View Full Version : Deceased dogs increasingly worshipped at Bon festival

Aug 17, 2004, 12:22
Japan Times : Bon ancestor worship going to the dogs (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?fl20040807cz.htm)

It's almost Bon, the festival of the dead, a time when the spirits return to their ancestral homes.
And not just the people's spirits that come back, apparently. Last year, my next-door neighbor's dog died, and she put out offerings during Bon at his grave in back of her house. I also put out offerings for the dog as a good neighborly gesture. With the current pet boom, where the number of pets in Japan has surpassed the number of children, you can imagine that in another decade, Bon will have gone completely to the dogs.

Talking of dogs, I wonder if some dog-loving Japanese make a special o-Bon ceremony for their deceased pet(s). There are dog cemeteries like in Western countries, but as o-Bon is a Buddhist festival, it could very well be extended to pets, who are also life beings.

Question to those who believe in ghosts and returning spirits of the ancestors => What does a dog ghost look like ? Japanese ghosts have the particularity of not having legs. A dog ghost without leg must be an odd sight.