• Kyodo

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Jinguji Temple, a Buddhist temple in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, is organizing a unique exhibition: a funeral fair.

The fair, according to Takushi Takahashi, the resident priest, is intended to give people ideas about how to bid final farewell and organize final rites.

While most Japanese funerals follow Buddhist rites, Takahashi says funeral services are becoming increasingly pricey and most are performed in a more or less uniform manner.

“I would like people to know the choices they have so they may plan funerals according to their own ideas,” Takahashi said of his motive for organizing the three-day fair from Friday through Sunday at the temple, located in Matsumoto’s Asama Onsen district.

The fair, Takahashi said, will feature not only conventional coffins and funeral altars used traditionally in Japan but also specially designed funeral items, including a coffin made of Japanese paper and altars decorated with flowers and balloons.

Takahashi said all articles will be priced to give visitors an idea of the cost involved in holding a funeral service of their own design.

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