Tag Archives: Japan

Song About Loss: “Ue o Muite Arukō (Sukiyaki)” by Kyu Sakamoto

An emotional Japanese tune contains hidden layers of meaning

“Ue o Muite Arukō,” also known as “Sukiyaki,” by Kyu Sakamoto is a moving song about loss that translates across languages and cultures. It’s at once sorrowful and hopeful. The light melody bubbles at the surface and sparks joy in … Continue reading

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Do All Zen Buddhists Believe in Rebirth?

A look into two theories behind Dogen teachings

One of the primary concepts behind most schools of Zen Buddhism is the idea that there is no real “self” who is born or dies. If one believes in this concept, it seems that the idea of “rebirth” doesn’t fit into … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Departures” by Yōjirō Takita

This Japanese film explores the taboo of working intimately with death

In “Departures,” Yōjirō Takita points out the absurdity of a culture that holds onto rich death rituals while condemning those who perform them. The emotional, sometimes downright hilarious, movie explores why we need death traditions and shines light on a practice that … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Cremation or Burial? A Jewish View” by Doron Kornbluth

A case advocating burial over the increasingly popular practice of cremation

Modern society tends to prefer cremation: it is perceived as cheaper than a burial, more environmentally sound, and, well, just more hip. To the contemporary person, “the idea of scattering ashes seems a eco-friendly alternative” to burial. The idea of … Continue reading

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”Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.”

- Haruki Murakami
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The House Awaiting Death

If you could build a house just for the dying process, what would it look like? EASTERN Design Office shows us.

“A house awaiting death,” the client said to us, “I will die in 15 years [and] it will be a house awaiting that death. When I die it won’t be sunset, it will be sunrise. When the final moment comes, … Continue reading

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