2020/10/06 07:55:06

All adults should know! Terminology used at funerals

Funerals, commuting, and farewell ceremonies. These are the words you hear when your relatives and acquaintances die. Even those who have never been involved in a funeral will probably know the meaning of these terms. Even if you don't know the detailed meaning, you understand the general meaning, and the word "commuting is 0 days" makes sense. However, there are many funeral terms that you don't know what they mean when you suddenly say them.

The terms used in funerals are not limited to "funeral (funeral)," "going to night," and "farewell ceremony." Here are some terms you should know when proceeding with a funeral. If you read this, you should be able to understand what you should help and what is about to begin, even if the term suddenly pops up in the funeral process.


Terms you should know at a Buddhist funeral

There are quite a few funeral-related terms. There are dozens or hundreds of related words, including after the funeral. The related words will change dramatically depending on whether the funeral is held in a Buddhist style or in a Shinto or Christian style.

In this term pick-up, we will pick up terms that appear in Buddhist funerals, which are the most popular choice in Japan. It does not mention Shinto or Christian terms. We will focus on the Buddhist funeral terms that you will most often come across when living in Japan.


In addition, we choose terms that are naturally used in the funeral process, rather than special terms.

Let's take this opportunity to remember.

Set meal, car fee

The terms "Ozenryo" and "Okurumai", which are often heard at places other than funerals, are also used at funerals. It is mainly the money given to the monk.

You may be wondering if the money you give to the monk is "Ofuse". Certainly, if you ask the monk to read the sutras at the funeral and give them a dharma name, you will be given a donation. However, what you have to be careful about here is that not all the money you give to the Buddhist priest is called a donation.

If you have money (transportation expenses) for visiting your house or funeral home, give it as a "car fee", and if you do not have a set at the funeral or if the monk does not attend the dinner, "set" Wrap the money as a "fee". It's a different money from the donation.


Owner, caretaker

The word "owner" is sometimes used. The owner is the person who manages the funeral.

In addition to the mourner, there may be a client. For example, when a father dies and the youngest son acts as a mourner. If you are young, you cannot manage the funeral. In such cases, in addition to the mourner, an owner who actually manages the funeral may be set up. In the example, the mourner is the youngest son, and the owner is someone (such as a mother) who is an adult around him. The owner is sometimes used interchangeably with the mourner.

A caretaker is someone other than the mourner or owner who manages the funeral. The bereaved family may not be able to manage the funeral, or the mourner (owner) may not be able to manage the funeral due to circumstances. For example, if the bereaved family has only one small child, or if the bereaved family is ill and cannot move as expected, a person familiar with the funeral as a caretaker may manage the funeral.


Hot water irrigation (hot water irrigation ceremony), death makeup

Yukan is the process of washing away the corpse. To put it simply, you can wash it off like a bath, or wipe your body clean with a cloth. People who die of illness often have been fighting illness for many years. It is difficult to take a bath during the fight against illness, so you should cleanse your body after you die.

Death makeup is to clean the face of a deceased person. If the deceased is a woman, she can easily apply light makeup such as pulling red, and if she is a man, she can shave her beard. If you die of illness, your cheeks may be sick. Treatments such as moistening the mouth with cotton may be used to calm the face to death.

Hot water and death makeup may be done by a specialist, a funeral home, or a funeral home, but the bereaved family may do it prior to the funeral.


Final water (dead water), pillow sutra (pillow repair, pillow decoration)

"Late-term water (Matsugo no Mizu)" means to wet the lips of the deceased with water after death. There is an anecdote that when the Buddha died, a devout person moistened his mouth to quench his thirst. It is said that the anecdote is linked to the funeral custom of water at the end of modern times.

Water at the end of life is done by wrapping cotton wool immediately after death. However, in recent years, many people die in hospitals, so it is usually done after being transported to a house or funeral home rather than immediately after death.

Pillow sutra means that the body is placed in a house or funeral home and then the sutra is chanted at the bedside before the funeral. Depending on the area and the monk's schedule, the timing of the pillow may change before the funeral.


Rokumonsen (Rokudosen), farewell flower

Rokumonsen is a custom of putting coins in a casket from the anecdote that "Rokumonsen is required as a fare for the river in the world". There are no six coins in modern times, so coins such as five-yen coins and ten-yen coins are used instead. It is a custom that has been practiced for funerals for a long time, but it is necessary to be careful because some local governments now prohibit coins from being cremated.

A farewell flower is a flower that attendees and bereaved families decorate the casket of the deceased before closing the casket and leaving the casket. Put each wheel in the casket (although it is not always the case that each person has one wheel) with a feeling of farewell. Chrysanthemums and lilies are often used as flowers. Basically, flowers with a bright and energetic impression like sunflowers and flowers with thorns like roses are not used.




Here are some terms you should know about Buddhist funerals. None of these are difficult terms, but are words that you often hear during a funeral. The phrase "I've heard it somehow ..." may have changed to "Oh, did you mean that!" By this funeral terminology.

In addition to Buddhist funeral terms, different terms may be used in Shinto and Christian funerals. You don't have to learn very difficult terms. Try to keep only the terms necessary for the funeral.