Looking at this graceful and sculptural Japanese offering stand, one might think that it is a place to collect money, but its traditions are far more diverse.
Whether they are found in a Buddhist temple (where they are known in Japan as keshoku), or in a Japanese home environment (where they are called busudan), offering stands have commonly been used to present a variety of symbolic offerings. Some of the items often placed in these traditional offering stands include apples, oranges, or exotic fruits. Sometimes they are used as mere decoration, but in many cases the items placed on these lacquered offering stands are symbolic of a departed family member.
In most Japanese settings, particularly temples, offering stands are placed on one of the higher shelves on an altar. When used in the home as a batsudan, they are usually found on the second highest shelf.
When searching for a traditional Japanese offering stand, it is important to know which kind you are looking for, since their appearance can be quite different. The one shown here is a Buddhist keshoku stand, which are often rounded and finished with lacquer. Shinto stands, also known as sanbou, are more likely to be square and unfinished.
This small keshoku offering stand made out of and coated in red lacquer. While measuring only 3” in diameter, this Japanese shrine can be used for anything from offerings to pure décor as a candle stand.
Only $9.95, this offering stand makes the perfect hostess gift for Thanksgiving, or an elegant addition to your meditation space.