Mar 11, 2010


Generally, people who believe Buddhism in Japan hold the first memorial service called "Shijyu-ku-nichi" (四十九日) 49 days after their loved one’s death. People hold the next memorial service called "Issyu-ki"(一周忌) one year later, and far next "San-kai-ki"(三回忌)three years later, and so on. They are called "Houyou"(法要).

Last Saturday, my mother, brother and I held "Shijyu-ku-nichi" in a temple and about twenty relatives attended it to pray for my father's happy life in Heaven.

I have no religion, I had never understood the meaning of this kind of ceremony. But, I could first understand the existence of it after I experienced my father' s death. In my thought, these kind of religious ceremonies are held to ease unbearable sadness of people who have lost their loved ones. In other words, people have established this wise way to forget the sadness through a long period on time. Now, I can recognize the importance of these things.

The 2 days before "Shijyu-ku-nichi", a "Butsudan"(仏壇) has been placed in my mother's house. In (Japanese) Buddhism, believers say that a person become "Hotoke-sama"(仏様) after his death. And they pray for "Hotoke-sama" before "Butsudan".

Do you think how much "Butsudan" is? The price may surprize you very much, I think.


lenin said...

bike-san, thank you for the explanation.
We don't have any special things to place in the house to commemorate those, who are no longer with us. Usually we keep their photos, so we can always think about them.
I hope, it will really help you to bear the sadness.

ジョン said...

Thanks for the succinct explanation of this custom.

I, too, am not a religious person and feel that traditions like this, even the ones that are purportedly for the deceased, are truly aids for the grieving.

I bet butsudan are expensive.

Maki said...

I'm sorry to hear you lost your fahter the other day. I wonder how you're thinking. How was the houyou of the first 49th day? I hope your father goes to the heaven and from now on, you're living positively until the first anniversary without trouble around you.

bikenglish said...


Thank you for a comment. I would like to know about whether people in other countries have ceremonies like "houyou" for the deceased.


I am not a religious person, but I have become interested in Buddhism after I experienced my father's death.

The price of the butsudan is almost equal to one of low-end model of Kei-car in Japan. Of course, there are various prices about it, in Japanese "pin kara kiri made", in shortage, "pin-kiri".


Welcome to my blog. After "shijyu-ku-nichi", I have been in a little bit busy because my mother is now in a hospital in preparation for an operation. I really hope my mother's recovery.