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These establishments are frequently deemed as unpleasant, so setting them up can take more than a decade to convince residents and acquire suitable sites.

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Mutsumi Yokota, 58, a senior researcher at the All Japan Cemetery Association, saying the cremation wait for deceased people is getting longer because of a shortage of crematoriums and funeral halls.

© Asahi Shimbun

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We have funeral halls in strip malls here in the US. People need to get over their superstitions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The more urbanised we become, the more quarantined from death we wish to be. It must not intrude on the illusions of our current existence.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Locals may be antagonised by the smoke given off when cremating bodies. Some things you don't want to inhale. And not just the toxic stuff from mercury fillings.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Dry cremations are now possible.

"A controversial burial method that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and disintegrate a dead body is being heralded as the future of cremation."

Freeze-dried deceased.

No gases are given off.

There are also water cremations.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why are not the crematoriums put outside of the big city centers? it is not like people will need to visit them repeatedly or that a special infrastructure makes it necessary to be in well populated areas. It should not be difficult to convince the neighbors when they the closest one is still a few minutes away by car.

People would not even need to travel to the crematorium if they don't want, and waiting a few hours for the deceased to be transported to and from the establishment to a more centric location for the funeral seems much less inconvenient than having to wait many days to do it.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

People would not even need to travel to the crematorium if they don't want,

You have never had a Japanese cremation in your family. Relatives are required to attend to select the sacred bones using chopsticks and place them in an urn.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

You have never had a Japanese cremation in your family. Relatives are required to attend to select the sacred bones using chopsticks and place them in an urn.

This is why I wrote "if they don't want", for most it would still be part of the mourning process, but even so a couple of hours lost is still more convenient than having to wait long days to do it. Also, the possibility of bringing back all the remains for the process to be done in a more centric location is still there. The problematic part is the cremation, which means this is the part that could be done away from the city to solve the problem.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Relatives attending the cremation of a deceased member is compulsory.

Also, the possibility of bringing back all the remains for the process to be done in a more centric location is still there.

You have no understanding of what happens at cremations. The bones must be sorted at the place of cremation. There are all sorts of superstitions connected with cremations.

"In Japan, cremation is avoided on certain days of the week, known as tomobiki, or “friend-pulling” days. If you cremate a body on tomobiki, the soul that is finally and forcibly removed from the flesh might snatch along a family member or friend for company."

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Cremation ships could be one answer.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Relatives attending the cremation of a deceased member is compulsory.

I found no law that say this is the case, specially not where all and every member of the family has to do it. If that were true it would be impossible to cremate people without family.

You have no understanding of what happens at cremations. The bones must be sorted at the place of cremation. There are all sorts of superstitions connected with cremations.

You contradict yourself by claiming things must be done in a certain way and then reducing these requirements to superstitions, people can ignore superstitions without problems and do it all the time in sake of convenience. Having "Christian" weddings where nobody attending is Christian (not even the "priest") is an example.

cremation is avoided on certain days of the week

Another reason why it would be much more convenient to lose a couple of hours instead of several days, if the cremation facilities have only openings on unlucky days the surviving family would have to wait even longer in order to avoid those dates, traveling a couple of extra hours instead seems a much better option, specially if not everybody has to do it.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

virusrex

Relatives attending the cremation of a deceased member is compulsory.

> I found no law that say this is the case, specially not where all and every member of the family has to do it. If that were true it would be impossible to cremate people without family.

There are the unwritten laws and codes of required conduct. If no one attends a cremation then their descendants cannot care for them.

Have you experienced a Japanese cremation?

You contradict yourself by claiming things must be done in a certain way and then reducing these requirements to superstitions, people can ignore superstitions without problems and do it all the time in sake of convenience.

I don't personally believe in those superstitions but the Japanese do including the funeral directors. You lack understanding of the culture.

Having "Christian" weddings where nobody attending is Christian (not even the "priest") is an example.

Wedding services are not legal. Cremations are.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There are the unwritten laws and codes of required conduct

Then this is not something compulsory just something people frequently do if they want to.

If no one attends a cremation then their descendants cannot care for them.

But still some family members can attend without all having to be present.

Have you experienced a Japanese cremation?

Several, with many facts from those that contradict your claims.

I don't personally believe in those superstitions but the Japanese do including the funeral directors. You lack understanding of the culture.

That is not an argument, just a baseless claim, If the argument remains valid that means it can be used even if it contradict your personal experience. People can legally choose to ignore superstitions and other customs without problem, even if that is not the norm.

Wedding services are not legal. Cremations are.

Marriages are legal contracts, every specific way the services are conducted are not controlled by law, that means people can ignore aspects based on religion or superstition and they will remain legal. For example cremations can be done in a carboard box instead of a real coffin if the family desires to, even if for most people this would be unthinkable.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

virusrex

There are the unwritten laws and codes of required conduct

> Then this is not something compulsory just something people frequently do if they want to.

Sorry for repeating myself. You do not understand the culture. You try to just see everything in black and white.

If no one attends a cremation then their descendants cannot care for them.

