Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And another one....

This morning at 6:30am we got another phone call.... another old lady in the neighbourhood had died overnight. The small community center just across the road from us had been used for the first funeral, completely tidied up yesterday and then.... set up again today for the next funeral. It hasn't been used for a funeral to my knowledge for at least 12 years, but now it will be 2 in 3 days. Most people have the funerals in their houses or more recently at the funeral parlours.
I think I have probably mentioned the "funeral notices" here before, but can't find an entry about it, so I'll write it again. I can remember the first page my grandmother used to read in the newspaper was the back page - ie. the funeral notices. There would be information about when the funeral was - usually about a week after the person had died. Here in Japan there is no time to publish anything in the newspaper, so they just put out big signs - they say who died, who the main family member is, when and where the wake is and when and where the funeral will be held.
The lady had died in the night, this sign appeared before lunch today. The wake was tonight, the funeral tomorrow. Often family don't make it back in time for the wake - speed seems to be essential, something which dates back to when they had no dry ice to keep the body cool in the summer. Our community is very small. It is getting smaller.... here's hoping we have a break from seeing these signs for a few more months (or preferably years!).

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