Tokyo–Japanese hearses for “miyagata,” lavishly adorned to mimic Buddhist temples, but also Shinto shrines, were undergoing a boom overseas only as they become increasingly common sights in the native country.
Japanese funeral cars come from “nobe-okuri,” a parade to take a littered coffin to the crematorium even burial site. Trucks are increasingly used to transport coffins since more crematoriums have been built throughout the suburbs, among many other reasons, as per Shoichi Inoue, a professor at an International Research Center of Japanese Studies.
All over 1910, custom hearse are made in the United States have been introduced of Japan, and finally domestically made designs became popular around the country.
However, as per Inoue, “People at the time also had lingering admiration for the liveliness for nobe-okuri and felt uneasy about modernization.” For this purpose, he assumes which funeral cars have been lavishly decorated throughout the way of conventional funeral processions.
There had been a growing trend towards large funerals since Second World War, per the Japan Hearse Association (JHA) predicated in Tokyo or other bodies. Renovation hearses to the elaborate temple and sanctuary features, such as Buddhist paradise carvings & lotus flowers, started around 1980.
Since Yoshimitsu Araki, president of funeral home Araki depending in Yachimata City of Chiba, east for Tokyo, visited Mongolia on 2003 as part of the trip of the Nihon Bunka Gakkai, an academic culture learning funeral traditions. A public high priest told Araki, “I heard so many people are using (funeral) cars of Japan which look like some kind of palace. If we can have one, we really would enjoy it.”
The high priest clarified that even a Mongolian sumo wrestler that participated in Japan tell him that “there will be mobile palaces in Japan.” Moved by all the ambition of that 8 miyagata hearses for use, giving to a Mongolian state funeral home. This was a big hit with residents who, apparently due to the shortage, were having trouble booking it.
Araki believes that the Japanese hearse “struck a chord with Mongolia’s tradition of giving the recently dyed a splendid funeral.”
In 2006, Araki gave Mongolia a miyagata because the country labeled the 800th anniversary of a Mongolian Empire and just one in 2015 at a request of such a friend to Laos. During group festivals in each of these nations, Professor Inoue says these hearses are also used as portable temples.
Meanwhile, its number of miyagata operated by JHA portfolio companies of Japan–further than 2,000 in its peak in 2000–may have dropped by about 400. In recent times, small, family funerals became more prevalent, and most of these use vans are not coated in brassy ornaments.
The decreasing number of conventional funeral cars is indeed a consequence of some local bodies limiting their use to transport coffins to crematoria and funeral house. The restriction is a response to concerns from residents, except for that the vision of entering and leaving miyagata creates a group’s negative image. Thus an analysis of the demand of the vehicles can give the exact picture.