Don’t worry if you can’t make it to your local temple! Now you can collect up all the online roasts you’ve received and cast them into this cyberfire.

Japan often considers itself a secular country, with much of the population identifying with any organized religion. Be that as it may, Shintoism and Buddhism prosper throughout Japan, with shrines and temples found in abundance throughout the cities and remote wilds of the country, and even those who don’t identify as particularly religious will visit at least a few over the course of a year.

One way to utilize your local Buddhist temple is the Goma fire ritual, where a consecrated fire is built and burned in hope of destroying negative or harmful energies. The fire can also be used to make requests either for yourself, the country, or on behalf of people at large. However, there is one temple in Niigata Prefecture that’s taking these ceremonies to another plane, because in our increasingly online society, couldn’t we use a ritual to purify literal online “flames”?

Kokujoji temple has set up a website where you can offer your own online hardships and the cruel remarks you’ve endured to the flames. Not only is it free, but the website comes with a recording of a priest reciting the Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo prayer. Viewers are also greeted with the visages of powerful historical figures in Buddhism: feudal lord Uesugi Kenshin, samurai military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune, warrior monk Benkei, hermit monk Ryokan Taigu and – somewhat perplexingly – the legendary ogre Shuten-Doji, all of whom are said to have visited the temple centuries before.

▼ The web design is a little garish, but it gets the point across.

According to the site, all submissions are to be written carefully on thin wooden strips called nadegi and sacrificed in the hopes of not allowing the negative sentiments to spread, just like a literal flame might given enough kindling. On October 7 a mass of submissions were burned, while others were used as visuals and integrated into chants.

The website is still accepting submissions. In today’s environment of social media hate campaigns, death threats and general cruelty, it’s nice to think that one of the oldest temples in the country is dedicating so much energy to dispelling the bad vibes of the cyberscape.

Source: Nijimen, Kokujoji Enjo Kuyo
Featured image: Twitter/@HAYATO39285149
Top image: Kokujoji Enjo Kuyo