That is a major problem for the Japanese if they have no descendants to care for their grave and spirit.

But still some family members can attend without all having to be present.

All family members unless sick or infirmed will attend.

Have you experienced a Japanese cremation?

> Several, with many facts from those that contradict your claims.

I find that impossible to believe. In 30 years here we have had two family funerals. Did you attend with other Japanese people?

The cremations you attended you selected the bones for the urns with chopsticks?

I don't personally believe in those superstitions but the Japanese do including the funeral directors. You lack understanding of the culture.

That is not an argument, just a baseless claim, If the argument remains valid that means it can be used even if it contradict your personal experience. People can legally choose to ignore superstitions and other customs without problem, even if that is not the norm.

It's not a baseless claim if you know the culture.

Wedding services are not legal. Cremations are.

Marriages are legal contracts, every specific way the services are conducted are not controlled by law, that means people can ignore aspects based on religion or superstition and they will remain legal. For example cremations can be done in a carboard box instead of a real coffin if the family desires to, even if for most people this would be unthinkable.

Wedding services are not legal as they are in all countries. The legal document for marriage is obtained from your local authority called a wedding license.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Sorry for repeating myself. You do not understand the culture. You try to just see everything in black and white.

That is still a baseless accusation you are making when the arguments debunk yours, if there is no problem disobeying the "unwritten" laws that means they are not compulsory, it is irrelevant how do you want to imagine is the understanding of anybody else. An elementary school child of a foreign country making the same argument would be still correct.

That is a major problem for the Japanese if they have no descendants to care for their grave and spirit.

But that does not make it illegal which is the point in contention.

All family members unless sick or infirmed will attend.

That is again not compulsory nor part of any law, since you can't provide a reference to prove it the only logical step is to accept this is not something that must be done, just something you are claiming to be impossible to happen without proving it.

I find that impossible to believe

Then why do you ask things if you are not going to believe the answers? do you understand now why appeals to a personal situation are irrelevant in a discussion? People could say the same against your claims, would that make them false?

The cremations you attended you selected the bones for the urns with chopsticks?

Again, why are you going to ask things just to say you don't believe the answers. It is just much better to stick to references instead of hearsay.

It's not a baseless claim if you know the culture.

As long as you don't provide a basis, that means it is a baseless claim. The same applies to the appeal you make instead of providing that basis, can you prove with any evidence that "knowing the culture" proves there is no exception and people can be forced to follow every single custom and superstition? of course not.

Wedding services are not legal as they are in all countries

Again, that is not the argument, the argument is that wedding services are just the specific way to celebrate a marriage, and they are not regulated by law in the same way that the specific way to conduct a cremation are neither. Therefore it is not compulsory to do things as you understand them even if that is common. People can choose without problem not to follow specific rites, customs or superstitions.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

virusrex

your comments are going all around the mulberry bush.

The only law is that cremation or burial is required.

The rest is based on codes of ethics, traditions, and belief systems.

There are no laws that family members to visit their graves or hold memorial services every year. But they do.

In 99% of Japanese cremations, family members will attend the funeral service and then the cremation. Nothing to do with laws. The family members will select the sacred bones and place them in an urn. The head of the family and a few close members will take the urn to be placed in the family grave.

You refuse to answer the question about you attending a cremation.

Japanese will not break with their traditions of how a cremation is conducted.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As an specific example of what I am talking about, research has been done about funerary rites and how they change even in relatively short periods of time.

https://tohoku.repo.nii.ac.jp/?action=repository_uri&item_id=122979&file_id=18&file_no=1

The report shows a lot of different ways to conduct the funerary rites that previously could not even be considered, this "freedom" extends to many aspects including the cremation, farewell ceremonies after the death etc.

The non-religious funeral is a funeral that gives farewell to the deceased in a “free-style” norm that does not involve funerary acts by religious people and is not associated with any of the existing funeral methods or traditional manners of certain religious denominations. The non-religious funeral is sometimes called "free funeral," and serves as a non-constrained reflection of the feelings of friends and others. In other words, it is a customized funeral ceremony. 

This means that even that people that know about Japanese culture professionally recognize people can make many different choices outside of what has been traditional.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There are other cultures, like Muslims and Jews for instance which have very strict codes about how a funeral is conducted and people will not go against those traditions.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

99% of Japanese funerals are conducted with a Buddhist service. The cremation is nonreligious.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

your comments are going all around the mulberry bush.

That would make them very easy to refute using logical arguments of your own, but you choose not to do it and instead make the baseless claim that understanding of Japanese culture would prove your claims, that would be unnecessary if your criticism was true.

The only law is that cremation or burial is required.

Exactly, which is why your claim that very specific ways to do the ceremony are compulsory are not true.

There are no laws that family members to visit their graves or hold memorial services every year. But they do.

And sometimes they don't and there is no problem with that.

In 99% of Japanese cremations, family members will attend the funeral service and then the cremation. Nothing to do with laws

Yet you could not provide a reference where this number is supported, specially the claim that no family member abstains from attending. Without that reference there is no valid appeal for it.

