerned about their generation—future generation. It is Chinese custom. And after Chinese, you know, culture were introduced to Japan, they started to write Japanese history, something like China. Nihon-shoki. Before Nihon-shoki we have Kojiki. Kojiki was written by Japanese, purely, of course, by Japanese, but only—mostly Japanese—according to Japanese custom and thought. But Kojiki was written after Chinese culture was introduced, and Kojiki was written something like Chinese history.