How Foreigners Hold a Memorial Service for Ancestors

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

In terms of the spirit world, I’ve considered how a person with a foreign surname hold memorial services for ancestors, such as a Japanese woman who’s changed her surname to that of her foreign husband, a foreign family who’s become naturalized as a Japanese one or a Japanese woman who’s got married to a foreign man but still has her surname different from his.

  • in terms of A Aの観点から
  • surname 氏名
  • naturalize 帰化させる

Firstly, if you’re a Japanese woman who has a foreign surname, you can write her foreign name in the foreign language or in katakana characters on Tanzaku, a kind of cardboard for spirits to stay at temporarily. Because a memorial service is held through the doer’s brain in a way, an understandable language is good.

  • firstly まず第一に
  • brain 脳
  • understandable 理解できる

Secondly, if you’re a Japanese woman who has a different surname from that of your foreign husband, you should use her husband’ surname in holding a memorial service. When a couple uses their own surname separately, they can’t become one spiritually. They couldn’t feel like a family and troubles between them would never stop happening. Using husband’s surname produces harmony between married couples. The third incense stick you offer in a memorial service can take care of your own ancestors of the previous family line and other spirits related to you.

  • secondly 二つ目に
  • separately 別々に
  • produce 生み出す
  • harmony 調和
  • previous 前の
  • related 関係した

The word “Place” you write on Tanzaku is important, so write it in the language you feel best. “Place” means the location where spirits stay, so translate it into your language meaning “location” or “place” and write the word. When you hold a memorial service, you make use of your brain wave, and therefore the language of your own choosing is the best. When you show gratitude to your ancestors, use the words of your country meaning “gratitude for being kept alive.” The words do act on the spirits.

  • translate 翻訳
  • make use of A Aを利用する
  • brain wave 脳波
  • therefore それゆえ
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • keep A alive Aを生かしておく
  • act on A   Aに作用する

The reason why the language you feel the best is important is that by holding the spiritual ritual the doer’s thought and mental energy turns into magnetism that practically consoles spirits and the magnetism is etched into space. In this respect, if the doer wonders if the language is OK, the amount of the magnetism reaching spirits decreases.

  • ritual 儀式
  • turn into A Aに変わる
  • console 慰める
  • etch 刻み込む
  • respect 点
  • amount 量
  • decrease 減る
  • refer

If you’re not a Japanese, use the following illustrations as reference. The size of Tanzaku is about 30 centimeters tall. You can choose the language and the way you write it.


  1. Cross-type: you write the words meaning “The Place for My Ancestors’ Spirits” from left to right.
  2. Vertically-long type: you use Tanzaku made in Japan if possible. If you understand Japanese, write “The Place for The So and So s’ Ancestral Spirits” in katanaka characters or Chinese characters.

Use a stiff white cardboard and write the words boldly with a black or golden felt-tip pen so that your ancestral spirits can come close easily. Tanzaku must be thick (2mm is the best). Corrugated paper is not suitable due to its hollowness. If you can get only a colored cardboard, attach a white paper to the surface. Or if you make Tazanku out of some pieces of paper, you can use glue made of rice. Natural materials are easy for spirits to approach. Tanzaku must be stood up. Fix it with the a Tanzaku stand (you can make it out of two small notched wooden blocks).

  • stiff 硬い
  • boldly はっきり
  • felt-tip pen マジック
  • corrugated  paper 段ボール紙
  • hollowness 中空
  • surface 表面
  • approach 近づく
  • notched 刻みの入った

As for the cross-type Tanzaku, I’m not conscious of Christianity. The reason I suggest the form is that, when I visited Izawa-no-miya(伊雑宮) of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮), I  saw the holy energy spiritually and clearly and received the revelation saying “I’ll change the vertical flows to the horizontal ones.” The Sun God that gave it to me is the super-ancient God that had much to do with the creation of human beings and has spiritual effects on people in foreign countries as well as Japan. Also, you can write the words on Tanzaku from top to bottom in katakana characters of Chinese characters. Or you can do it in a foreign language from left to right using two lines and then stand up the Tanzaku.

  • as for A  Aに関して言えば
  • conscious 意識して
  • Christianity キリスト教
  • revelation 啓示
  • vertical 縦の
  • horizontal 横の
  • creation 創造

Lastly, in the case you’re a foreigner who has naturalized as a Japanese and changed your surname, use the new name in holding memorial services if you has just become naturalized and no relative has died recently.  There is no problem in it because the third incense stick can take care of your ancestors with a foreign name. In this case, however, if you feel no effectiveness of the memorial services and feel concerned about your ancestors, you can get another Tanzaku and hold a memorial service using your previous name and then the present name.

  • lastly 最後に
  • relative 親戚
  • effectiveness 効果

You can also prepare two bowls for incense sticks and put them side by side with a little space between them. Or you can hold memorial services using the previous foreign surname at first and later can change the name to the present one. Try some ways according to circumstances. You can decide which way to choose according to your level of understanding of Ise-Hakusan Dou. There’ll be no spiritual problem as long as the Tanzaku is put stably.

  • side by side 並べて
  • as long as S+V SがVする限り
  • stably しっかり

We humans are all connected to our ancestral spirits and live together with them. All spirits, no matter where they are, will be pleased to be shown compassion and gratitude by their descendants. Memorial services held by the method of Ise-Hakusan Dou do have practical effects on ancestral spirits across countries, peoples, religions and cultures.

  • connect 繋ぐ
  • be pleased 嬉しい
  • compassion  憐れみ
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • descendant 子孫

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.