Old Butsudan

What a great idea to recycle Old O-Butsudan!

I never thought it but Eric, one of the active Jodoshu online group members, brought up this subject.   Then I found out some people wanted to adopt the O-Butsudan which were once dropped off by families who no longer follow the tradition. 


In the past, I burned some Old O-Butsudan and O-mamori together after discarding ceremonies.  But now I won't need to burn it or keep it in the storage. 


Fortunately, after a while, I saw an old O-Butsudan in the discarding box at Kapaa Jodo Mission and I asked members if I could have it. Then they kindly told me there was one more and another one would be coming.


This is how I was able to offer the Old Butsudans to our online members. And can you guess where are they going? 

One is to the East Side of US mainland, one is to the South Mainland, one is to Germany, and another one is going to Thailand!


I am very happy preparing for the shipping and I believe O-Butsudan which were almost abandoned by the families will be happy to have their home.  Of course, butsudan is not a human being but just a thing, so Butsudan cannot be happy or at least we don't know it's happy or not. 


But Japanese Buddhist tradition see everything can be a potential Buddha.  That is why Japanese put honorific "O" in front to the word such as O-mizu (water), O-hashi (chopsticks) , O-Butsudan and O-mamori.  O is an expression of high respect to things or people and by adding O to the noun and believing even things can be Buddha, then we can cherish and take best care of the things which could last for a long  time. 

By the way, Butsudan literally means "Platform or stage (Dan) for the Buddha (Butsu)" and it is usually translated as "household Buddhist shrine" or "family altar."   As "dan" also means a step(s), there are usually several steps from up to down and at the highest platform, Buddha statue is placed.   I can tell these two altars actually came from the former Hongwanji members, and here in Hawaii, a scroll of Buddha image is popular.


If you know somebody who wants to discard the butsudan, please let me know.  At the same time, if you want to adopt an old Butsudan, please feel free to ask me.   They are free but donation is always appreciated.  

Write a comment

Comments: 17
  • #1

    Yolanda Hernandez (Friday, 06 October 2017 09:30)

    Hello. I am really interested an old black O-Butsudan with a light if possible! I plan on placing O-Gohonzon in it. I live in California and am financially unstable currently. As i come up with some money, i can send it to you. I hope to hear from you and thanks for what you are doing to save old Butsudans!!! I will chant for you! Blessings of love, Yolanda

  • #2

    Keith matsushima (Sunday, 14 October 2018 15:10)

    Are you still accepting old Butsudan?
    I have one to donate.

  • #3

    Sergio Gomes (Sunday, 14 October 2018 22:27)

    I am a jodo member from Brazil recently started living in the US I am living in Chicago and even though I brought all the altar fixtures and Honzon with me I am needing a Proper butsudan so if you still have one I accept a donation and of course I would pay the shipping sergio.domingos.gomes@gmail.com

  • #4

    Erich Groebe (Sunday, 12 May 2019 13:02)

    I realize most of these posts are pretty old but if you are still offering homeless O-Butsudan I would be very interested. I could certainly be able to at least cover your shipping costs. I would love to have one and I know of 2 people at my local temple that would also be interested. Please let me know if you have any that are in need of new homes. Erich. makarov417@yahoo.com

  • #5

    Eva Yama (Thursday, 09 January 2020 22:21)

    I have a butsudan and would like to recycle it. Are you still accept donations?

  • #6

    Doug Cummings (Saturday, 18 April 2020 04:58)

    I adopted one back on 1983 when I was introduced to Buddhism. However, I no longer do so and would like to find it another home. Please let me know if you are still accepting butsudan. Thank you. Please email me at douger_01@yahoo.com

  • #7

    Wayne Oshima (Thursday, 28 May 2020 14:15)

    It sounds like it is ok to reuse a butsudan from someone. But is there any blessing or ritual needed before I can use it to hold someone else's ihai? Thank you for your help.
    Wayne Oshima
    808 351-4543 (call/text)

  • #8

    Danielle Wood (Friday, 19 June 2020 00:10)

    I would really like to adopt one. I am a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist.

  • #9

    Lisa Hamm (Sunday, 20 September 2020 10:32)

    I would love to have an Obutsudan in my home. Please allow me to be able to adopt one.


  • #10

    rayray pei (Friday, 27 November 2020 21:34)

    recently i bought an old butsudan. for now i am hesitant to use it, as i am not sure if the butsudan has been properly cleaned, and teady for use. can you help me to perform the rituals, all our monks have gone home die to the pandemic.
    rayray. you may e mail me at raypei999@gmail.com

  • #11

    JodoVT (Wednesday, 09 December 2020 20:05)

    I’m in Japan trying to figure out how to ship our family butsudan to the States. My mother-in-law is nearing the end of life, and if we don’t get it home it’s going in the trash. But international freight seems so expensive. Are there any reasonable options, or other ways to get help?

  • #12

    laura (Sunday, 20 December 2020 05:45)

    Hi¡ i-m intereste to old butsudan the one in the first photograf on the top.
    please tell me if it-isnt sold out and how are the shheppinto to ¬as palmas de Gran Canaria Spain.
    Thank you very much
    my email address is laura.cucculelli@gmail.com

  • #13

    Christine (Friday, 05 March 2021)

    I have a butsudan to donate. Please let me know what the process is to donate it.

    Email: ctanimura@hotmail.com

  • #14

    Kellee (Monday, 28 November 2022 17:06)

    Do you still take old Butsudan donations? I have one to donate if you still take it. Please let me know. Thank you!

  • #15

    Kellee (Monday, 28 November 2022 17:08)

    Sorry my email address is kkuubz4@gmail.com

  • #16

    Cristina de Borba (Sunday, 04 December 2022 14:30)

    I'm willing to get a butsudan. I live in denver. My email is cricaborba@hotmail.com or you can call me on (720)749-8888.
    Thank you

  • #17

    Wanda (Sunday, 30 April 2023 17:23)

    My cousins have a butsudan that they no longer want to take care of. If there is anyone interested in paying the shipping costs please email me at goyinmanoa@gmail.com and I can send you a couple pictures. They are located in Honolulu, Hawaii.