Charles Cowling

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.

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Janice Hutton
10 years ago

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

Maggie
Maggie
10 years ago

a beautiful film – thank you.

Tony Piper
10 years ago

If you’d like to watch it in higher quality you can buy or rent it on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMovie?id=347152834&s=143444 or from Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Departures-DVD-Masahiro-Motoki/dp/B0031QJ5D8

Sonya
Sonya
10 years ago

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