7/26/2015

funeral rituals

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sooshiki 葬式 soshiki - funeral service

. funeral 葬式 sooshiki, 葬儀 soogi .
- Introduction -

maisoo 埋葬 Maiso, dabi 荼毘 to cremate, cremation of the body
kasoo 火葬 Kaso, burning of the body
- burial of the ashes

- discussion at the PMJS Forum -




- quote
The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan
by Karen M. Gerhart



This study is the first in the English language to explore the ways medieval Japanese sought to overcome their sense of powerlessness over death. By attending to both religious practice and ritual objects used in funerals in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it seeks to provide a new understanding of the relationship between the two. Karen Gerhart looks at how these special objects and rituals functioned by analyzing case studies culled from written records, diaries, and illustrated handscrolls, and by examining surviving funerary structures and painted and sculpted images.
The work
is divided into two parts, beginning with compelling depictions of funerary and memorial rites of several members of the aristocracy and military elite. The second part addresses the material culture of death and analyzes objects meant to sequester the dead from the living: screens, shrouds, coffins, carriages, wooden fences. This is followed by an examination of implements (banners, canopies, censers, musical instruments, offering vessels) used in memorial rituals.
The final chapter discusses the various types of and uses for portraits of the deceased, focusing on the manner of their display, the patrons who commissioned them, and the types of rituals performed in front of them. Gerhart delineates the distinction between objects created for a single funeral—and meant for use in close proximity to the body, such as coffins—and those, such as banners, intended for use in multiple funerals and other Buddhist services.
Richly detailed and generously illustrated,
Gerhart introduces a new perspective on objects typically either overlooked by scholars or valued primarily for their artistic qualities. By placing them in the context of ritual, visual, and material culture, she reveals how rituals and ritual objects together helped to comfort the living and improve the deceased’s situation in the afterlife as well as to guide and cement societal norms of class and gender. Not only does her book make a significant contribution in the impressive amount of new information that it introduces, it also makes an important theoretical contribution as well in its interweaving of the interests and approaches of the art historian and the historian of religion. By directly engaging and challenging methodologies relevant to ritual studies, material culture, and art history, it changes once and for all our way of thinking about the visual and religious culture of premodern Japan.
- source : uhpress.hawaii.edu

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- quote -
FUNERAL RITES - (FROM THE "SHO-REI HIKKI.")
On the death of a parent, the mourning clothes worn are made of coarse hempen cloth, and during the whole period of mourning these must be worn night and day. As the burial of his parents is the most important ceremony which a man has to go through during his whole life, when the occasion comes, in order that there be no confusion, he must employ some person to teach him the usual and proper rites. Above all things to be reprehended is the burning of the dead: they should be interred without burning. The ceremonies to be observed at a funeral should by rights have been learned before there is occasion to put them in practice. If a man have no father or mother, he is sure to have to bury other relations; and so he should not disregard this study.

There are some authorities who select lucky days and hours and lucky places for burying the dead, but this is wrong; and when they talk about curses being brought upon posterity by not observing these auspicious seasons and places, they make a great mistake.
It is a matter of course that an auspicious day must be chosen so far as avoiding wind and rain is concerned, that men may bury their dead without their minds being distracted; and it is important to choose a fitting cemetery, lest in after days the tomb should be damaged by rain, or by men walking over it, or by the place being turned into a field, or built upon. When invited to a friend's or neighbour's funeral, a man should avoid putting on smart clothes and dresses of ceremony; and when he follows the coffin, he should not speak in a loud voice to the person next him, for that is very rude; and even should he have occasion to do so, he should avoid entering wine-shops or tea-houses on his return from the funeral.

The list of persons present at a funeral should be written on slips of paper, and firmly bound together. It may be written as any other list, only it must not be written beginning at the right hand, as is usually the case, but from the left hand (as is the case in European books).

On the day of burial, during the funeral service, incense is burned in the temple before the tablet on which is inscribed the name under which the dead person enters salvation. The incense-burners, having washed their hands, one by one, enter the room where the tablet is exposed, and advance half-way up to the tablet, facing it; producing incense wrapped in paper from their bosoms, they hold it in their left hands, and, taking a pinch with the right hand, they place the packet in their left sleeve. If the table on which the tablet is placed be high, the person offering incense half raises himself from his crouching position; if the table be low, he remains crouching to burn the incense, after which he takes three steps backwards, with bows and reverences, and retires six feet, when he again crouches down to watch the incense-burning, and bows to the priests who are sitting in a row with their chief at their head, after which he rises and leaves the room. Up to the time of burning the incense no notice is taken of the priest. At the ceremony of burning incense before the grave, the priests are not saluted. The packet of incense is made of fine paper folded in three, both ways.

