Takuhatsu (托鉢) is a traditional form of alms, in the Anna Dāna tradition, common to Buddhist monks in Japan. In the practice of takuhatsu, monks travel to various businesses and residences in order to exchange chanting of sutras in Sino-Japanese (generating merit) for donations of food and money.
Monks generally wear traditional takuhatsu clothes reminiscent of medieval Japanese garb and wear the names of their monasteries on their satchels to confirm their identities.
This system is used by Zen monks who are in training, to beg for their food. This is generally done in groups of ten to fifteen. The group goes through the street single-file, chanting Hō (法?, dharma), and sympathizers come down and fill their alms bowls. This is the monks offering of the Dharma and their lives of guardians of the Dharma to the people. According to Zen tradition, the givers should be grateful.
- Reps & Senzaki, p. 48
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