Japanese funeral procession.

Japan, Shinto, Funeral, procession, Frank Brinkley
Funeral procession.


by Frank Brinkley.

The Japanese show great respect for the dead, and the ceremonial both at the house and grave is very impressive. Until recently all funerals, even those of Shinto priests, were conducted by Buddhist priests, but now the Shintoists are permitted to bury their own believers.

White is the Shinto color of mourning, but according to the Buddhist ritual the pall-bearers are clad in dark blue. Shaven priests carrying curious representations of the lotus flower in white and gold attend the bier. Mourners carry banners from the Shinto temples, and large clusters of artificial flowers.

The Shinto coffin is a square box, in which the remains are placed in a sitting posture with the head bent to the knees; it is suspended from long poles and carried like a sedan chair.

The family of the deceased follow in kagos or jinrikishas, and a large concourse of friends on foot accompanies them to the grave and returns with them to their residence, where sweetmeats and saké are served for refreshment.

Source: JAPAN. Described and Illustrated by the Japanese. Written by Eminent Japanese Authorities and Scholars. Edited by Captain F. Brinkley (1841 – 1912) of Tokyo Japan. With an Essay on Japanese Art by Kakuzo Okakura (1860 – 1929) Director of the Imperial Art School at Tokyo Japan. 1897.

red, sun, Japan, Mon, Nisshōki, Hinomaru

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