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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
All-night vigil for a deceased person; wake. The kanji for mogari can also be read as agari or araki. This is the rite of placing the corpse of a deceased person in a reception room, temple, or some other place that has been specifically constructed for this purpose (i.e., a moya ("mourning room"); mogari no miya (lit. "vigil shrine") [also known as agari no miya, araki no miya, or hinkyū]) for a period of time before the funeral. This rite corresponds to the contemporary practice of tsuya. In earlier times, a person who had stopped breathing was not immediately considered to have died. Rather, mourning was postponed until after it was confirmed that the person could not be revived. During this interim period, offerings of food and drink were placed before the coffin, and people took part in amusements known as tamashiiyobi ("calling the spirit") which included dancing, singing and playing music, and feasting as if the person were still alive. Although this practice was widely replaced by Buddhist sutra chanting ceremonies during the medieval period, the rite of tamashiiyobi remains an important custom in some regions even today. Meanwhile, the ritual of placing the body of an emperor in a temporary mausoleum dates from the sixth century and was influenced by the funerary practices of T'ang China. This type of mogari rite incorporated aspects of the rituals performed by the funerary specialists (asobibe) of the Japanese Imperial court, as well as practices from the Chinese mainland, such as the offering of eulogies (shinobigoto) and the presentation of posthumous names. There are also examples of Imperial mogari lasting for considerable periods of time: for instance, it is recorded in the Nihon shoki that the Emperor Tenmu laid in state for over two years.

— Nishioka Kazuhiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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