Tom Hanks in Forest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what’s inside until you open it.” Yes, same goes with the Japanese funeral system and this is why you need a back up.
Today is March 20th, the equinox day. Day and night are the same length. Sun and the moon shines equally or not, this is not the question. Funerals are like a big box of chocolate for the undertakers in Japan and the family. You never know what to expect and you can’t expect the unexpected. The best you can do is to make an educated guess of how many people will attend.
Japanese funeral is not invitational. No one sends out invitations of RSVP for the service. You just slowly show up and leave. As with the weddings, you get to sit on a certain table with your friends and family close by. Funerals are like a Sunday mass, and you never know who’ll come and sit next to you on the bench stool. The hosting family never knows how many people will attend.
The best guess the undertaker can make is by understanding how may people and relatives are in the family, how many are still working, do any hold an important rank at work, what are the relationship with the society.
Then taken all in account, the undertaker will have to guess how many would attend and how much food for the wake to prepare, after the giving blessing, and how many return gifts to prepare for.
Funeral is like a box of chocolate, you never know what kind of people and how many people will show up.