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For the multi-system emulator, see higan (emulator). For the fictional video game protagonist, see Far East of Eden Zero.
In Japan the red spider lily signals shūbun, the arrival of fall. Many Buddhists will use it to celebrate the arrival of fall with a ceremony at the tomb of one of their ancestors.

Higan (彼岸) is a Buddhist holiday exclusively celebrated by Japanese sects during both the Spring equinox (shunbun) and Autumnal equinox (shūbun). It is observed by nearly every Buddhist school in Japan. The tradition extends from mild weather that occurs during the time of equinoxes, though the origin of the holiday dates from Emperor Shōmu in the 8th century.[1] People who normally worked in the fields had more leisure time to evaluate their own practices, and to make a renewed effort to follow Buddhism. Today, special services are usually observed in Japanese Buddhist temples, and Japanese temples abroad, based on the particular Buddhist tradition or sect.


The etymology of Ohigan is from "the other shore[2] of the Sanzu River", which separates this life from the afterlife in Japanese Buddhist tradition.

Ancestral veneration

Similar to Obon, Japanese people will often return to their hometowns during the holiday season to pay respects to their ancestors. Ohigan is a public holiday, thus many businesses are closed.


  1. ^ "Middle Way & Higan Service, Nichiren Shu Beikoku Betsuin". Archived from the original on 7 August 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
  2. ^ The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism. New York: Rosen Publishing. 2002. p. 129. ISBN 9780823922406.

See also

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