- (Also reversed: bukki). Mourning. The term buku (mourning clothes) carries the same meaning. Mourning here means the period of ritual impurity following contact with death, rather than a feeling of sadness or loss. It is one of the main sources of kegare and is correspondingly surrounded by taboos (imi) on travel and participation in Shinto ritual. Historically most practical matters concerning death, burial and memorialisation were dealt with by Buddhism. Shinto since the Meiji period has not shown any propensity to take over this aspect of Buddhism, apart from the enshrinement of souls of the war dead (see Yasukuni Jinja, Goshi). A Shinto version of the funeral service (sosai) is available, but it takes place away from the shrines, so death is directly relevant to Shinto ritual mainly because of the pollution of mourning.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.