Japan’s Funeral Industry Is Cashing In On The Need and Want Of High-Tech Death
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.
Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.
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.”
DISRUPT Media is a full-service creative agency built for the now. We partner with death care companies to drive deep-rooted brand loyalty and measurable leads through social media.
More Fans. More Conversations. More Leads.
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.
Latest posts by Ryan Thogmartin (see all)
- What Happens When Arlington Cemetery Runs Out of Space? - June 5, 2018
- The Biggest Problem In Your Funeral Home Isn’t What You Think - May 8, 2018
- Walmart Takes One More Step Into The Funeral Industry With Funeral Potatoes - April 26, 2018
You may be interested
FTC Releases Results of Undercover Funeral Rule Investigation… 4 Regions BombedJustin Crowe - June 18, 2018
The FTC has released its report detailing the results of its undercover Funeral Rule investigation for 2017. Last year, the…
RELEASE THE FN CRAKN! | FUNERAL nation 114CDFuneralNews - June 18, 2018
It's a barn burner... The Commander is moving his Command Post!!! Besides the Commander on the move, the boys speak…
FrontRunner Professional Announces Expansion of Development TeamCDFuneralNews - June 18, 2018
Today FrontRunner Professional announced a significant expansion to their programming and development team with the addition of Greg Daye and…