My house has the family’s Buddhist altar, Butsudan. The photograph of grand mother, grand father and great grand mothers displayed in side of there. My mum gives water, green tea and small sweet in the morning and prays for a minutes to the Butsudan every day. My sister and I hasn’t had any plan to have Butsudan in our home. I think that my generation thought Butsudan isn’t important for our life. However, when I think about Butsudan, it’s beautiful culture things and I miss it so much. Finally, I research about Butsudan.
The family’s Buddhist altar, Butsudan, is for deifying to deceased person and ancestors. There is a Buddhist image (syumidan) in the center of the family’s Buddhist altar. This is the thing modelled ‘Shumisen’ is considered in Buddhism as the mountain located at the center of the world. It expresses the world of the sky.
The Ihai (Buddhist mortuary tablet), brought to the Japan in Kamakura era, was continued to use in the Edo era and came to be used in the general family. And the mortuary tablet was established in each house. A current family’s Buddhist altar is gathered both family’s Buddhist and these ancestors religious service.
The family’s Buddhist altar was not originally a thing to purchase after there was misfortune.
A parent prepared a family’s Buddhist altar when established a branch family in old days. It is an object of the faith and is the support of the heart of the person.
Butsudan, family’s Buddhist altar, is classified into three main types, i.e. kin Butsudan (golden alters), karaki Butsudan (rare foreign wood altars) and kagucho Butsudan (furniture style altars). There are variety of size. Some of them are over 1 metre, others are compact so it’s possible to put on the furnitures. Modern designs are reasonable with a compact size so that a young generation can purchase it willingly recently.
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image from http://oogoshi.blog99.fc2.com, http://tonariya.naganoblog.jp, http://www.misawa-world.com/ and http://www.inouebutudan.com