Feb 13, 2017: Kamidana & Butsudan –for Gods and Ancestors


Most of the old Japanese houses have a room called Butsuma, which shows both Kamidana & Butsudan.

Kamidana is a small-scaled shrine to pray at home to gods of ShintoismKamidana has three gods in it: Amaterasu Omikami of Ise Great Shrine, the most venerated Shinto sanctuary, a local guardian god and a third god of your choice. Kamidana is located in the upper area of the room, facing south, or east.


Butsudan is a small-scaled temple to pray at home for Buddhism deities and for ancestors.

It has been quite common in Japan to have two altars side by side in the same room: Kamidana of Shintoism and Butsudan of Buddhism.  People believed in both religions.

In the room, we also have wooden sticks to hook lanterns on the wall. These lanterns, made by woods and paper, should have been used to brighten up the road of a wedding ceremony in old days.

During winter, we use Kotatsu to warm up our legs.



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