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MLanteigne
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: Shinto & Buddhist practices regarding memorials and shri Reply with quote
I was wondering if someone could help me with a bit of a personal issue. Is it considered taboo to have a person's buddhist memorial tablet in the same room as a shinto kamidana? I have heard both sides...one that it is fine, that the protocols don't interfere with each other. As well as that shinto shrines to the gods can't be in the same room as a buddhist memorial tablet, because one aspect sort of covered funerals (the buddhist), and shinto did not.

It's all pretty confusing to me...to be honest. Shocked
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject: Memorials Reply with quote
We have ours on the same 'shelf' and it's not a problem. The only real issue I could see is placing one on a shelf 'above' the other (and hence granting it a higher staus). Shinto and Buddhism exist hand in hand in Japan (almost every temple has at least one shrine on its grounds) and most Japanese practice both.
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I agree with Tatsunoshi. The two religions in Japan (and many more besides) peacefully coexist. Over the many years there have been several formal 'frameworks' for this coexistance (such as whether or not Buddha was in fact one of the Kami, or whether or not the Kami were all Buddhas, etc.). Should be no harm done to anyone's or any thing's sensibilities by keeping both in the same room.

On the other hand you may have to deal with some very particular tenets about specifically where you should place each thing, or at least where to put the Kami-dana. I.e., should be near the "center" of the house, should not be on a lower floor (at least not if people are "walking" on top of it or if it's under a bathroom), etc....
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:31 am    Post subject: Shrine Placement Reply with quote
Oyakata wrote:
I agree with Tatsunoshi. The two religions in Japan (and many more besides) peacefully coexist. Over the many years there have been several formal 'frameworks' for this coexistance (such as whether or not Buddha was in fact one of the Kami, or whether or not the Kami were all Buddhas, etc.). Should be no harm done to anyone's or any thing's sensibilities by keeping both in the same room.

On the other hand you may have to deal with some very particular tenets about specifically where you should place each thing, or at least where to put the Kami-dana. I.e., should be near the "center" of the house, should not be on a lower floor (at least not if people are "walking" on top of it or if it's under a bathroom), etc....


Yes, usually it's a good idea to have a Shinto priest come over and help you in choosing a good location for the Kami-dana. They also usually will come over once a year to ritually 'purify' it. There's also groups that actually travel from city to city and door to door with portable shrines that will 'purify' your entire house.
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Oyakata wrote:
I agree with Tatsunoshi. The two religions in Japan (and many more besides) peacefully coexist. Over the many years there have been several formal 'frameworks' for this coexistance (such as whether or not Buddha was in fact one of the Kami, or whether or not the Kami were all Buddhas, etc.). Should be no harm done to anyone's or any thing's sensibilities by keeping both in the same room.

On the other hand you may have to deal with some very particular tenets about specifically where you should place each thing, or at least where to put the Kami-dana. I.e., should be near the "center" of the house, should not be on a lower floor (at least not if people are "walking" on top of it or if it's under a bathroom), etc....


If anything gets too far off, you could end up with a Buddha and a Kami in a mortal combat match, and let me tell you, THOSE fatalities are messy. Last time I saw that happen there was debris all the way to the genkan, and we had to replace the tatami.
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MLanteigne
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The contention I had learned was because the person who had passed away was given a buddhist name, they were then considered a "god" in their own right, which couldn't be in teh same room as the kamidana...something about too many gods in one room.

While the two religions co-exist, I was told that each had it's own place for certain aspects of cultural celebrations. So shinto would be more for weddings, whereas buddhist ceremonies were used for funerals?
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
If anything gets too far off, you could end up with a Buddha and a Kami in a mortal combat match, and let me tell you, THOSE fatalities are messy.


I'm reminded of an old friend in Tokyo, who got around on one of those Vespa scooter things. The thing was PLASTERED with "kotsu anzen" stickers from shrines all over Tokyo. One day, she got into an accident, and the responding o-mawari-san took one look at all the "competing" stickers on the scooter, and said to her sadly, "Kami-sama wa okoru, yo."

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
"Kami-sama wa okoru, yo."


lol Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
AJBryant wrote:


I'm reminded of an old friend in Tokyo, who got around on one of those Vespa scooter things. The thing was PLASTERED with "kotsu anzen" stickers from shrines all over Tokyo. One day, she got into an accident, and the responding o-mawari-san took one look at all the "competing" stickers on the scooter, and said to her sadly, "Kami-sama wa okoru, yo."

