Funeral and Cemeteries in Japan

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In today's article we are going to talk about cemeteries in Japan. The funerary customs of Japan are very different from Brazil, making the cemeteries have great differences.

First of all in Japan the dead are not buried, about 99% of the bodies are cremated. Family members can decide whether to keep the ashes and set up a Buddhist altar at home (Butsudan 仏壇), or put it in a grave, they can even share the ashes and do various things with it, some even send the ashes to the space.

Funeral Ritual

More than 90% of the Japanese population is Buddhist and Shinto, so the tombs do not usually have crosses, and the funeral customs are totally different. Let's understand the details of the Japanese funeral (葬儀sogi or 葬式sōshiki), starting with cremation.

There is a whole ritual of dressing the body and placing it in a coffin that is taken for cremation. Relatives usually moisten the dying or the lips of the deceased with a damp cloth. Professionals start a ritual called nokan which consists of dressing the body, there is even an interesting movie called Okuribito.

Funeral and Cemeteries in Japan

The Japanese wake is called Tsuya (通夜) where everyone present is dressed in black, at this time prayers are held and a Buddhist priest quotes a sutra, some family members bring money in an envelope.

An adult body takes about 1 hour to be cremated. After this process, there is a ritual where the familiars take the bones from the rest of the ashes with a chopsticks (chopsticks) and put them in the container, passing the bones among all the family members. They usually start with the feet and end with the bones of the head. This is a very sad moment TT

grave in japan

A Japanese tomb or grave (墓haka) is often a stone monument, with a place for placing flowers, another for incense, water, and a crypt for ashes.

These stone tablets usually have family messages, the family name, and some even have the family symbol. The names of living family members are often written in red.

Funeral and Cemeteries in Japan

Some tombs have a stone lantern and some even have a mailbox. There are tombs so sophisticated that they even have a touch screen that displays the photo, and family trees.

Famous people often have security systems in their graves to prevent their ashes from being stolen by obsessed fans or people interested in asking for money to redeem the ashes.

japan cemetery

Not all bodies have their ashes placed in a cemetery. Many family members make a shrine and some make a tomb on the land itself. This makes Japan's cemeteries very small.

Funeral expenses in Japan exceed 2,000,000 yen (R$ 63,000). To know more details let's leave a video of our friend showing a cemetery in Japan.

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