U.S. Manufacturer Creating Cremation Urns For Japan

August 29, 2016
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Originally published by: WonderfulRife

Death and taxes…

I’m only really sure that everybody dies…  maybe not as quickly in Japan as they do elsewhere in the world… still.. there’s no use in denyin’ it… someday you’re gonna buy it – to quote from a radio jingle created within the classic U.S. television show WKRP In Cincinnati.

Sometimes, things just get wedged in your head and never leave…

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To continue… while I am unsure if this is putting the ‘fun’ back into ‘funeral’, but Eden Prairie, Minnesota, US-based Foreverenceis bringing its custom-crafted 3D printed cremation urns to Japan, displaying its unique designs at the second-annual ENDEX end-of-Life trade show expo on August 22-24, 2016 in Tokyo.

Despite the fact that Japan’s mortality rate is slower than most other countries globally, it does have one of the world’s highest cremation rates, at nearly 100 percent, according to the Cremation Society of Great Britain.

Japanese people follow shukatsu, which is a Japanese custom of “end-of-life planning”, that makes one’s own “what the heck do we do now” scenes when someone dies, an easier burden, with final arrangements made clear for all involved BY the deceased.

I’m sure many of you have sadly experienced confusion over what to do, when someone passes. When my mother died lo these 22 years ago, we were shopping for coffins, flowers, funeral parlor locale with visitation arrangements, church service. The only good thing was that there was already a plan in place for my mother’s cremation and internment. We also had in place a family thing to “pull the plug” should any one of us become unto a vegetative brain state with no chance of recovery. We also are all organ donors – and that is something I would urge you all to do, if your religious beliefs allow it.

Anyhow… death is only a stressful time for those who aren’t dead. The dead are dead and have no stress (I hope). Okay, if you believe in ghosts, maybe there’s that whole poltergeist thing. BTW, The Conjuring… scariest damn movie I have almost finished watching…. scares the crap outta me so much I can’t continue to watch. And I’m the kindda guy who ate pea soup while watching The Exorcist.

So… where was I? Oh yes… ENDEX… an interesting trade show name if there ever was one. Still, the exhibitors and show goers don’t have a problem with it.

The ENDEX event is where Japanese consumers can learn more about products and services to help with shukatsu. The ENDEX expo drew over 35,000 people in 2015 and is expected to attract even more this year.

“We believe Foreverence is a natural extension of the shukatsu cultural movement, and we want to show the Japanese market that it’s possible to create a uniquely personalized end-of-life tribute while still remaining true to the cultural traditions and customs people hold dear,” says Foreverence chief executive officer and founder Pete Saari. Foreverence is a pretty interesting name, too.

Practicing shukatsu is not limited to elderly people, as many Japanese begin planning their final arrangements at a relatively young age, many in their 40s and 50s.

Ed. Note: I am just pretty much ‘editing’ a press release here, but I do like how it calls 40- and 50-year-old’s ‘relatively young’.

The Japanese are a very traditional people, so I wondered just how the public would take to a 3D ceramic printed urn for one’s ashes… turns out that the younger Japanese visitors to the ENDEX event were very open to Foreverence’s products, liking the harmonic balance between the traditional end-of-life Japanese customs and new technologies.

Foreverence uses ceramics and metals to 3D print each customized memorial into an exceptional work of art—a memento as unique as the life it represents. The company designs and delivers custom-crafted memorials in any shape, size and color combination, so families can honor and remember loved ones with a timeless tribute to their personal passions and livelihoods.

The company has created hundreds of one-of-a-kind memorials in the U.S. market that honor each person’s unique interests and legacies, including several high profile pieces for famous artists and musicians like Bob Casale (DEVO), Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) and Lemmy Kilmister (Mötorhead). Hmm… all three bands I really, really like(d).

Foreverence has been featured on ABC News, CBS NewsFOX News and the Huffington Post, (and now Japan’s—It’s A Wonderful Rife), and was also recently recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal with its Eureka! Award for product development.

“In Japan, open discussion about end-of-life issues is common, and we feel Foreverence can be part of the conversation,” says Suzuki Shoji (surname first), who is leading the company’s Japanese market expansion. “One-of-a-kind memorials from Foreverence can be designed and pre-arranged as part of the shukatsu process, giving families the convenience and comfort of knowing their loved ones will be remembered in the most creative way possible.”

Foreverence has recently started raising Series A investment capital, and its expansion to the Japanese market is a key part of the company’s growth strategy. “The infrastructure is in place, the market is responsive and we feel there is tremendous opportunity,” Saari notes. “We’re ready to go faster.”

Learn more about the Foreverence Japanese market expansion at www.foreverence.com.

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