The Good Funeral Guide Blog


Thursday, 24 June 2010

I had an email today from someone in Atlanta, Georgia USA. Is there any funeral home in this area, she wondered, that practises nokanshi. I explained that I couldn’t help: the GFG is UK-based. Then I googled nokanshi. And discovered that it is the ritual preparation, in Japan, of the body for cremation.

There’s a fuller description of a nokanshi here.

And you can see how it’s done in the opening scene of the film Departures. (I put some trailers for Departures up on this blog a while back.) Now, I see, someone has posted the entire film on YouTube in 10-min chunks. It’s incredibly beautiful. Okay, the nokanshi discovers halfway through the ritual washing that the beautiful dead girl is actually a boy. No matter. You get the point.

There are no subtitles on the (presumably pirated) YouTube version. But it’s easy enough to follow. And it really is a lovely piece of work.

4 comments on “Nokanshi

  1. Tuesday 29th June 2010 at 9:54 pm

    A really beautiful piece of film, showing true dedication by the funeral director. How I would love to learn how to do this!

  2. Maggie

    Saturday 26th June 2010 at 11:26 pm

    a beautiful film – thank you.

  3. Saturday 26th June 2010 at 10:35 am

    If you’d like to watch it in higher quality you can buy or rent it on iTunes at or from Amazon at

  4. Sonya

    Friday 25th June 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Outstandingly beautifull, thank you for recomending this great piece of cinema!

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