He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Friday, June 18, 2010 

Japan: Cultural Bondage of Funerals


Funerals in Japan are a horrendous rip-off, on the whole, especially as many feel they have to call in priests to officiate, who often charge in the millions of yen for their services. I’ve seen people defend this practice by saying that as people are expected to bring a cash gift for the family they can cover expenses; this may be true, but then again one has to give presents back to everyone who gifts, and of course there is ongoing expenses of grave maintenance and annual services for the deceased, which again can run into hundreds of thousands.

Research results

Q1: Have you ever attended a funeral? (Sample size=432)

All Male
N=249
Female
N=183
Yes (to SQ) 92.4% 90.0% 95.6%
No 7.6% 10.0% 4.4%


Q1SQ: Have you ever been involved in the organising of a funeral? (Sample size=399)

All Male
N=224
Female
N=175
Yes 11.8% 12.5% 10.9%
No 88.2% 87.5% 89.1%

Q2: When you pop your clogs, would you want a funeral service? (Sample size=432)

All Male
N=249
Female
N=183
Definitely (to SQ) 6.7% 7.6% 5.5%
If possible (to SQ) 43.3% 42.6% 44.3%
No, don’t want 50.0% 49.8% 50.3%

Some of the main reasons why people wanted a funeral were a wish to properly depart from everyone, to allow relatives to sort out their emotions, to take the opportunity to let people know I was dead. Further reasons were because it’s the custom or what society expects. For those not wanting one, people didn’t feel it necessary, not wanting to burden the relatives, funerals are for the living, not the dead, and just that it is expensive.


Q2SQ: Do you have any wishes regarding the kind of funeral you want? (Sample size=216)

All Male
N=125
Female
N=91
Yes, lots 0.5% 0.0% 1.1%
Yes, some 32.9% 20.8% 49.5%
No, none 66.7% 79.2% 49.5%

The sorts of wishes people had were a modest one, a simple one, a not expensive one, and a family-only affair.

Q3: For your own particular religious sect, do you know roughly how much it costs in total for a funeral service? (Sample size=432)

All Male
N=249
Female
N=183
Know most of the costs 18.8% 19.3% 18.0%
Know some of the costs 20.8% 18.9% 23.5%
Don’t know anything 60.4% 61.8% 58.5%

Q4: For your own particular religious sect, do you know what kinds of procedures must be done for a funeral service? (Sample size=432)

All Male
N=249
Female
N=183
Know most of it 14.6% 14.1% 15.3%
Know some of it 26.9% 25.3% 29.0%
Don’t know any of them 58.6% 60.6% 55.7%

Q5: Do your have money saved up for your own funeral service, cremation, etc? (Sample size=432)

All Male
N=249
Female
N=183
Yes 13.7% 10.8% 17.5%
No 86.3% 89.2% 82.5%

Q6: If one of your family were to pop their clogs suddenly, do you have someone close to you who you could turn to for advice on funeral preparations, financial issues, etc? (Sample size=432)

All Male
N=249
Female
N=183
Yes 61.6% 59.8% 63.9%
No (to SQ) 38.4% 40.2% 36.1%


Q6SQ: If one of your family were to pop their clogs suddenly, do you feel worried about not having someone close to you who you could turn to for advice on funeral preparations, financial issues, etc? (Sample size=166)

All Male
N=100
Female
N=66
Very worried 12.7% 10.0% 16.7%
A little worried 42.8% 40.0% 47.0%
Not worried 44.6% 50.0% 36.4%

- whatjapanthinks.com

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