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Emperor, empress express desire to be cremated after they die

26 Comments

The Imperial Household Agency said Thursday that it is considering a request from Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to have their remains cremated after they die.

Traditionally, emperors have been interred in mausoleums and empresses in separate tombs nearby.

According to the agency, the emperor, 78, and the empress, 77, expressed a desire to be cremated like ordinary Japanese people and have their ashes interred in the same location. The agency said the imperial couple also wish to minimize the financial impact of their funerals on the public, NHK reported.

The mausoleum for Emperor Showa, who was buried at the Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji in 1989, cost 2.6 billion yen. His wife was buried at a nearby spot in 2000.

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26 Comments
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The mausoleum for Emperor Showa, who was buried at the Musashino Imperial Mausoleum in Hachioji in 1989, cost 2.6 billion yen.

Good grief!

Cremate them like everyone else - and for god's sake, don't spend that kind of cash on the monument. Can anyone explain they they are so freaken huge in Japan? Is it just that the makers jack the size up for the money?? No need for them to be the size they are.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Japan's law says body has be cremated after death. It is understandable that they want to be treated as same as ordinary people.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Fascinating news.....

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This is interesting - I wonder if the IHA will allow it, when the time comes? They really should, but shoulds have n meaning with them. But of course they sould have a grand monument - they're the Imperial couple for heaven's sakes!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Amazing that the Emperor and Empress have limited control both in life and death.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

kwatt - Japanese law does not say this... One can choose to be buried if so wishes. I think they should still have a nice monument built - all their life they were the representatives, and will stay like this in the afterlife as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ebisen

Dead bodies used be buried after death many years ago. After around 1960s or 1970s burying bodies are prohibited. If you ask it at local government office, you will never get a permission of it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

kwatt,

I know for humans cremation (or creation, according to JapanToday) is the order of the day, but what about Shinto gods such as the emperor and Akebono?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Dead bodies used be buried after death many years ago. After around 1960s or 1970s burying bodies are prohibited. If you ask it at local government office, you will never get a permission of it.

Some not all. Maybe where you live kwatt, but definitely not everywhere in Japan.

But if the Emperor and Empress wish to be buried together, they should be allowed to just like other regular people. I don't even understand why they permission to do this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are always exceptions for special people.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If you are a foreigner and your family have a grave in a foreigner's graveyard your family can apply to have your body buried there. There's one here in Kobe, but they are almost closed to visitors except families with graves. Afraid of ghosts or something. I think it says it all, the emperor has no control over life or death, not a position I would ever want.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

yes. i'v e heard stories of people having to dig up their family members & cremate them after the law changed about 60 years ago.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why dead bodies must be cremated, not buried? Look at small Japan. there are 120 million people here. Burying bodies take a lot of space of lands and also cremation is good for disease control.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Having made their wishes public, I have no doubt their wishes will be respected and adhered to

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This kind of article makes me want to take on the IHA...who the HELL do they think they are!?? They're supposed to be serving the Imperial Family, instead they hold them hostage. Bastards! This just steams me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@tmarie - Sorry, but I'm guessing you don't come from a counrty with a monarchy and therefore do not understand this article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not sure the IHA should go along with the couple's wishes in this case. Himajin, the IHA does not serve the couple, I would suggest you have a read of their charter. Their responsibility is to protect the institution of the Imperial Family. You have to understand that these traditions, which include death and burial rituals, are stipulated according to Shinto Law, and are generally considered immutable. The IHA still operates under the assumption that the Emperor is a god. Although they do not speak publicly on such matters, any member of the organization would be quick to remind you that they do NOT serve the Imperial Family, they guide it along its path in history.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Burial is definitely possible in Japan, but it's very rare because of tradition and cost. I know of someone who was buried a few years ago. Friends attended the funeral (I didn't know the person directly).

But good on the emperor for taking one small step towards normality...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

2.6 billion yen? I think the everyone including the emperor and empress have the right to decide how they are to be handled after death, no "Agency" should have that right over any person.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://dickh.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v10/p137026264-3.jpg

this cost 32 million dollars to build? Did they bury him with 90% of the money or something?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At least it is good that the emperor and his wife ask to be cremated after death and not before.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

But if the Emperor and Empress wish to be buried together, they should be allowed to just like other regular people. I don't even understand why they permission to do this.

????

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Regardless of what your position in this world may be, you are a mortal and being humble to accept that our time in this world is measured by your small contribution for the betterment of mankind. Bravo! We are all equal to live out this life, the best we are capable of. Your humbleness is a grace of life itself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tmarie

The Emperors / Empresses could not make such a decision for hundreds of years. But aides like IHA made decisions of all events all the time in the history. So they want to change something now for the future. They know time has changed. Past is past and future is future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Himajin, the IHA does not serve the couple, I would suggest you have a read of their charter. Their responsibility is to protect the institution of the Imperial Family. You have to understand that these traditions, which include death and burial rituals, are stipulated according to Shinto Law, and are generally considered immutable.

Thank you. I've never looked them up. I just have felt sorry for the Emperor and Empress so many times...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That won't change anything for the cost. In my family, we have both people cremated or not, and the funeral services charged exactly the same amount. Due to their situation, they will have a grave anyway, and it will be huge and gorgeous. Who is the IHA ? It's Japanese lawmakers. They can vote to change the rules anytime they want. They can even stop the show, fire the actors, sell the studios.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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