Korean and Japanese Funerals Though Different Similar in Essence
Cultures and communities of the world hold a solemn and grave view for death. It is also true for Korean and Japanese societies. Fascinations for death become influenced either by religion or by some other traditional views of society. Consequently, this fascination and views of death determine after-death rites, rituals, and ceremonies. Korean and Japanese funeral rites reveal how the members of the community or the society view death. Though funeral ceremonies of Japan and Korea have similarities, they differ from each other according to geo-religious conditions. The cores of funeral ceremonies of Korean society and Japanese society, as well as the Asian societies, are almost the same if religious beliefs and other influences are unwrapped. The close family bond of an oriental family plays a significant role in determining the nature of the ceremony.Both Korean and Japanese funerals ceremonies are deeply influenced by the existing religion of the two societies. The religion of the majority of Korean and Japanese society is Confucianism and Buddhism. Confucianism also has a firm hold on Korean society, though not directly. Christianity as a newly emerging religion exerts great influences on Korean society. Both Confucianism and Christianity have their separate influences on the outlines and the aspects of Korean society. But in some cases, the religious influences are intermingled if there is no strict restriction from either of the religions. It is the case for South Korean society. But when the North Korean society is to be taken into account, the influence of Christianity is less discernible. After all, if the Korean society at present is taken into account as a whole, the traditional way of observing the funeral ceremonies is what Buddhism and some tenets of Confucianism determine.Whereas Confucianism overwhelmingly determines Korean funeral ceremonies, Buddhism influences Japanese funeral ceremonies. But there are some differences in the Japanese Funerals from the funeral in the past.