Essay On Japan Funerals

878 Words 4 Pages
Death and Funerals in Japan

Death is a time for people to mourn over loved ones that have been lost. The way people handle deaths and funerals are varied throughout different cultures. In Japan, a funeral includes a wake, the cremation of the deceased, a burial in a family grave, and a periodic memorial service. Japan has two major religions in their culture: Buddhism and Shintoism (Nelson). Shintoism is the positive aspects of life; for example, getting married, childbirth, birthdays, etc. are good thing in life. Buddhism is for more of the darker times like death and funerals (On Japanese Funeral). Also, Buddhism is seen as a religion that believes death is a transition from one life to the next. Japan’s has several beliefs and traditions in remembrance of the dead (Death and Funeral Customs).

Once a person dies, the family has to prepare the body of the deceased for their next life.
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Cremation is very popular in Japan and it comes from Buddhist tradition. The first cremation was in 700. However, only monks and high-ranking people were cremated due to the high cost of the wood to make the fires. By 2007, 99.8 percent of the population in Japan that died were cremated. Since 3 percent of funerals in Japan are related to Christian rituals, people wondered if they were still cremated. They thought that the body is needed for resurrection to occur but, cremation is normal for Japanese Christians (Nakata). If the body is buried, then it will go into a family grave. It will have a stone monument covered with flowers, incense, and water (On Japanese Funerals). If the body is cremated it is more common for it to be spread on the sea or mountains. Once the body is burned, the family will use special chopsticks to pick up the bones and put them into a urn. This is an example of separation of life and death. In real life Japanese people would never pass food from one set of chopsticks to another (On Japanese

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