Attending funeral in Japan (cont.)

Finally the weather is being kind, and the temperature dropped 4°C to 33°C now. Although I think Singapore now might be even cooler than Japan. 😦

So I ended my post previously at the 2nd day afternoon of the wake. The 4 of us (Us, R-chan and Ryo – Y-chan’s younger brother) went to the funeral parlor straight after sending the car off. We planned to stay overnight at the parlor so that the following morning everyone won’t be in a rush.

Once we reached the parlor, we were brought to the resting room which is a Japanese style room (i.e. tatami floor). This room will also be the place where we’ll be resting for the night together with some other relatives. It has a changing room and also a small kitchen. The bathroom was separated from the resting room because it’s so huge. It has this super big bathtub (about 3 – 4 person can dip in) and that it can turn into a jacuzzi with the twist of a knob.

As there’s a ceremony at the evening and there’s still plenty of time left, the 4 of us just sat at the corner of the room. We were kept busy by doing some simple greetings and self-introductions to the relatives who came over. In this position………..

This sitting position is called Seiza (正座) which is the most common way of sitting in a tatami room. I think this continued for 2 hours straight and my knees and ankles were so sore that I can’t stand properly after that. 😦

We then attend the ritual ceremony and it ended within 1 hour. After which, we proceeded to have dinner at the dining room inside the parlor (all-in-one). The food was good and there’s free-flow of drinks including beers. There’s even a ‘waiting room’ where you can have free-flow coffee (24-hours). Cool huh! 😛

Some relatives continued to drink while some had already taken their bath and went to sleep. I, of course, went ahead to use the jacuzzi bath alone. So shiok can. Even shampoo, conditioner and body soap is Shiseido. 🙂 Had some mini talk with grandma & my mum-in-law to check on them before I got K.O. by the sleeping bug.

The 3rd day was quite slow-paced though. Not what I had expected. 😀 Had breakfast (quite a gorgeous meal) and off we went to attend the ritual ceremony. The ceremony is quite similar to Buddhist style where the monk will rant some scripts to ‘enable’ the deceased to have a smooth journey to heaven. Flowers were placed inside the coffin and some items which grandpa liked. After that, he was moved into the car to be sent to the cremation center.

I think this procedure is the same as Singapore. Maybe except the point where families and relatives of the deceased picked the bones up to place into the urn. I don’t remember seeing my relatives doing this when my grandma passed away. After which, everyone returns back to the funeral parlor to have lunch together before the whole thing ends. The lunch was super gorgeous and it’s like some nth-course meal. There was mini hotpot, sashimi, tempura and some other dishes. (Sorry no photos because I was famished and can only concentrate on eating!)

We returned back to grandma’s house to prepare for guests coming over for dinner. Some of the relatives ‘tabao-ed’ sushi, mini-sized udon and also gyoza from Ryo’s part-time restaurant. I was actually labelled as Ojiisan’s favorite person because I was good at mixing shochu (焼酎) at their requested ratio. LOL Everyone was so funny and they even mentioned of going to Singapore with me as their tour guide. I told them I wouldn’t mind as long as they pay for my expenses. 😛

We actually received grandpa’s last words for us during our last visit at the hospital. I think it’s so useful not just to me and Y-chan but to every couples out there.

喧嘩してもいい、でも最後は仲直り。

(It’s okay to have arguments and quarrels, but at the end of this, is to be able to reconcile back.)

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Attending funeral in Japan

Hello! I’m back from Yamaguchi and the weather for the past 3 days were so crazy! 37°C… hotter than Singapore, you know! 😦

Today I’m going to share my experience about attending a funeral session in Japan. Y-chan’s grandpa passed away last Thursday (which was 1 day before Y-chan’s birthday) and we have to rush back on Friday morning to prepare for the funeral.

After we reached Yamaguchi, Y-chan’s sister (R-chan) drove us along to get our attire for the funeral. In Japan, it’s necessary to wear full black formal attire (from head to toe) as a form of respect. So we went to Shimamura (しまむら) – a super cheap yet trendy store to get my formal attire.

And I managed to get something like this (excluding the pearl necklace)..

Even the handbag has to be black, something like the one below.

日本製 フォーマルバッグ

Okay… and also black handkerchief and hairband. (You get it?)

After getting everything, we headed back home to ‘visit’ grandpa. As it was a Buddhist style, there’s some procedures to offering your prayer to the deceased. I managed to google the procedures before leaving for Yamaguchi so I won’t ‘lose face’ in front of everyone since Y-chan is grandpa’s first grandchild.

Some friends and relatives of grandpa & grandma’s came to offer their prayers and stayed for dinner that day. It’s so different as compared to Singapore’s Buddhist wake because everyone put aside their sadness and gathered around to eat and drink. Maybe because grandpa loves lively atmosphere, thus this turnout? :\

As these ojiichans and obaasans all never meet me before, all of them are super excited that I’m there. They kept asking me to refill their drinks (kind of like 接待 – serving) and asked me a lot of stuff about Singapore. 

The second day, we had to dress in the black formal attire because grandpa will be ‘leaving’ the house to the funeral parlor. My heart was so filled with sadness as I ‘sent’ grandpa off. It’s because when grandpa was still around, he would always stand at the parking lot area to send us (Y-chan and I) off whenever we visit him. However this time it was the other way round. 😦

*sighs*

Allow me to continue the rest of the contents in few days time because I can’t concentrate writing in this extremely hot weather. It’s still 37°C now. *melting*