Yesterday, I had a chance to attend to a funeral of a friend.
It’s not a pleasant feeling when you see a friend go by suddenly.
But this isn’t all for funerals.
It’s also a time and place to meet with others who have long lost contact.
It’s another place for a social gathering.
The merits of these social events, such as funerals (wakes) and weddings, you get to meet people who have lost contact and also get connected with the new people surrounding. The word “KANKON SOUSAI” in Japanese is not only pointing out the wedding and funeral events, but it’s connecting family and friends back together.
Even in a small country like Japan, the tradition of funerals differ very much from place to place. Even within Kanagawa prefecture, there are different rituals just crossing a major river that separates the communities. It’s never too easy to say what is correct and what is wrong, since it is all correct.
Such as giving the burning of incense (Sho-Ko), within a certain specified areas, the order of who’s going first differs. There are times that the hosting family of funeral will have meal ready if the funeral is during noon for gratitude of you attending.
Yesterday, I had a chance to observe another, where the undertaker took time to clear out the hall and asked everyone to leave before the last speech from the hosting family. Usually, the undertaker will have you wait inside the hall where it’s still warm inside while they are preparing for the last farewell. But having people to leave the hall once, allowed others to chat and meet friends that are attending. It was a very good opportunity to create another social event and perhaps to another business.