Japan’s Funeral Industry Is Cashing In On The Need and Want Of High-Tech Death

January 18, 2015
Advertisement

Japan has the oldest population in the world and in the next 50 years it is set to shrink by 40 million, leading to its end-of-life industry booming.

Almost all Japanese people get cremated and have their ashes put into family crypts in conventional looking cemeteries.

However, with spaces costing up to $100,000, high-tech alternatives like skyscraper graveyards are becoming a necessity.

Advertisement

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

They are fully automated and store thousands of urns.

Relatives are given an identity card and robotic arms retrieve the loved one’s ashes from vaults deep underground.

At one temple in Tokyo at Shinjuku, thousands of tiny Buddhas illuminated with LED lights represent the family crypts.

A smartcard activates the crystal Buddha, which lights up the specified tiny vault that sits behind it.

Elderly people are increasingly taking charge of their own funerals, rather than leaving it to their families.

Kazuko Okumura tried a coffin for size at a suburban shopping centre in Tokyo to see what the journey to the afterlife would feel like.

“It felt warmer than expected, I imagined it would be much colder so I’ll be comfortable when I’m sent off,” Ms Okumura said.

End-of-life preparations are a booming business and in Japan the industry is worth $5 billion a year.

Supermarket chains hold regular seminars that are a one-stop shop from types of funerals to insurance to wills.

Kasuhiro Shishido from Aeon supermarkets said the event gave people a chance to think about death.

“You can choose the kind of death you want and get rid of worry, and enjoy the rest of your life,” Mr Shishido said.

At the Aeon seminar, 76-year-old Ayako Senda had her funeral photo taken, saying she wanted to be remembered as a healthy, vibrant person.

“It’s good to take charge and be ready for my own funeral,” Ms Senda said.

“My parents didn’t and didn’t have what they wanted.

“Also I don’t want to burden my children with funeral arrangements.”

[H/T ABC.net]

Ryan Thogmartin

CEO at DISRUPT Media and ConnectingDirector.com
Ryan Thogmartin is the Owner and CEO of DISRUPT Media. DISRUPT Media is a full service social media agency specializing in social media strategy, management and reporting for funeral companies. DISRUPT Media is the creator of the FUNERAL Social Design Process which is the only full service social media strategy program crafted specifically for the funeral profession.

Go to http://funeralsocial.com to find out more about the services we offer. Our clients who are apart of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%.

Ryan is also the founder of ConnectingDirectors.com. ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com Ryan has created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
Advertisement

You may be interested

Foundation Partners Group Adds Anderson-McQueen to FPG Family
Funeral Industry Press Releases
775 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
775 views

Foundation Partners Group Adds Anderson-McQueen to FPG Family

CDFuneralNews - August 17, 2017

Orlando, FL – Foundation Partners Group (FPG), a leading provider of innovative funeral, cemetery and cremation experiences and products, has…

Jobs
8 views

Sales Professional – North FL/Georgia

CDFuneralNews - August 17, 2017

Wilbert Funeral Services Inc. is a wholesale product and service provider to the funeral industry. Our manufactured products include burial…

On Our Soapbox: The Truth About Cremation | FUNERAL nation 085
FUNERAL Nation
260 views
FUNERAL Nation
260 views

On Our Soapbox: The Truth About Cremation | FUNERAL nation 085

CDFuneralNews - August 16, 2017

Cremation truth and Social Media Screwup: Watch Ryan & The Commander tell it like it is on their soapbox! (more…)

Comments