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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Death Notebooks in Japan

Activities in preparation for the final stage of life are enjoying a quiet boom. These activities include taking photo portraits to leave behind, writing final thoughts and wishes in a special notebook and attending a workshop on how to write a will.

Experts believe that the recent rise in these activities reflects an uncertainty over the future that has taken hold since the emotional impact of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. These preparations provide a candid approach to death.

“Please smile,” a photographer says to her client. “That's nice!” The photos will be used for portraits after death.

About 40 people in their 40s to 80s attended the photo session. It included a couple celebrating their golden anniversary and a woman in a hula skirt; each done up by a make-up artist according to their requests.

“So far, death has not been part of my daily life, but now I've decided to face it head on,” a participant said. “I'm not sure for what occasion a portrait of me would be needed after I die, but I want to leave one that depicts an expression that I like.” In addition to having her portrait done, she bought a ‘last notebook’ for messages to leave for her family. "As I gradually sort out my feelings, I'll fill in the notebook," she said.

A ‘last notebook’ is a book reflecting the final wishes of the writer, whether to disclose the nature of an ailment, feelings about a life-sustaining treatment or special desires for a funeral ceremony.

“These activities are an entrance to the last stage of life,” one of the workshop organizers said. “They give people an opportunity to figure out what they would like to do and feel they need to do before they achieve a positive outlook on life.”
Source: Yomiuri News 2012-07-27

One must be ready for life and then either life eternal after death in heaven or in hell...there is only one choice.  Christ said, "...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. " (John 10:10).  We can live life to the fullest when we have Christ as a part of our life.  " For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)  
What will you choose...A will and a living will are very helpful to those you leave behind but just to write words of hope and life in a book that has no affect on life after death will not help after you die--choose to believe the Words of Life from God's Book, the Bible and receive the gift of eternal life in heaven rather than eternal death in hell!  

1 comment:

Tori said...

Wow, that is such an interesting cultural thing. Great post by the way!