A memorial service held every day is more important than visiting your family’s grave once a year.


Bones put in an urn after cremation are only a part of the whole due to the size of the urn when the cremation is done in city. The rest of it are thrown away together with other’s bones. Remains don’t include the soul of the deceased and are nothing more than wreck like the lyric of the song “Don’t Stand At My Grave And Weep”.

  • urn 骨壷
  • cremation 火葬
  • due to A   Aのために
  • the rest 残り
  • throw A away   Aを捨てる
  • remain 遺骨
  • include 含む
  • the deceased    故人
  • nothing more than  A A以上のものではない
  • wreck 残骸

Are graves unnecessary? No. They’re important all the same. They are important as monuments not to forget ancestors. Human beings are forgetful of holding memorial services for ancestors when they’re busy with their work or everyday lives. But if people have their graves, when the equinoctial week or Obon festival comes around, they will visit them with their family.

  • grave 墓
  • all the same    やはり
  • ancestor 先祖
  • forgetful 忘れやすい
  • equinoctial week お彼岸

Without graves, there is no chance to hold memorial services for ancestors with family members. It is a great consolation to ancestral spirits for their descendants to think about them even a few times in a year.

  • consolation 慰め
  • descendant 子孫

If all of your ancestral spirits were in rest in peace, it would be enough for you to visit the grave a few times a year and after that, work hard in the World of Reality forgetting about them. But actually there are wandering ancestral spirits in any family line. Wandering ancestral spirits try to depend on their descendants for help. Then there will happen a lot of troubles in your life because they try to draw your attention to their existence.

  • wander 迷う
  • depend 頼る
  • draw attention 注意を引く
  • existence 存在

It is really agony for spirits to stay in this word with attachment to it because the situation of the moment of their death is fixed. If they want to go back to the spirit world on their own, it’s not easy because they have missed the chance to leave. They need help from their descendants in the form of memorial services with gratitude.

  • agony 苦悶
  • attachment 執着
  • fix 固定する
  • on one’s own 自分で
  • in the form of A   Aの形で
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち

It’s more important for you to hold a memorial service for your ancestral spirits everyday with gratitude with the use of three incense sticks than to visit the grave a few times in a year. It makes your ancestors happy for you to think about them even a few times a year, much more to think about them everyday at home.

  • ancestral    先祖の
  • incense stick    線香
  • much more A     ましてやAはなおさらだ

If you hold a memorial service for your ancestors everyday, you can make your wandering ancestral spirits rest in peace one by one. And they, in turn, become your guardian spirits and will protect you. What you did for your ancestors will return to you without fail.

  • in turn 今度は
  • guardian spirit 守護霊
  • protect 守る
  • without fail    必ず

There may be a case you have separated graves for some reason. In many cases, it is due to the will of the deceased, who doesn’t want to stay together with his wife or her husband after death, for example. This is also due to some karma. Just leave it as it is. Above all, it’s important for you to hold a memorial service everyday for your ancestors whose surname is the same as yours.

  • will 遺言
  • leave A as A is Aをそのままにしておく
  • above all 何よりも
  • surname    苗字

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます


Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

You are the result of a baton of life having been passed narrowly.


As the cost of graves has been increasing, it might be difficult for ordinary people to get a new one. When I die, I’d like my family to dispose of my ashes at a crematory and just make a black wooden memorial tablet with the golden words “THE PLACE FOR ANCESTRAL SPIRITS OF SO AND SO FAMILY” written on it, instead of a Tanzaku, a short strip of paper.

  • grave 墓
  • increase 増加する
  • ordinary 普通の
  • dispose 処分する
  • ash 灰
  • creamtatory    火葬場
  • memorial tablet 位牌
  • instead of A Aの代わりに

And I’ve been telling my family to write the year of my death, my age, my name and my simple personal history in a notebook made from Japanese paper as a necrology and put it beside the memorial tablet. My family wants to buy a small grave, though. These things should be left to fortune or karma and are nothing you worry about.

  • necrology 過去帳
  • leave A to B AをBに任せる
  • fortune 運

Holding memorial services has a really deep meaning. Tracing back to your ancestors, you can reach the origin of human beings ultimately. You can never stop at your own ancestors only. If you keep on holding memorial services for your ancestors with “gratitude for being kept alive” being the key, the memorial service becomes the one for all human beings and things and a paean to great nature.

  • memorial service 供養
  • meaning 意味
  • trace back to A Aをたどる
  • ancestor 先祖
  • ultimately 究極的には
  •  keep on ~ing 〜し続ける
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • keep A alive Aを生かしておく
  • paean 賛歌

If you’re in this state of mind,  you wouldn’t care if your memorial service is effective or not. You’ll find yourself holding it just because you cannot help feeling grateful for your existence.

  • state 状態
  • effective 効果がある
  • grateful 感謝に満ちた
  • existence 存在

When you’re worried about the effectiveness of your memorial service, you must be thinking at heart “I did it for you, so what can I get in return?”expecting some profit. If you’re so, you won’t be able to keep on doing it.

  • at heart 心では
  • in return お返しに
  • profit 利益

If your memorial services do have effect on your ancestral spirits, you can keep on doing it naturally. On the other hand, if your memorial services don’t have any effect on them, you’ll stop doing it somehow.

  • have effect on A Aに影響を与える
  • naturally 自然に
  • on the other hand 一方
  • somehow どういうわけか

We’re living now. But living things die easily. Just a simple carelessness can cost you your life. It is “you”, living now, that the result of a baton of life like a fragile, easy to disappear tightrope, having been passed from ancestor to ancestor. What are you complain about?

  • carelessness 不注意
  • result 結果
  • baton バトン
  • frigile 脆い
  • disappear 消える
  • complain  不平を言う

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます


Thank you so much for keeping us alive.