Toshihide Matsumoto permanently closed his family grave in June.

For the 65-year-old Hyogo Prefecture-native, 10 of his ancestors — including his sister and father — were buried in a local cemetery in the city of Himeji in a grave that had been in his family for centuries, but he decided it was time to part ways with it earlier this year.

“My mother used to tend the grave, but after she injured herself in 2019 she couldn’t watch over it anymore,” he says. “She agreed with the idea of closing the grave, and since I didn’t want to put the burden on my child (in the future), I made the decision to close it up here and now.”