60% of Japanese view idea of relocating or closing ancestral graves as positive: survey

JIJI

Nearly 60 percent of the public is positive about taking action to close or relocate ancestral graves that are far from where they live, a survey says.

The survey, carried out this month by Jiji Press, found that 59.6 percent of the respondents view acts of hakajimai as good because they make managing and visiting the graves easier.

On the other hand, 21.9 percent said their ancestral graves should not be moved.

Asked about troubles related to ancestral graves, with multiple answers allowed, 60.4 percent of the respondents said they had no particular problems, 20.9 percent said visits are difficult because the graves are in remote locations, and 10.4 percent said that finding successors to take care of them was getting difficult.

The respondents were also asked how much hakajimai-related services should cost.

The largest group, 49.1 percent, said the cost should be below ¥300,000, while 15.1 percent cited a range between ¥300,000 and ¥500,000, and 24.9 percent said they did not know.

In the meantime, 39.8 percent cited ancestral graves as their desired burial sites, with 23.7 percent saying they hope to be buried in graves reserved just for their families. Of the remainder, 9.4 percent said they wanted their cremated remains to be scattered at sea or in the mountains and 6.1 percent said they favored burial under trees.

The interview-based poll covered 2,000 people aged 18 or over across Japan and drew valid responses from 62.0 percent of them.