Thanks! Yes, nowadays, Japanese has come up with all kinds of odd activities to celebrate their festivals and one wonders how old or how traditional they really are. At my own temple, several years ago, they had a sports car show as a event for Obon. Can you imagine?
I have always had a personal calling for the priesthood since I was very small and didn't know anything about religion of Zen. I became interested in Zen very early on and, largely, due to the influence of Ohsawa Sensei and Sawaki Kodo Roshi, I pursued my studies for many years and was eventually ordained in 1988 into the Soto Zen Sect. I received the "ken" in my name from my Zen master, the late Bishop Kenko Yamashita Roshi and the "sho" comes from my own personal Japanese name. I don't know why your friend says that unless he is referring to an old saying in Japanese, "haja kensho" or "obliterate evil and prolifereate righteousness." My name means, by some odd coincidence, "to promote righteousness or correctness." Isn't life strange?? Many thanks!