Why is food put on graves in Japan?

Graves in Japan usually have a variety of items in them, including food.

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This is part of a ritual to remember those who have passed away.

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Find out here what a visit to a cemetery in Japan is like and the culture of leaving food on graves. It is worth noting that we are describing only one of the ritual parts involving tombs in Japan. Also, they can vary according to each one’s belief.

The Tombs in Japan

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Many Japanese people sometimes visit tombs. Visiting a grave is a very important event for the deceased, to report to the ancestors that the family lives safely and thank them for this.

Usually, when visiting a cemetery, the Japanese do the cleaning of the grave. So cleaning starts with grave being scraped so that possible stains on it can come out.

This cleaning is done with the help of a brush and then it is necessary to remove the weeds around a grave. Also, the vase of flowers need to be washed and there is even a sweep around the grave to make sure everything is clean.

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When you finish cleaning a tomb, you need to offer incense sticks. They are lit with the help of a match and candles can also be lit.

And that’s when the food comes in. For it is time to offer things to those who are gone. Thus, the Japanese usually place flowers in a vase in front of a tombstone and/or offer sweets or foods that the deceased person liked.

Next, place your hands flat together in prayer.

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These are general ways to visit a tomb. There are no hard and fast rules, but be careful to show your respect.


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But visiting tombs in Japan doesn’t stop there.

Thus, when you clean a grave, you must put the rubbish in a garbage bag and take it with you. As in almost all places, in cemeteries, the Japanese are concerned with leaving everything clean and also carrying with them what needs to be discarded.

The sticks of incense you offered at a tomb must finish burning.

And, in principle, you should take the things you offered to the grave with you. The reason is that birds come to a grave to eat them, and they spill and leave food around a grave. In addition, it can attract an animal and that would also make it lose the purpose of bringing food to the one who has already gone.

These are important things to remember when people visit a grave. And they are also issues that need a lot of respect, after all, this is the culture of Japan and how people honor those who have passed away.

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