My father died recently. I imagine that as my father didn’t grow up in a happy home environment, he is missing us after leaving our family. If I hold a memorial service for him with gratitude calling his name, will my compassion for him be understood by him sooner or later? I’ve been thinking about it because the other day I had my father appear in my dream.

  • recently 最近
  • home environment 家庭環境
  • miss  〜がいなくてさみしく思う
  • memorial service 供養
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • compassion 哀れみの気持ち
  • reach 届く
  • sooner or later 遅かれ早かれ
  • the other day


The memorial service held by a family sharing the same spiritual line with the deceased is the most effective. Each of the family members and the deceased is connected to each other spiritually, so it’s very effective. Even if you have a pay psychic hold a memorial service for the deceased in place of the family, the compassion won’t be understood by the deceased in fact.

  • share  共有する
  • the deceased 故人
  • effective 効果がある
  • connect 繋げる
  • each other お互い
  • pay 有料の
  • in place of A Aの代わりに

You can offer incense sticks calling your father’s name for about one year after his death. But actually you need to stop calling his name when 49 days have passed since he died. You have to remember that as long as the compassion of the family members for the deceased is too strong, the deceased cannot go to heaven worrying about his families and clinging to this world. In Buddhism, a priest gives the deceased Kaimyo(戒名), a posthumous Buddhist name, which means erasing his/her name from this world and sending him/her the message ” There is no place for you to be here any more. So just go.”

  • incense stick 線香
  • stop ~ing 〜するのを止める
  • cling to A Aに執着する
  • Buddhism 仏教
  • priest 僧
  • posthumous 死後の
  • erase 消し去る
  • not ~ any more もはや〜ない

If the deceased cannot go to heaven and remains at the house, his/her families will be influenced without knowing and a sad feeling will well up in them. It would be better to put away a picture of a deceased with care in a year and take a look at it only when remembering him/her. If you keep the picture within sight permanently, there is possibility of making the deceased cling to life.

  • remain 残る
  • influence 影響する
  • well up 沸き上がる
  • put away A Aを片付ける
  • take a look at A  Aを見てみる
  • within sight 見えるところに
  • permanently いつまでも
  • possibility 可能性



Two Sakaki plants put at the household Shinto altar of my house have not been dead for more than two weeks. Is it OK if I don’t replace them with other new ones as long as they are alive? The leaves of the Sakaki plants are very vital. I think it is because I change the water everyday and they are put in a relatively cool place. I thought it was desirable that I change them for new ones regularly. And also, if one plant of the two is dead, should I change it for a new one? Seeing the vital leaves, I don’t feel like throwing them away.

  • household Shinto altar 神棚
  • replace 取り替える
  • as long as S+V SがVする限り
  • alive 生きている
  • vital 元気がいい
  • relatively 比較的
  • desirable 望ましい
  • regularly 定期的に
  • feel like~ing 〜したい気がする
  • throw A away Aを捨てる


As long as the leaves of the plants are alive, you don’t have to change them even if it has been a couple of months since they were put. If there are any dead leaves standing out, you can cut them by hand, not with scissors. When you cut the branch, you can use scissors, but you had better not use an edged tool in cutting the offerings dedicated to God.

  • don’t have to~ 〜する必要はない
  • even if S+V たとえSがVするとしても
  • a couple of A 2・3のA
  • stand out 目立つ
  • scissors ハサミ
  • branch 枝
  • had better not~ 〜しない方がよい
  • edged tool 刃物
  • offering 捧げ物
  • dedicate 捧げる

When the number of the leaves decreases, the function as Yorishiro(寄り代), a thing spritis come close to and alight on temporarily, drops. So it’s time to change the plants. When you do it,  you should change both of them. If you keep the slimy part of the plants under the water clean, they will last long.

  • decrease 減る
  • function 機能
  • come close to A Aに近づく
  • alight on A Aに止まる
  • temporarily 一時的に
  • drop 低下する
  • slimy ヌルヌルする
  • last もつ

Since the Sakaki plant on the right side of the altar is the one a local deity comes close to, it is natural that the plant withers fast as long as the altar is enshrined properly and is functioning. Also, the withering leaves mean that the Sakaki plant has taken impurities of family members as a substitute. As for the Sakaki plants of my household Shinto altar, the more visitors come to my house,  the faster the leaves die.

  • since S+V SはVするので
  • local deity 氏神
  • natural 当然だ
  • wither 枯れる
  • enshrine 祭る
  • properly 適切に
  • absorb 吸収する
  • impurities 穢れ
  • substitute 身代わり
  • as for A Aに関していえば
  • visitor 訪問者



I visited the house of my mother’s grandmother to clean up the tomb. There was a household Shinto altar at the house, where no one lives now. Is it OK to leave it as it is?

  • tomb 墓
  • household Shinto altar 神棚
  • leave A as A is Aをそのままにしておく


It’s no good. If someone is going to live there again, you should dispose of the household Shinto altar. A large shrine can take care of it.

  • dispose of A Aを処分する
  • take care of A Aの世話をする

It is no problem that a child takes over a parent’s household Shinto altar because they use the same family name. But, you had better not use the one which had been used by other relatives whose family name is different from yours because their spiritual line is also different and since their altar takes on different kind of spiritual energy you must have a feeling of wrongness.

  • take over A Aを引き継ぐ
  • had better not~ 〜しない方がよい
  • relative 親戚
  • spiritual line 霊線
  • take on A Aを帯びる
  • a feeling of wrongness 違和感

A household Shinto altar and an Ofuda(御札), a talisman, has a property of accumulating spiritual energy, so the newer, the better. Though if the altar is covered with magnetism of gratitude it is a good one, it is likely in fact that it is coated with some negative energy.

  • tend to~ 〜する傾向がある
  • property 特性
  • accumulate  蓄積する
  • the newer, the better 新しければ新しいほど良い
  • be covered with A Aで覆われている
  • magnetism 磁気
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • likely ありそうな
  • be coated with A Aで覆われている