Meinichi (命日)

Meinichi means a deathday, or the day of a person's death. It is also called Kinichi. In legal terms, it is the year, month and day of a person's death. The antonym is birthday.


A Meinichi usually describes the exact date and month of a person's death, called Shotsuki Meinichi after the first anniversary. The same monthly date as the date of death is called Tsuki Meinichi.

In Japanese Buddhism, a memorial service is conducted twelve times a year, on the Tsuki Meinichi of each month, and anniversary services are conducted in certain anniversary years.
(Refer to the list of anniversary memorial services)

After the fiftieth Meinichi, a memorial service used to be held every fifty years, but in recent times it is more common for a Tomuraiage, a final service, to be held either on the thirty-third or fiftieth anniversary, with the afterlife name moved to the family register and the bones returned to the earth.

[Original Japanese]