Want a glimpse into the dynamics of a Japanese family? Head to a funeral. That other big family function, the wedding, is a time for putting on a brave face and meeting the in-laws in a spirit of celebration. But, funerals? Those are like emotional detonating switches: Festering resentments erupt, buried hatchets are dug up and secrets come tumbling out of the closet.

In his review of Yukihiro Morigaki’s “Goodbye, Grandpa!” (Japanese title: “Oji-chan Shinjattatte”) for The Japan Times last week, Mark Schilling drew a connection between the film and Juzo Itami’s 1984 directorial debut “The Funeral” (“Ososhiki”), which is one of Morigaki’s favorite works. Both are detailed observations of a family dealing with the aftermath of an aged patriarch’s death.

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