Osoushiki - Funeral in Japan

Let's understand the Japanese Funeral in the traditional perspective. In this article, you will go through the procedure and rites followed in Japan during the funeral.

In Japan, all funerals happen in a Buddhist manner. There is a custom called kamidana-fūji in which when death occurs with a white paper the shrine is closed and covered this is to keep impure spirits of dead. Next to the deceased’s bed a table decorated with flowers, incense, and a candle. There are two types of the funeral in japan Otsuya and Ososhiki.

Ostuya is generally a wake ceremony. This is a time when family, relatives, and close friends gather to say goodbye to the dead. All people come together and spend some time together at the same place as the body departed. Buddhist priest do chant called sutra. Japanese funeral affords deep insight into Japanese culture and personal identity while attending it. It is a mixture of Shinto and Buddhist traditions.

The Ososhiki includes several ceremonies. It is the actual Japanese funeral service. After the one day of Otsuya it starts with Sougi or Soshiki. The procedure of Otsuya and Ososhiki is generally the same. After that Kokubetsushiki, or memorial ceremony starts, in which the friends and acquaintances pay their respects to the dead and offer condolences to the family. The cremation ceremony happens at last. In this ceremony, only the family is involved. After this family pick the bones using chopsticks and place them in a burial urn.

Buddhist funeral helps the deceased to make a transition from life to the afterlife, and should not escape from the cycle of rebirth. The clothes used at last are suited for males and kimono for females. To improve the appearance of the body makes up also may apply. The prayer called “Juzu” carried by the guests. Condolence money is brought by the guests in a special black and a silver decorated envelope. The friends and family may choose to attend either the wake of the funeral service it depends on their relationship with the deceased. In Japan when a person passes away, to spend one last night with him or her the body brought back home if possible. The body is covered with a sheet and packed with the ice. The next morning where the services to be held body is taken there. After reaching the destination body is placed in a coffin with dressed and packed with dry ice. The funeral providers in japan offer various ranges of services from elaborate rites to low-cost package deals. This is because the number of funeral providers is increasing. Most bodies were buried in the early 20th century. Cremation was limited only up to the wealthy. Due to its inefficiency and cleanliness cremation became common after World War II. In Japan at mourning black is the color. Though dark blue and dark grey is acceptable in recent years but all over the other colors black is preferred. It’s not the most worrying thing that you have to attend a Japanese funeral with proper attire.

For men, the attire should be Plain, conservative black suit, plain white shirt, matte black tie, plain black shoes (no shiny buckles), and no jewelry.

For Women, black, plain matte conservative dress or black kimono is preferred. In plain, there should not patterned fabrics, lace, or frills. In matte, nothing should shiny or glittery. And in conservative your knees should cover, it should not be form-fitting, and the neckline should be high cut. Shoes should be completely closed, flat and it should have black color. Stockings should be black, opaque, and nylon. You should not wear jewelry, although wedding rings are acceptable. Makeup should be understated. Perfume should be as little as possible. If women have long hair, should keep it up in a bun. Plain black bags are preferred. In case if you can’t attend the funeral for some reason, you should inform the bereaved the reason for not being able to attend. Some phrases are used at the Japanese funeral “Goshuushou-sama desu” which means you must be grieving terribly. It can be used by anyone no matter what is the relationship to the person. “O-kuyami moushiagemasu” means I offer my condolence. You can use it in writing also.