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Funeral Pyre

Funeral Pyre

The Rokugani funeral was generally a simple service designed to help the departed on their way to Yomi.

Preparations Edit

An eta would moisten the lips of the deceased with salt and water, the last food and drink, intended to fortify the spirit of the dead. The body was washed and dressed in funeral clothes, and it was brought back to the bedroom to lie in state until the cremation ceremony. [1]

Ritual Edit

On the funeral day, typically four days after death, the purified body was cremated. [2] To most funerals, only family and close friends would be invited, but the more prominent an individual, the more people would attend the person's funeral. A shugenja prayed for the departed, helping to guide his spirit to the Realm of Ancestors, and then the body was cremated. The ashes were either interred in a family mausoleum or buried in a cemetery, marked with a stone monument. [3] Only special vegetarian dishes, otoki, were served on funeral occasions and normally offered in the visiting room. [4]

Bon Festival Edit

Familes returned to their ancestral burial ground every year upon the Bon Festival to clean the tombstones and welcome their departed ancestors back to Ningen-do. [3]

Imperial Edict Edit

The funeral rites had been changed in Rokugan after the Battle of Stolen Graves in 510. The Emperor issued an Imperial edict stating that all bodies from then on would be cremated rather than buried, preventing the use of the bodies of honored ancestors as vessels of evil magic, like Iuchiban did. [5] [6] [7]

External Links Edit


  1. Emerald Empire; Fourth Edition, p. 40
  2. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 60
  3. 3.0 3.1 Way of the Phoenix, p. 30
  4. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 61
  5. Legend of the Five Rings: Third Edition, p. 13
  6. Way of the Crane, p. 45
  7. Enemy of my Enemy, Part Two, by Rich Wulf

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