On December 18, 2016, Kakumyo ended his kessei term with a Jodo ceremony. It began with a procession from Uji to the Sodo.
Once at the Sodo, Kakumyo took off his regular gold kesa, and put on a new brown one.
The hall was filled with sangha members, lay disciples, DRZC lay and ordained teachers, and visiting teachers Chozen and Hogen Bays from Great Vow Zen Monastery.
Kakumyo sat on the haishiki to present his verses to the assembly, on which he would be questioned in Jodo. Gyokuko sits behind him next to the shomei. After presenting the verses, Kakumyo ascended on to the extended altar, and turned to received questions while Gyokuko ground the shomei softly during the questioning. If she were to stop, that would mean that he had missed the mark. At the end of the questioning, she banged the gavel down and pronounced: “I certify this is true Buddha!”
After the questioning, Kakumyo offers incense at the altar.
The recession leaves the hall, and all bow at the end.
Now that Kakumyo has passed this ceremony, he is eligible to be nominated as Abbot by Gyokuko. The plan is that she will so nominate him to the board, and the board then needs to vote to accept or reject the nomination. If they accept it, then the sangha will similarly vote to accept or reject Kakumyo as Abbot. Assuming approval, there would then be a formal ceremony to mark that.