Ryukyu Butsudan



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English: A butsudan from Naha, Okinawa, Japan (see Ryukyuan religion#Buchidan).

Top row: Tiles with decease family member's names. Each vertical tile pair is one generation. Generations are from right to left, oldest to newest, husband on top row, wife on bottom row. The front of the tile is inscribed with their death name, the back of the tile is inscribed with their life name.

Second row from top: Water and tea offering to the deceased family members. A new offering is made daily. When a woman wakes, she first makes an offering to the Hinokan (god of the hearth), then makes an offering to the Butsudan, and then goes on about her day.

Third row from top: Incense bowl and candles. Incense is burned along with the water and tea offering in the morning. In some families incense is also burned when they arrive home after work. In the Okinawan religion there are three generational eras that are worshiped and the color of the ceramic ware indicate which era. Blue with gold trim is the current generation era and represents the previous 1 to 12 generations. Light green ceramic ware is the middle generation era and represents the previous 13 to 25 generations. White represents the ancients, previous 26+ generations, and the Gods. This altar has less than 12 generations represented, so only blue ceramic ware is used.

Bottom row: Food offerings. To the right is the fruit offering. This is always present. Bananas, representing the male, and tangerines, representing the female, are always present in the fruit offering. This photo was taken at a birthday celebration and the ancestors were included in the celebration by presenting them with dinner and birthday cake.
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Author "Tharos Tharos"
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