Learn about Tsuya, the family ritual before the funeral of the late Prime Minister Abe

Learn about Tsuya, an internal family ritual before the funeral of the late Prime Minister Abe - Photo 1.

A mourner bows his head in front of a funeral tribute to the late Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo inside Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan on July 11 – Photo: REUTERS

According to the Japanese-wiki-corpus, the Tsuya ceremony is a traditional ceremony usually held on the eve of the official funeral, to pray for the souls of the dead to leave the world safely.

This ceremony can take place according to the rites of Shinto (Shinto), Christianity or Buddhism depending on the beliefs of the bereaved.

The origin of the Tsuya ceremony is often said to stem from the legend that when the Buddha died, his disciples read his teachings throughout the night in mourning over his dead body.

Traditionally, the Tsuya ceremony took place all night, but today it is held from about 6pm to 9pm and includes chanting.

After the end of the Tsuya ceremony, it is customary for family members to take turns staying with the deceased until the next day’s funeral and is responsible for keeping the candles and incense flames from going out.

However, today, in order for the funeral celebrant to not be tired from lack of sleep due to performing many rituals, families tend to simplify the procedures, they use incense burning throughout the night instead of incense. normally and therefore won’t have to “wake up” all night.

The vigil ceremony takes place after the enthronement ceremony – when the body of the deceased has been brought into the coffin and the family has set up an altar for them.

Nowadays, the Tsuya ceremony is usually conducted in a temple or a funeral home, so after the body is brought into the coffin at a private residence or funeral home, the coffin will be taken to the place where the Tsuya ceremony is held.

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while campaigning in the city of Nara on the morning of July 8. The perpetrator Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, is being held and questioned.

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