Today’s Word is: Butsudan (仏壇)
Butsudan (仏壇) is a small Buddhist shrine found in Japanese houses and temples. Inside, a religious icon (honzon) sits on the top, surrounded by several Buddhist implements such as incenses, lanterns, candlesticks, flower bases, bells, and so on.
A butsudan used in regular houses is sometimes called onaibutsu (御内仏), to differentiate from the ones placed in temples. Families use their butsudan to place “ihai,” spirit tablets of deceased family members. Butsudan can be installed in many ways. You can have it installed in wall, or as a separate unit.
Depending on households, doors of a butsudan could be open or closed. If you do see a butsudan in someone’s house, do show respect, as it is an important part of their religious beliefs.