NOTE.
The reason why the author of the "Sho-rei Hikki" has treated so briefly of the funeral ceremonies is probably that these rites, being invariably entrusted to the Buddhist priesthood, vary according to the sect of the latter; and, as there are no less than fifteen sects of Buddhism in Japan, it would be a long matter to enter into the ceremonies practised by each. Should Buddhism be swept out of Japan, as seems likely to be the case, men will probably return to the old rites which obtained before its introduction in the sixth century of our era.
What those rites were I have been unable to learn.

TALES OF OLD JAPAN
by LORD REDESDALE, G.C.V.O., K.C.B.
- source : www.gutenberg.org -

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History of funeral practices intertwined with religion
By William Wetherall
- source : yoshabunko.com/anthropology-


A nation's dying industry
Burgeoning mortuary market spurs competition

By William Wetherall
- source : yoshabunko.com/anthropology -

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- quote -
A Japanese funeral (葬儀 sōgi or 葬式 sōshiki)
includes a wake, the cremation of the deceased, a burial in a family grave, and a periodic memorial service. According to 2007 statistics, 99.81% of deceased Japanese are cremated.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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hayaokeya, hayaoke ya 早桶屋 "fast coffin maker" , undertaker
soogiya 葬儀屋 / saihooya 西方屋 / koshiya 輿屋 = undertaker

- quote -
Changes in Japanese Urban Funeral Customs during the Twentieth Century
Murakami Kokyo
The work of pre-Meiji sogisha was called hayaokeya 早捅屋 (fast coffin maker) or
hayamonoya 早物屋 (fast itemer).
The term hayamono, was used to refer to funeral paraphernalia in general, suggests that the funeral items were not already prepared for rental but rather were made and sold quickly after someone died.
Edo-period funerals were often modest affairs.
People without much social status avoided an afternoon procession and instead close family members silently transported the body at night. This was the case until about 1887,when afternoon processions began to spread among the common people.
As the funerals and processions became more resplendent, so too did the accessories. We can assume that one factor influencing this was the loosening of the status system (mibun seido 身分制度).
As funerals became more elaborate even among common people, items that had previously been used only once were now rented, con­versely, since materials could now be rented,elaborate funerals spread among commoners.
In other words,these trends were mutually com­plementary. Furthermore, beautification of funeral decoration in the Meiji era was related to the display of public mourning as the funeral came to be seen as a social event.
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 2000
- source : nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp -

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kan 棺, kanoke 棺桶 coffin, casket
The dead body was placed seating into the wooden casket.
During epidemics, there were often not enough caskets in town.


source : supernil


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- - - - - H A I K U and S E N R Y U - - - - -

江戸広し早桶屋へ嫁が来る
Edo hiroshi hayaokeya e yome ga kuru

Edo is big -
even the undertaker
gets a wife


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棺桶に合羽掛けたる吹雪かな
kanoke ni kappa kaketaru fubuki kana

during a snowstorm
a raincoat is hung
over the casket . . .



棺桶を雪におろせば雀飛ぶ
kanoke o yuki no oroserba suzume tobu

when the casket
is placed in the snow
a sparrow flies away



Murakami Kijoo 村上鬼城 Murakami Kijo (1865 - 1938)

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万緑の底に棺桶用の樹よ
櫂未知子

南北の又棺桶や二の替 野村喜舟
小石川

棺桶に封ずこの世の菊
辻田克巳

棺桶のどこ叩いても棺桶で
稲葉直

棺桶を舁けば雲ひろき夏野かな
飯田蛇笏


- - - - - MORE funeral haiku
- source : HAIKUreikuDB -

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42 legends about kanoke to explore
- source : yokai database -


. Legends from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

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. onboo, omboo, ombô 隠坊 (おんぼう) graveyard warden .

. - Doing Business in Edo - 商売 - Introduction .

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu poems in Edo .


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