鬼の念仏 (oni no nenbutsu)
oni nenbutsu (ogre’s prayer)
This top depicts an oni saying the nenbutsu prayer. Oni are a kind of supernatural monster from Japanese folklore, often translated as “demon” or “ogre.” The nenbutsu (念仏) is a type of prayer, common to Pure Land Buddhism, that generally refers to a repetition of the Amida Buddha’s name as a private devotional practice. For this top, Hiroi-sensei has depicted a reformed oni in a priest’s outfit saying the nenbutsu and striking a drum as he reads a sutra (a Buddhist scripture).
Hiroi Michiaki: Umm. Ah, this is the “oni’s [ogre’s] prayer” (oni nenbutsu). The oni has reformed and he’s saying the nenbutsu. While he’s reading a sutra. This part moves like this, as if the hands are striking a drum.