FAQ 9-10

Question 9.

There is a Buddhist altar at my parents’ house. When I offer some incense sticks to Buddha, how should I do?

  • Buddhist altar 仏壇
  • incense stick 線香


In holding a memorial service at your house toward a Yorishiro(=a memorial tablet or a short strip of paper called Tanzaku) with the name of your husband’s family line on it, the third incense stick you offer takes care of the spirits of your parent’s family line. So when you visit your parent’s house, you should offer one incense stick as a greeting at the Buddhist altar. Offer it saying in your heart “Thank you so much for keeping us alive”

  • greeting 挨拶
  • keep A alive Aを生かしておく

Question  10.

Since I’m a housewife, when I hold a memorial service, I make it a rule to remind myself of gratitude to four family lines: my husband’s parents’ family lines and my parents’ ones. Can this be a memorial service for the whole ancestors ?

  • since S+V SはVするので
  • housewife 主婦
  • make it a rule to~ 〜することにしている
  • remind oneself of A Aを想起する
  • the whole 全体の


Though your husband’s surname has to be written on the Yorishiro(寄り代), or an object where spirits can stay temporarily, such as a a Tanzaku or a memorial tablet,  you don’t have to say the name of either family in your heart. By saying “all of the ancestors,” not specifying them,  you can cover all the spirits who need help. If you specify a family line, you cannot help the other spirits you’re related to who need your help. As a result of it, your mind might not be stable. It is important to hold the memorial service continuously for the whole ancestors.

  • though S+V SはVするけれども
  • surname 姓
  • specify 特定する
  • be related to A Aに関係している
  • stable 安定した
  • continuously 継続的に