Yet more fascinating stuff from Asia:
“One example of Buddhism’s reverence for this sacrifice of life is a prayer service performed every September in Agui-cho, Aichi Prefecture. Held since the Heian period (which makes the practice more than 1,000 years old) the Chita Insect Memorial Prayer Service originated in the chanting of a nembutsu (Buddhist invocation) for the insects sacrificed in the paddies and fields while farming.”
Very cool! I haven’t been able to find anything else out about this, so if you know more, please let me know. There is an Insect Sutra which is unrelated (I think); it’s also quite beautiful:
Rushing headlong, missing what’s essential,
bringing on one new bond
like insects falling into the flame,
some are intent only on what’s seen & heard.