Tony


Nothing like divine wrath for you. Hope she wasn't injured though.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
AJBryant wrote:
Quote:
If anything gets too far off, you could end up with a Buddha and a Kami in a mortal combat match, and let me tell you, THOSE fatalities are messy.


I'm reminded of an old friend in Tokyo, who got around on one of those Vespa scooter things. The thing was PLASTERED with "kotsu anzen" stickers from shrines all over Tokyo. One day, she got into an accident, and the responding o-mawari-san took one look at all the "competing" stickers on the scooter, and said to her sadly, "Kami-sama wa okoru, yo."

Tony


yeah, I've known others to take that seriously. I was *advised* not to pick up kotsu anzen stickers from multiple shrines--so I settled on Ise Jingu and though that'd be best.

Nate
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
MLanteigne wrote:
The contention I had learned was because the person who had passed away was given a buddhist name, they were then considered a "god" in their own right, which couldn't be in teh same room as the kamidana...something about too many gods in one room.

While the two religions co-exist, I was told that each had it's own place for certain aspects of cultural celebrations. So shinto would be more for weddings, whereas buddhist ceremonies were used for funerals?


That's a decent general rule; Shinto for births and Buddhism for funerals. However, there's no reason you couldn't use both or just one for either function (although some Shinto priests might balk at funerals). For marriage, things get a little more muddled. Your actual marriage ceremony (where things are made 'official') in Japan takes place at your neighborhood ward office with a government official presiding. Of course, most couples have additional faith based ceremonies thereafter. Ayame and I had ceremonies at both a local Shinto shrine and Buddhist Temple. Because most Shrines don't have room for many people (after all, they're built to house Kami, not living beings), they're not used very often. Buddhist temples get a little more use. I would say the majority these days get married at a Christian Church, even if they're not Christian (I believe Japan is only about 1% or less Christian), since there's more room (plus it's the stylish choice).


Last edited by Tatsunoshi on Fri May 12, 2006 1:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
MLanteigne wrote:
The contention I had learned was because the person who had passed away was given a buddhist name, they were then considered a "god" in their own right, which couldn't be in teh same room as the kamidana...something about too many gods in one room.


I'm not sure if having a kaimyou 戒名 means that you are a 'god' - but happy to learn otherwise. But while a kamidana actually is meant to house a god, an ihai 位牌 isn't a 'god' per se. So even with the above logic, a kamidana and an ihai (or more likely a butsudan) can peacefully co-exist in theory. In practice it's not exceedingly rare to see them together.
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Oyakata wrote:
MLanteigne wrote:
The contention I had learned was because the person who had passed away was given a buddhist name, they were then considered a "god" in their own right, which couldn't be in teh same room as the kamidana...something about too many gods in one room.


I'm not sure if having a kaimyou 戒名 means that you are a 'god' - but happy to learn otherwise. But while a kamidana actually is meant to house a god, an ihai 位牌 isn't a 'god' per se. So even with the above logic, a kamidana and an ihai (or more likely a butsudan) can peacefully co-exist in theory. In practice it's not exceedingly rare to see them together.


I did find it interesting that the bigger your or your family's donation to the temple when you die, the longer your buddhist name. Sounds like a scam to me.
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 1:42 am    Post subject: Buddhist Scams Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
Oyakata wrote:
MLanteigne wrote:
The contention I had learned was because the person who had passed away was given a buddhist name, they were then considered a "god" in their own right, which couldn't be in teh same room as the kamidana...something about too many gods in one room.


I'm not sure if having a kaimyou 戒名 means that you are a 'god' - but happy to learn otherwise. But while a kamidana actually is meant to house a god, an ihai 位牌 isn't a 'god' per se. So even with the above logic, a kamidana and an ihai (or more likely a butsudan) can peacefully co-exist in theory. In practice it's not exceedingly rare to see them together.


I did find it interesting that the bigger your or your family's donation to the temple when you die, the longer your buddhist name. Sounds like a scam to me.


Another popular Buddhist scam-in most big 'tourist attraction' temples, 'photography of the sacred image of Buddha is prohibited'. It seems they never get around to telling that to the photographers who did the photos for the books, postcards, mousepads, etc, in their gift shops.
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