In this paper, the author attempts to show the conditions by which ancestor worship supports permanent families through a study of funeral and memorial services held for the heads of the Fujiwara Regent families. Through an investigation of those who presided over these ceremonies, how they were carried out, and the way in which they were financed, the author follows the process of how the various memorial services were ritualized into established family customs. He attempts to clarify the origin and characteristic features of these customs as regent family events and their significance within ancient aristocratic society. Concerning funeral services, the Fujiwara Regents were originally given state funerals in accordance with provisions under the ritsuryo codes stipulating that the presiding officer be appointed by the government and that funereal gifts be sent from the public coffers. However, beginning with the funeral of regent Tadahira in the mid-tenth century, both practices were abandoned, thus removing the ceremony from state control in terms of both personnel and material support, turning the event into a family affair. With respect to the ceremony itself, before the funeral of Tadahira the main practice consisted of the reading of an imperial order before the casket. This practice was done away with beginning with Tadahira's funeral, and the whole ceremony was changed so that the state would have no involvement whatsoever. Here we can observe how during the latter half of the tenth Century the funeral services for the Fujiwara Regents were transformed from affairs of state to family-centered events. Turning to the memorial services. Called chuin (an initial period of mourning lasting seven weeks) and shuki (the first anniversary of the death), in Heian period aristocratic society the former was marked by a Buddhist ceremony (gohoji) designed as a public demonstration of remembrance, while the latter was marked by a ceremony (shonichi-butsuji) that was merely a family memorial service. In particular, the gohoji ceremony, which was directed from the family to aristocratic society as a whole, concentrated on signifying the succession of the new family head, and in the case of the Fujiwara family it was a ceremony equal in stature to an affair of state and signified its transformation into the "family of the Regent" within aristocratic society. The latter half of the tenth century, when this ceremony was first established, marked the formation of families whose continuing existence was based on the succession of family heads. In the memorial service called nenki (yearly anniversaries of a death), there are the elements of an event carried on through one generation and an event Hasting from generation to generation. It was usual for the death of a family head to be commemorated yearly throughout the lives of his sons or grandsons; but if the family decided that funds were available, this memorial service could be upgraded to a semi-permanent yearly family event. While the former custom was based on the vertical father-son clientship relationship, the latter was guaranteed through a horizontal relationship involving the participation of all family members in deciding to hold the event and using the family's wealth to finance it. In practice, the latter event became a relatively modest version of the former and became closely tied to a consciousness, of Fujiwara Regent family membership. The idea of the permanent family organization and the funeral and memorial services reinforcing it came into existence during the latter half of the tenth century with the above described Fujiwara Regent family practices, practices that stress the patriarchal relationship between fathers and sons and guarantees by all family members that the events would be continued for generations to come. As long a these relationships existed, these ceremonies would be carried out.
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