Okutsuki (奥都城)

The word 'Okutsuki' refers to tombs of ancient times. The word also refers to Shinto-style graves.
Okutsuki sometimes means letters inscribed on Shinto-style headstones
It can also be spelled as '奥津城,' or '奥城.'

The word '都 (tsu),' or '津 (tsu)' are Manyo-kana letters, an archaic form of the Japanese language, which correspond to ancient particle 'tsu' (possessive marker), today's equivalent of '--- no'. The word '都' is used for the graves of Shinto priests and parishioners whereas the word '津 ' is used for the graves of laypersons. However, if laypersons have ancestors who were Shinto priests or parishioners, the word '都' is sometimes used for laypersons. Aside from this, depending on regions, the one word is more prevalent than the other, and there are no unified rules.

It is said that the word '奥 (oku)' means 'deep' '奥 (oku)' or 'to put' '置く(oku)'.
As can be seen in the usage of '城 (ki)' in the ancient "胆沢城" (Isawa-jo Castle), the word '城 (ki)' refers to a space that is surrounded on all four sides by scaffolds or walls, or, according to another theory, can mean 'a coffin'
The connotations of the word '奥都城 (Okutsuki)' as a whole is 'an inner space that is shielded from the outer world' and also 'a place where a coffin is put.'

Shinto-style grave
The Basic structure (of Shinto-style graves) is the same as Buddhist-style graves except that Shinto-style graves have no incense burners because "shoko" (incense offering) is not practiced in Shinto. Also, in Shinto graves, hassoku-dai (a platform supported by eight legs) is used for the display of "tamagushi" (branch of a sacred tree).

Headstones have a thin and narrow cubic shape with a square pyramid head
It is said that this shape represents Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi Sword, one of the Three Sacred Treasures of the Imperial Family.

The phrase "XXX-ke no Okutsuki" (Okutsuki for the XXXs) is inscribed on headstones. For graves that have no headstones, the phrase "XXX Ushi (Toji) no Mikoto no Okutsuki" (Okutsuki for the soul of Mr.(s). XXX") is inscribed on graveposts. Because Shinto does not use Kaimyo (posthumous Buddhist names), the honorific titles such as '之霊,' '命,' '命霊,' and '霊位' are added to the end of surnames.

In general, Shinto shrines do not own a graveyard. When planning to set up a Shinto-style grave, you are required to buy a space in public or private cemeteries.

The graves of Japanese Imperial soldiers were often set up as Shinto graves.

[Original Japanese]