Mausoleum (廟)

Mausoleum (Byo, Mitamaya, Otamaya, Hokora)

A place where memorial rites are performed for the dead. Mausoleums were once used to perform memorial rites in honor of one's ancestors. Nowadays, they are used to perform memorial rites in honor of the deceased in general. Mausoleums are also known as Reibyo (shrine). While mausoleums are completely different from tombs in origin, a tomb can also be referred to as a mausoleum. Explained under this category.

The front hall of a royal palace and a place to take the reins of government.

Mausoleums in the People's Republic of China
In China, a mausoleum is a place to perform memorial rites in honor of ancestors, so tombs exist separately.

For this reason its positioning is similar to a Buddhist altar in Buddhism; however, unlike Buddhist alters, mausoleums were not placed in a main building but in a separate building dedicated for use as a mausoleum.

Because ancestors are highly respected in China, the mausoleum has been regarded as the most important part of the house since ancient times.

Also, there are cases where mausoleums were erected not only to perform memorial rites in honor of ancestors but also to the spirit of someone people admired, as seen in numerous mausoleums sacred to the memory of Confucius or Guan Yu around the country.

Mausoleums in Japan
Shinto rites
Mausoleums are dedicated to deities in a very similar way to regular shrines.

Even though 'Otarashihime no byo jinja' (one of the head shrines of Usa-jingu Shrine) is included in Jimmyocho (List of Deities) in Engishiki (Codes and Procedures on National Rites and Prayers); however, 'Kashii-byo' (now Kashii-gu Shrine) is not included in Jimmyocho but included under the category of Shikiburyo in Engishiki, which indicates that there were cases where mausoleums were distinguished from shrines.

Famous examples of mausoleums include Toyokuni-jinja Shrine/Hokoku-jinja Shrine (Kyoto Prefecture) and Nikko Toshogu Shrine. There are shrines dedicated to the spirits of the heads of han (domains) in the Edo period and the Bekkaku-Kampeisha, established after the Meiji period. Also, there are many cases where mausoleums were built to console the souls of the deceased as groups, as seen in the examples of Yasukuni-jinja Shrine, which is dedicated to the war dead, Yayoi-jinja Shrine (now Yayoido) which is dedicated to policemen and firefighters who have died while on duty, and Hiko-jinja Shrine, which is dedicated to the victims of airplane accidents, etc.

As shown in the above examples, mausoleums are often connected with political powers or policies.

Tenmangu is indeed a mausoleum, since it is dedicated to the memory of SUGAWARA no Michizane; however, Temmangu is commonly recognized as a shrine sacred to the god of Tenjin (the deified spirit of SUGAWARA no Michizane).

The gongen-zukuri structure is often used for shrines built as mausoleums.

Buddhist rites
In most cases the founders of religious sects or major Buddhist parishioners (the shogunate family/the lord of a domain, etc.) were worshiped in the mausoleums annexed to the temples.

Confucian rites
There are few mausoleums sacred to the memory of Confucius placed inside Gakumonjo, etc. One of the most notable examples is Yushima Seido/Yushima Temple, which is annexed to Shoheizaka Gakumonjo in Tokyo Prefecture.

There are mausoleums sacred to the memory of Guan Yu, etc., in Chinatowns located in various parts of Japan. (Refer to the article on 関帝廟.)

Mausoleums in the Middle East
The Taj Mahal
A white-domed, marble mausoleum, it was built in memory of the wife of Emperor Mughal Empire. As a mausoleum set with gems and precious stones in marble, the Taj Mahal is also cited as the jewel of Islamic architecture.

Mausoleums in Western Countries

The term "mausoleum" in Western countries refers to a large, impressive tomb constructed for a deceased leader.

Later, mausoleums would enclose a burial chamber within a burial vault below the superstructure, but modern mausoleums have columbaria (a type of mausoleum for cremated remains) in addition to the former burial chambers under the mausoleums. Nowadays, mausoleums are sometimes included as a part of larger facilities such as churches.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, in Los Angeles, has 6,000 sepulchral and cinerary urn spaces for interments.

The English word "mausoleum" derives from the Mausoleum of Maussollos, the grave for King Maussollos of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, who ruled Caria.

His large tomb is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Grant's Tomb in New York was designed based on the Mausoleum of Maussollos.

Other notable mausoleums include Abraham LINCOLN's tomb in Springfield, Illinois.

In Europe there are many mausoleums dedicated to the saints.

In formerly socialist countries, mausoleums were often created to preserve the bodies of the founders of their countries, with the way they looked when they were alive. Many of them still exist today. These include 'Lenin's Mausoleum' in Moscow, 'Chairman Mao Memorial Hall' (Zedong MAO) in Beijing, the 'Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum' in Hanoi, 'Kumsusan Memorial Palace' (Il-Sung KIM) in Pyongyang, etc. These phenomena are sometimes criticized as a deviation from the original doctrine of Socialism.