The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Nokanshi

Friday, 27 January 2012

Posted by Vale

Friday is always a busy day – but, as the rush recedes, it’s a good time to draw breath a little before the weekend.

Here’s something to help you pause, reflect and, perhaps, marvel too.

The Japanese art of Nokanshi is a beautiful method of preparing the body for cremation. A meditation in it’s own right. Give yourself time and relax while you watch the whole process in this beautiful little video.

If your interest is piqued search out the Japanese film Departures. We’ve blogged about this before, but it’s out on DVD now if you are interested. Well worth the effort.

5 comments on “Nokanshi

  1. Friday 31st August 2012 at 12:16 am

    Just watched it again and realised the preparer is kneeling on the floor – commands even more respect. No plastic apron or rubber gloves – I like the element of him actually touching the body as he prepares it and that final lift of the hands as he looks in her face is exquisite.

  2. Thursday 30th August 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks Kris O for bringing me here today! So beautiful – so precise, so calm, so gentle, so measured.. almost like watching the swaddling of a newborn baby. I would consider going to Japan to die if this is the treatment I’d receive.

  3. Tuesday 28th August 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Thank you for elaborating on such a beautiful ceremony, I have taken tea ceremony for 16 years, and after watching Departures, this performance was so identical in its respect to the deceased just as the host does to the tea and its utensils. Presently I am a hairdresser in Hawaii and have had the opportunity to do some finishing touches on deceased clientele. It is most rewarding in ways that I cannot begin to describe , especially when the deceased family is close at hand. The look on their faces as well as the reality of what transformation had just taken place for them is quite visible in their faces. Boy, that movie made me want to switch professions.

    • Vale

      Wednesday 29th August 2012 at 11:23 pm

      It really does inspire, doesn’t it Kris O. I wonder where you could train now?

  4. Sunday 29th January 2012 at 6:26 pm

    This is proper ritual. No observers, no one but the participant(s). Hugely respectful: beautiful.
    We didn’t learn to do it quite like this at the Co-op.
    It is much harder dressing a dead body with a person’s own clothes: much more of a struggle. I can see why some fd’s boldly slit the clothes down the back, but until now the reason has seemed that it is faster and easier for the staff, and less to make it a more elegant dressing of a person, involving less turning and tugging.
    Seems like ‘Departures’ must be view’d.
    Great post, Charles. Thank you.

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