FAQ 15-16


I started to hold a memorial service for my ancestors, and I had a question the other day. Is it OK to write my surname in Joyo Kanji (常用漢字), the commonly used Chinese characters, on the Tanzaku I use during the service ? In the case where the Kanji I use daily is different from that of the transcript of the family register, such as 斎藤 vs 斉藤, 大澤 vs 大沢, 渡邉 vs 渡辺, which character should I write?You said before that it’s better to write the words written on the Tanzaku should be easy to read because ancestors staying in the lower of level of the World of the Dead have bad eyesight. So that’s why I’m a little bit worried.

  • the other day 先日
  • surname 苗字
  • commonly 一般的に
  • transcript of the family register 戸籍謄本
  • It is better to~ ~した方がよい
  • eyesight 視力
  • that’s why  S+V そういうわけでSはVする


The surname you write on the Tanzaku should be the one you’re now using. So hold the service using your Chinese characters you use in daily lives. There is a spiritual meaning in using the Chinese characters you use now. People in Japan had been using the name of a house before they began to use their own name. In the process of changing the name of a house to a surname, a word in the name of a house was used again in the new surname. So the spiritual current has been taken over in this way.

  • daily lives 日常生活
  • process 過程
  • current 流れ
  • take over A Aを引き継ぐ
  • in this way このように


My family visits a temple of Fudo(不動)every year to have a Buddhist priest pray for avoiding disasters and make a fire-offering for each mebmber of our family. Should we stop this deed for fear some spiritual dirt might be attached to us ?

  • Buddhist priest お坊さん
  • aviod 避ける
  • disaster 災難
  • fire-offering 護摩
  • deed 行為
  • for fear S+V 万が一SがVするといけないので
  • attach くっつける


Strictly speaking, the deed is unnecessary and you’ll have a spiritual handicap. On the contrary, an occult art for personal desires to be realized like this is no good. The fact that you paid money for luck might ease your mind but it is nothing more than solace. In the future ahead, you had better not take on unnecessary magnetism of such a magic ritual. Since the beginning of the Heisei period, more and more people have had an accident just after receiving a magic ritual for a personal profit. The accidents are caused in part by carelessness out of a sense of security, but the age has already begun when anaclitic faith has the opposite effect to what was intended.

  • strictly speaking 厳密に言えば
  • unnecessary 不必要な
  • occult art 呪術
  • solace 気休め
  • had better not~ 〜しない方がよい
  • take on A Aをおぼる
  • magnetism 磁気
  • magic ritual 祈祷
  • profit 利益
  • anaclitic 依存的な
  • opposite effect 逆効果