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How to Visit a Grave Using Good Manners

How to Visit a Grave Using Good Manners

Translated by Shoko Naito

Written by Kazuki Tsuchido

2015.01.23 Bookmark

A lot of Japanese people sometimes visit graves.Visiting a graveis a very important event to morn for the deceased, to report ancestors that the family live safely, and to thank them about it.

I will introduce how Japanese people visit a grave.You may see a lot of people who visit graves or temples as these pictures below.

A Manner of Visiting a Grave

Though it depends on the cemetary, borrow a wooden tub for holding water and a ladle. If you do not have incense sticks, buy them at the temple in the cemetery.

On the way to a grave, run water into a bucket from a tap.

Arriving at a grave, clean it up.

Clean a grave by scraping stains off a grave with a brush or pulling weeds around a grave. Plus, wash flower vase or sweep up around.

When finishing cleaning a grave up, offer incense sticks using matches or candles you bring. Put flowers in a vase in front of a gravestone or offer sweets or food which the deceased person liked.

After offering incense sticks and offerings, ladle out water from a wooden tub and pour water over a grave.

Put your hands flat together in prayer. Tell ancestors about your present situation or thank them for family's safety in your mind.

These are the general manners of visiting a grave. There are no strict rules, but be careful to show your respect.

Do not Forget to Clear up

Please be careful about one thing; clearing up.

When you clean a grave up, you must put rubbish in a garbage bag and take it with you. The incense sticks you offered at a grave must be finished burning.

And in principle, you have to take things you offered at a grave with you. The reason is that birds come to a grave to eat them, and they spill and leave food around a grave.

These are important things to remember when people visit a grave.


photo by Janne Moren on Flickr

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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