2020/10/06 12:33:49

Knowledge of equinoctial week and Obon and what you should not do by visiting the grave

Obon is originally the "Urabone". It is said that this is abbreviated as "Obon". It is said that the importance of filial piety and ancestor filial piety, and that those who cherish their parents and ancestors can go to the Paradise Pure Land. There is an idea that this may have led to a visit to the tomb, which is a symbol of ancestors and parents.

Originally, Japan was a country that values ​​homes and blood ties very much. Visiting the grave is a collection of Buddhist ideas and ancestors and homes that the Japanese have cherished.

It is said that during the Obon festival, the door of that world (also called the lid of the kiln of that world) opens, the boundary between this world and that world becomes ambiguous, and the spirits of the deceased ancestors return to this world. A visit to the grave is also held to welcome the spirits of the ancestors and send them off when the Obon festival is over.

What does the equinoctial week mean? Knowledge of visiting a grave

The spring and autumn equinoxes are the days when the sun sets to the west. In Buddhism, heaven (Gokuraku Pure Land) is said to be in the west, and the spring and autumn equinoxes when the sun sets to the west were considered to be the closest days to the Paradise Pure Land.

Because the spring equinox and the autumn equinox are special days when the world (the world we live in, this bank) approaches that world (heaven, equinox), the vernal and autumn equinox days became the equinox. The equinox has a period of three days before and after the spring and autumn equinox days.

On the equinoctial week, the world in which the Buddha lives approaches this world, so it is said that praying makes it easier to gain enlightenment. Of course, the deceased ancestors are in that world, so I think they came to visit the grave that connects us with their ancestors because it was a day close to that world. Also, by praying at the grave, the old people may have thought to approach enlightenment. Visiting a modern grave can be said to be a remnant of that.

What is a taboo for visiting a grave?

When visiting a grave, the offerings and etiquette that you bring may vary depending on the region. However, some manners are common in the national district. By keeping this common etiquette in mind, you reduce the risk of NG behavior when visiting a grave outside the area where you live.

The two main principles of a grave are "not just for you" and "a place of prayer for souls". Based on this principle, let's take a look at common manner violations and NG acts. You will find that there are two main principles that you should not do when visiting a grave.

Leave the offering behind

Currently, many graves have a rule that you should bring back offerings such as dumplings. This is for measures against dust, odors, and vermin.

Some graves have a garbage dump, but some do not. When you visit the offering, take it home properly or dispose of it at the designated place. It is NG to leave it.

Enter the grave of another family

The grave is a public place. Even if you have a grave in your own house, the surrounding area is a public area and the grave site of another house. The other house cleans the other house properly and manages the grave. Don't throw trash in the graves of other houses or step into them unnecessarily.

Make noise and do not follow etiquette

The tomb is both a public place and a place of prayer. Depending on the area, it is customary to eat lunch in front of the grave, but basically it is necessary to recognize that the grave is not a banquet hall or playground. This is a necessary recognition not only for the graves of your own home, but also for the graves of other homes.

People who visit the graves of great historical figures also need to be aware that it is a place of prayer, not a place to take pictures or disseminate information via SNS, and to act with etiquette.


Obon and equinoctial week have meaning. We live in the present age because it is meaningful, and when we hear about Obon and equinoctial week, we think that we have to visit the grave.

Knowing about Obon and the equinoctial week in this way will make visiting the grave even more memorable. Because it is the knowledge of visiting graves that has been cherished in Japan, it is the knowledge that you should not do at the grave and that you want to convey to your children and grandchildren.

Why don't you take this opportunity to think about visiting graves and Japanese customs again? By thinking about it, you may think that it is important to visit the grave.