Looking Death In The Face: New Word In Japanese Funeral Business

Alyssa Lightman

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death funerals coffin Japan funeralbusiness tragic graveyards customers

How often are you thinking of your death and funerals? Resting in the soft, cozy coffin, dressed in that ugly suit mom bought you fifty years ago for prom, sobbing relatives around. Do not forget about your worst pic in a huge frame. But what if you could organize it all by yourself in advance, being of sound mind and disposition? Prevent your family and friends from taking these duties. Choose something special just for you. Sounds unreal, right? Check out the industry that brings six billion a year in Japan!  The number of death-related businesses quadrupled between 2000 and 2016, reaching nearly 3,000 establishments.

 

source // theatlantic

 

Supermarkets of death

 

Japan is well known for its incredible and rapid technical progress. This is why there is no surprise that this idea comes from this country. Asians have their own weird attitude to death and everything that is connected to it. The country has the most aging population in the world. This is why the interest in funerals and death keeps growing. Popular supermarket chains trim the sails to the wind and launch their special seminars on the issue. There you will learn all you need, starting from funeral and coffin types to the insurance to the wills. Some of them provide a discussion on the best way to die. It sounds insane, but people visit them to choose ‘their way to pass away’ and stop worrying about it. Do you want to make a will? Ask for a lawyer and get all your affairs settled in two days. However, major companies are only allowed to introduce and sub-contract funerals, as services are organized by temples and operated by Sinto, Buddhist, and other religious organizations.

 

source // funeralwise

 

Book in advance

 

Lots of stores invite their visitors to funeral homes. There you can pick a coffin you like and try it for size right there. Choose a pillow and a blanket and check how that will look with you. What about flowers? The company will offer you about a hundred of variants to choose the one for your last day on Earth. Are you still doubting about a funeral photo? The army of pro stylists, makeup artists and photographers are waiting for you. Want to look like a celebrity? No problem! For additional fees, they will make your dead body and face look perfect. Do not forget to take care of your funeral outfit. Shop assistants will pick something special for you. Thousands of items for any taste starting from tuxedos and luxurious evening gowns and up to jeans and miniskirts. It will not take you much effort to plan the whole ceremony and make the list of ‘guests’ sitting in the comfortable armchair and looking the bright catalogues through. Electronic simulators will show you how that will look.

 

source // burningsettlerscabin    

 

High-tech skyscraper graveyards

 

Here comes the most awesome part of the story. As Japan enjoys a tiny piece of soil in the ocean, most people get cremated with their ashes put into family crypts in conventional looking cemeteries. The prices for graves are insane! A place there can cost up to 0,000. For years people preferred to save space scattering of their own ashes into the ocean. This is why the newest high-tech alternative gains crazy popularity. Welcome to the high-tech graveyards. The new word in funeral industry. Huge fully automated skyscrapers can place millions of urns at a time. After cremation, the ashes are delivered to a certain ‘cell’ in the wall. The devastated relatives get an identity card, and whenever they want to visit their beloved one, they use their card to light up the holder of ashes, and they can pray for the soul of the departed. Would you like to light up a candle? Press the button.

 

Source // asiajournalist    

 

Grateful customers

 

This feature is popular among not only grandpas and grandmas who do not want to bother their kids with the unpleasant fuss. More and more youngsters come over for service.  Only ten percent of them are suicidal. The others share their fears of getting into a deadly accident and do not want their parents to experience twice more pain organizing funerals for their kids. Most of them prefer to keep these visits a secret. And after the time comes, the undertakers will be informed about their clients’ last wills.

 

source // funeralportal

 

Although today it looks too much out of this world, there is no doubt that soon the tendency is about to sneak through our lives. It may seem too creepy because our attitude to death is quite different from that in Asian world, but we must admit that no one can hide from death, and it is better to take care of everything in advance. How do you like the idea of planning your own funeral?

 

    source // mediaset