Six Weddings and a Funeral

I attended my first funeral procession since arrival in Japan. Who would’ve thought that I would actually be attending one. And I’ve missed around 6 weddings back home in Singapore to date.

The principal’s mother passed away last weekend and the school informed all the staff of the wake and asked if we would attend. Since that was my first time attending one, I wasn’t sure what to do or what to prepare. Thankfully, there’s the internet and some help from a teacher, I think I didn’t do anything that was inappropriate, other than turning up a little soaked from the rain.

I wouldn’t wish for any of this to happen to you but if you were to have to attend a funeral here, below’s a little guide on what you should do.

For men, be in your business wear. That means suit, shirt and tie. Black suit, white shirt and black tie. None of those should have fanciful prints on them. For ladies, the attendees I saw were in complete black attire. If your hair is dyed, I think it doesn’t matter since I saw quite a few youngsters in brown hair.

Find out if the funeral is a Buddhist one. If so, get an お香典 from either Daiso or any other shops you can find them. お香典s are envelopes for incense money. If you’ve got no idea what kind of funeral is going to be held, get one that says お霊前 on the front. A teacher told me they usually give ¥3,000 to ¥5,000.

How to write the お香典 is another problem. Since I’m lazy to write it here, google for お香典書き方 yourself if the need arises. I hope to get to attend a wedding next.


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