The Word “Place” Has to be Written on a Memorial Tablet

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

The Memorial Service for the War Dead is held on August 15 every year, where a wooden pillar with the words “Spirits of The War Dead” written on it stands at the center of the altar. I’ve read an article by a scholar saying that, since the pillar works as Yorishiro which the spirits of the war dead who are invited to approach, the word “位” meaning “place” should be attached to the words.

  • the war dead 戦没者
  • pillar 柱
  • altar 祭壇
  • article 記事
  • attach 付け加える

In some traditional Buddhist sects in Japan they don’t write the word “位 ” on a memorial tablet. Though some new religious groups practice holding memorial services for ancestors using Tanzaku, a strip of Japanese paper for spirits to come close to stay at, they don’t write the word, either. Even self-proclaimed professional psychics declare that the word is not necessary.

  • sect 宗派
  • self-claimed 自称の
  • declare 公言する

However, if you had the ability to perceive spiritual reality, the spiritual difference of the existence or non- existence of the word “位” would be obvious. Without the word, spirits couldn’t recognize the tablet or pillar as Yorishiro, so that they would be at a loss where to stay though invited. They would float and drift around the place and try to possess those present. That is, it’s vague where they should stay. In this situation, it is difficult for the spirits to be consoled. If the word is written on the memorial tablet or Tanzaku, spirits will recognize it as a resting place and gather around it. And then if you hold a memorial service for them, you can console them effectively.

  • ability 能力
  • perceive 知覚する
  • obvious 明らかな
  • be at a loss 途方にくれる
  • possess 憑依する
  • those present 出席者
  • vague 曖昧な
  • console 慰める

When I was given by a holy spirit the method of Ise-Hakusan Dou, I was told to write the word “位” using a little bit larger character than the other words because the last word is essential and important. Just as the base of a tombstone is massive, I feel that the word “位” supports one’s family line from the bottom.It is meaningful that the scholar suggests the same thing as what I feel about the spiritual reality. It can be said that the scholastic knowledge coincides with the spiritual reality.

  • character 文字
  • essential 不可欠な
  • tombstone 墓跡
  • massive がっしりとした
  • bottom 下
  • meaningful 意義深い
  • coincide 一致する

Why does such a Chinese character affect the spirit world?  This is because the history and cultural customs, such as characters, of where people have lived long are accumulated in the form of spiritual magnetism. I feel that, though human genes or spirits cannot be perceived on the surface, a magnetic field of a place or space brings about such a phenomenon.

  • affect 影響する
  • gene 遺伝子
  • magnetic field 磁場
  • bring about A Aを引き起こす
  • phenomenon 現象

In this sense, it is important that in foreign countries, a word corresponding to “place” should be written at the last of the sentence on Yorishiro. In terms of shamanism too, where a shaman conjure up spirits to console them, it’s important for the spirits, as well as the human, to have an image of a place or location for them to stay at.

  • correspond 相当する
  • in terms of A Aの観点から
  • conjure  呼び出す

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.

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