Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/56

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Nagao had been sincerely attached to O-Tei; and his grief was deep. He had a mortuary tablet made, inscribed with her zokumyō;[1] and he placed the tablet in his butsudan,[2] and every day set offerings before it. He thought a great deal about the strange things that O-Tei had said to him just before her death; and, in the hope of pleasing her spirit, he wrote a solemn promise to wed her if she could ever return to him in another body. This written promise he sealed with his seal, and placed in the butsudan beside the mortuary tablet of O-Tei.

Nevertheless, as Nagao was an only son, it was necessary that he should marry. He soon found himself obliged to yield to the wishes of his family, and to accept a wife of his father's choosing. After his marriage he continued to

  1. The Buddhist term zokumyō("profane name") signifies the personal name, borne during life, in contradistinction to the kaimyō ("sila-name") or homyō ("Law-name") given after death,—religious posthumous appellations inscribed upon the tomb, and upon the mortuary tablet in the parish-temple.—For some account of these, see my paper entitled, "The Literature of the Dead," in Exotics and Retrospectives.
  2. Buddhist household shrine.
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