How to Take Care of Your Butsudan

Offer a cup of fresh water every morning.
Offer a lighted candle and incense every morning.
Hold a service every morning and evening.
Offer flowers and other nice things.
Keep it clean.
Report things that happen to the family.

If our hands become dirty, we wash them clean in water. Water has the power to cleanse. The teaching of the Buddha has the same kind of power to make our minds clean. To offer a cup of water means to praise the Buddha with water, which has the same kind of power, and to quench the Buddha’s thirst. A candle burns, brightens, breaks the darkness, and makes people feel at ease. So a candle symbolizes the compassion of our Lord Buddha. Offering incense means to offer the fragrance of incense to the Buddhas, and also to purge us with its fragrance. In addition both the candlelight and the fragrance of the incense spread as the teaching of the Buddha spreads. Holding a service every morning is to say good morning to the Buddhas, to vow to have stronger faith, to express our gratitude for their help, and to pray for a good day. The Buddhas always care for us. So hold a service every morning, and also say something to the Buddha like “See you later” and “I am home” when you go out and return.


Offering flowers means to offer beauty and to ornament the Buddha. It is said that flowers symbolize the wisdom of the Buddha. Do not offer artificial flowers. You can offer other things such as rice, fruit, sweets, etc. Please offer something that your ancestors like on their memorial day. For example, if your father loved coffee, offer coffee to him on his memorial day.