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The history of Mizuko memorial service

Mizuko used to be meant a baby who was born and died soon. But currently miscarriage, abortion and stillborn fetuses are generally referred to as Mizuko.
In Buddhism, Mizuko is called as “Suiji” that is a sort of post-nominal title to be attached to aft of the posthumous name. Mizuko is derived from several origins such as: flowing thinned baby into the river from an old custum, or the child who could not see the parent (“not see” is pronounced as ”mizu” in Japanese). 

The reason why there was no Mizuko memorial service in old days

Originally in Japan, there was no Buddhist ceremony to send the dead to the paradise. This was based on an idea known as "up to 7-year-old is out of God" that the life has not been established yet in this world untill the 7-year-old. So, no funeral was carried out with hoping the dead to reborn again and become firm human being.

The beginning of the Mizuko memorial service

However, for mothers who have realized small lives in their own bodies, the suffering that they have lost their children is immeasurable. It is considered as the beginning of Mizuko memorial service that Yuten the Buddhist superior in Jodo Sect gave a posthumous Buddhist name to Mizuko and offered memorial service as an effort to save the suffering of the parents who lost their children in Edo Period.

Current Mizuko memorial service

Recently many temples perform Mizuko memorial service, but in fact its history is new yet. After the World War II, women undergoing abortion increased in Japan   . In 1970s, Tetsuma Hashimoto, the first chief priest of Shiunzan Jizouji temple, who is said as the trend setter of Mizuko memorial service boom, spread the idea of the “Mizuko’s curse” together with Mizuko memorial service. After then Mizuko memorial service become common in the whole country.

The true meaning of Mizuko memorial service

For parents who regret, apologetic or feel guilty for abortion, Mizuko curse seemed to ring a familiar bell. However, there is no idea of Mizuko curse in Buddhist doctrine, but preaches that memorial service shall be performed for people to live positively with knowing the preciousness of life. If the reason of the service is fear the curse of Mizuko, offered children cannot rest in peace. The most important thing is to offer the memorial service with confession and wish for happiness of children.
We prepare Mizuko memorial service related goods for DIY at home. There are parm-sized Mizuko Jizo and Mizuko spirit tablet and so on. Please use them for Mizuko memorial service at home.
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