You refuse to answer the question about you attending a cremation.

You refuse to believe the answers you ask, thus contradicting yourself. Either you ask the personal question and accept the answer or you dispense with the hearsay and focus on the arguments and evidence.

Japanese will not break with their traditions of how a cremation is conducted.

As the reference clearly proves this is not the case, Japanese traditions change continuously and are not as compulsory as you tried to present them.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

99% of Japanese funerals are conducted with a Buddhist service. The cremation is nonreligious.

Actual references contradict your claim

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_funeral

https://yamagata.repo.nii.ac.jp/record/1189/files/kiyouh-17-1-111to125.pdf

The actual number is close to 95%, and in 2007 (the last year included) is of less than 90%

One in ten ceremonies being different from a Buddhist one means a significant portion are not following the same tradition you say is mandatory.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"These establishments are frequently deemed as unpleasant, so setting them up can take more than a decade to convince residents and acquire suitable sites."

People do not want to travel to distant locations for cremations and will wait for a local one to become available.

The method of cremation can be changed which does not require burning and producing bad smoke.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People do not want to travel to distant locations for cremations and will wait for a local one to become available.

Any source that supports this claim? this of course completely contradict your previous claim that cremation ships would be an answer, to board the ships and go to a location that would be acceptable to conduct the ceremony (so business near the port, fishers, etc. do not complain about it) can easily consume more time than just travelling outside of big city centers.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What about us gaijin? I found the whole process traumatic when my FIL passed because I know I am next.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I did not say Buddhist funeral services are mandatory. I said that it is what the majority of people do. There are other services for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Jainish but their numbers are minute compared with others.

Some of those groups like Muslims also have major problems with cremations which are not allowed by their religion. But the problem finding a burial place is also very difficult.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Redemption

What about us gaijin? I found the whole process traumatic when my FIL passed because I know I am next.

Most likely your family will cremate you because that is the easiest and cheapest method. Then your bones will be placed in your family grave alongside your FIL for eternity.

If you wish to have a burial you will need to organize that now by first finding a cemetery that will allow you to have a grave.

You could request your family to bury your urn at sea.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I did not say Buddhist funeral services are mandatory. I said that it is what the majority of people do.

Your original comment was that the suggestion that people would not even need to attend the cremation was false because attendance was mandatory, this is not true. Cremations can be attended without problems by some members of the family and there would be nothing that would make that unacceptable (nor illegal of course)

You also said 99% percent of the ceremonies were Buddhist, that is also incorrect, as much as 10% of them are independent from Buddhism, something that clearly indicates a lot of people can dispense with tradition in something extremely important.

Both these things prove that there is no special difficulty with having only some of the members of the family attend a cremation outside of the city, attendance by every single member of the family is not mandatory nor Japanese are strictly bound by tradition to do things in a specific way. This proved by the professional opinion of people that study for a living Japanese culture and by official statistics about funeral rites.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

All close family members by tradition are required to attend the cremation.

"In Eastern Japan, all of the remains are transferred into the urn, whereas in Western Japan, only some of the remains are collected. Mourners often only transfer some of the remains, while crematorium staff finish the task. The urn is then sealed, and placed in a box which is covered with cloth."

Kotsuage: The Japanese Cremation Ritual Explained

https://www.joincake.com/blog/kotsuage/

1 ( +4 / -3 )

All close family members by tradition are required to attend the cremation.

But not doing it have no consequences and as proved a lot of the Japanese population is not constricted by tradition as you think.

Your source only list the common procedures, in no part of it says this is something universally observed, it does not even say all members of the family are required to attend the cremation as you claim. "Mourners" can refer to some of the family members and not to all.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

All close family members by tradition are required to attend the cremation.

When people start to use the word "tradition" when discussing Japanese culture, to me it means they don't really know why things happen.

I have to agree with Virusrex here

the Japanese population is not constricted by tradition as you think.

People generally do what makes them happy which can meaning pleasing people or not pleasing people.

Tradition is what samurai do.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Funerals in Japan are based on hundreds of years of tradition. No matter which religion a family made have in dead they turn to Buddhism. There are a very small number of exceptions for Christians for example.

The data already presented refutes this completely, up to one in ten families make a funeral not related to Buddhism, and almost 2% are not "a very small number of exceptions" for Christians.

The majority of funerals use the same rites and procedures

The point being that this "majority" is not absolute so there is nothing strange with people not doing things according to tradition, the previous reference made clear there are a lot of variations that bring flexibility to the rites and ceremonies in modern times, with funerary companies allowing many different things for the people that pay for their services, the so called "free-style" ceremonies being a prime example.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There are several parts to dealing with a deceased.

There is what happens at home in preparing the deceased and sitting with them all night. This may or may not involve a priest.

Then there is the funeral service which can be attended by family, friends, and colleagues. In the majority of times, the Buddhist rites are followed.

Then there is the cremation which only close family members attend.

Finally, there is a rite for placing the deceased in a family grave. There are some exceptions to that these days with sea burials happening.

The article is about the cremation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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