Cultural differences, similar goals

Japanese cemeteryThis is a beautiful telling of the week long series of events surrounding a Japanese (Shinto) funeral. Despite having spent time in Japan, and being privileged enough to visit some amazing cemeteries, as gaijin such a level of participation in a culture’s traditions (along with weddings) is of course very rare. If you’re interested in a fictional tale that recounts similar cultural differences then you might enjoy an entertaining book called American Fuji . It is about an American professor who loses her job teaching English and eventually becomes employed at a Japanese “fantasy funeral” company. I find it comforting that there are so many ways to celebrate a person’s passing and yet our need to honor the dead in some way meaningful to us is universal. Traditions are imploding and exploding everywhere – everything is coming together, for better or worse, and we can no longer pretend we’re all living in different worlds because we’re on different continents.” –Philip Glass

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One Comment

  1. i’ve always adored scars, thinking they signify personal history. and unless they are utterly disfiguring, i think they are marks of distinction, as in the scar on harry potter’s forehead.

    so yeah, these marks of personal history are a good thing, and to be
    honored, as you suggest…

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