Tag Archives: ohaka

Ichi and Papa visit Ohaka on Father’s Day

Ichiro wonders what his papa is up to :)

Me and the little champion went up to the grandma and grandpa‘s graves to light some incense, give a clean and have a little hang out together. We met a snail, Ichiro fell asleep. Evidence of all follows:

Ichiro lounging in the “baby car”
we light incense, clap and talk to give Grandpa Ichiro and Grandma Tomiko an update

Continue reading Ichi and Papa visit Ohaka on Father’s Day

Memo: a fork in the spoons

Fujita family ohaka grave marker – our home is just beyond

Sometimes life’s circumstances create conundrums – a fork in the spoons, (he says, mixing metaphors). So when I need to sort the spork out, I come here, talk to the ancestors, do some walking meditation, light incense, wash graves and see if *the* path presents itself or, *a* path anyway, a *middle* path perhaps.

Note: I like to think about the stories behind the stones. And here in Japan, pour water on top of the graves, light incense – clap & bow.
PS in this case, this is grandpa Ichiro (died at 49 yrs old many years ago) and grandma Tomiko who died just after our Ichiro was born.
We’ve had a lot of wind storms recently so I like to tidy up their little area though I neglected to take some fresh flowers this time.

Our house is just behind the cemetery so you can kind of see the hills and green space behind us

Haiku: Graves & Trains

Graves & Trains

Rubbing faded kanji

From mossy tilted Edo graves

Shinkansen shooshes past

Ichiro: card #59 “Generations of Fujitas”(in Tsuchida) / 11.28

Ichiro: card #59 “Generations of Fujitas”(in Tsuchida) / 11.28

These shining lights continue to connect the centuries of culture & community The family gravestones go back so far the words are obscured / we wash (sometimes), light incense (Nag Champa in this case), clap and bow + bit of a conversation > In this case, namesake Grandfather Ichiro & Grandmother Tomiko’s ohaka / note: this “ohaka” has served as an important destination and part this year’s actions as documented in this archive.

Diary: Closing Circles with Stones ~ Grandmother to the Ohaka

Buddhist monk (handsome!) and me, Father-in-law Takushi, Mother-in-law Junkyo and wife Ryoko with baby Ichiro at Grandfather Ichiro’s ohaka / grave, now with Grandmother Tomiko

Aug 19th was 49 days after Ryoko’s Grandmother Tomiko passed away at 94 years old, 6 days after baby Ichiro was born, and the night he was registered on the generational family register (koseki tohon) at city office with the same name (but different kanji characters) as her husband – Ichiro.

As such, in the Buddhist tradition, her ashes were put into the ohaka (crypt) with dashing Grandfather Ichiro who died at 49 years old, many decades ago.

Note: Throughout the pregnancy, we often visited grandpa Ichiro‘s ohaka (grave) as going to a cemetery it was easy to reduce risk while having a pleasant walk and while there, clean his grave, light incense and have a conversation.

Buddhist monk offering prayers/chants at family alcove/altar before taking ashes to ohaka

In early July were four days of various funeral ritual/ceremonies at the house (adjusted for current health protocols) before she was cremated, and since then, her ashes sat at the family altar with daily incense, prayers and so on. 

this smouldering incense was part of the ceremony at the house, pinch, put to forehead couple of times…

So as it goes, the remarkably handsome monk offered more incense and chants and led family in scripted prayers and incantations. Baby Ichiro rolled with it all.

the cemetery man opens up the ohaka crypt for first time tis century… (Father and Monk look on)

Following, we took her ashes to the cemetery where a kindly tall specialist removed the capstone of the freshly cleaned ohaka allowing us to briefly see grandpa‘s urn, before adding the new jar & gently sealing back up.

 

the sealing sealing removed by hand…

Then we burned more incense, gave regards to other graves and left a lovely lunch to take her into the next journey.

special lunch to take Grandmother Tomiko onto the next part of journey

Note: of course there’s more to share of the story (eventually, perhaps), and if you’re curious, see the wedding picture of grandpa Ichiro and grandma Tomiko, plus notes from Ichiro’s first month and an Ichiro card with her casket and his basket.

wonderful mother in law at the cemetery, what a huge couple of months she’s had!

The circle is complete, the family continues, I’m very proud to be part of this clan. We’ve had seven weeks of birth, death, (re)birthdays, and so much transition in real time. i’m privileged to be a participant.

So very gratefully,
daveo/UW

for a brief moment only, we could see Grandfather Ichiro and Grandmother Tomiko reunited in their urns, then was sealed back up… what a treasured experience!

Diary: Introducing Ichiro to maternal great-grandfather Fujii at Ohaka

photo on the ohaka (grave) of maternal great-grandfather Fujii

Ryoko’s mother’s family name is Fujii, not to be confused with Father’s family name Fujita.

Recently, paternal grandmother passed away, paternal grandfathers are both long passed.

In this case we visited Ohaka (grave) of Ichiro’s maternal great-grandfather (Ryoko’s grandfather obv) with the in-laws/parents to wash and clean, offer a prayer and introduce Ichi. 

I don’t know much of his backstory – enough to riff at least – i’ll connect some more pieces for a later update for curiosity seekers. 

Note: there is a panorama of the epically endless cemetery and massive crematorium (under expansion) plus family photos to include > this is a reminder to add at some point for posterity and whatnot. 

Diary: Stroll to Grandpa Ichiro’s ohaka juuust before…

Ryoko gives Grandpa Ichiro’s grave a clean with a wooden ladle

{Catching up with…} evidence of a stroll on June 21st as we were waiting for baby Ichiro to make his appearance (he was “due” on the 18th but whatever) so, as we often have done during the pregnancy – and related timing of erstwhile pandemic – we took a stroll up to grandpa Ichiro’s grave here in Tsuchida neighbourhood in Okayama, Japan.

Lighting some incense at Grandpa Ichiro’s grave

While there, we give it a clean, fresh out the flowers, light some incense and have a conversation with him. In this case, mention if the baby was coming and if he has any pull in the situation, to keep an eye on us.

Thanking about grandpa dying at 49 and waiting here for so long
Ryoko has some words and thoughts for the Grandpa (who she never met)
2 days later, his namesake grandson was born and 10 days later, his widow Tomiko passed away (45 days from then, her ashes will be added to the ohaka)

Turns out, the walk was fortuitous as our wonderful baby came along healthy and happy on the 23rd and share his name with his grandpa (same pronunciation but different kanji characters – more on this another time). 

Probably our last snaphot as a family of just 2

Note: baby Ichiro was born 2 days later and Grandpa Ichiro’s widow Tomiko passed away on July 1st and after 45 days will join him in the ohaka. 

Memo: post updated July 17th from events on June 21st and back-dated.

See also:

Diary: Ryoko gardening (more) and visiting grave (again)

{Catching up with…} Yet another visit to grandpa Ichiro’s grave during the pregnancy + pandemic, plus get another photo of remarkable Ryoko gardening with her adorable baby belly. 

For both of us to stay *active* and centred through all the commotion and concerns of life, we often visited grandpa’s grave for a conversation.

Each morning as I lingered in bed, this intrepid arborist would get up and work on various garden projects, or in this case, cutting down bamboo in the forest behind the house.

Epilogue: Updated July 17 from events on and around May 2… This turned out to be a very significant part of bringing our little guy into the world as he bears the same man and, shortly afterwards, grandpa’s widow died at 94 years old.

Note: Both of these topics are covered elsewhere in this archive and desire to be considered supporting evidence of a really strange but wonderful spring time, as such,…

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