Weekend warriors love DIY. You can take out a hammer, nails, and some plywood and make some furniture. You can snake your own drain. You can even order a small, ultralight airplane in kit form and build it in your backyard. When people think of “DIY,” they think of a dad with an inventive streak that hasn’t quite died out, with some tools, working on a project on a Saturday or Sunday. Well, in Japan, now you can use DIY to send Grandma to an eternity of peaceful rest! A Nagano-based company called “Tsubasa” has created a DIY funeral kit (literally “DIY葬セット”), which it sells for ¥25,800 on its website.
The kit includes a wooden coffin. The coffin has a fold-open window, so you can view the face of the deceased and mourn his or her passing. The kit also includes an urn for ashes after the remains have been cremated. There is a silver-accented box in which to place the bones, as well. There are also three furoshiki wrapping cloths. Finally, the kit includes a handbook about how to conduct a funeral and put the soul of the dearly departed at ease.
The savings on funeral costs are considerable. In Japan, the average funeral runs about ¥2,000,000 ($18,273.44). This is, by the way, approximately the same cost as the sale price of a low-end condominium in western Tokyo.
However, it’s worth mentioning that this kit does not include cosmetics or a means to cremate your loved one. For those services, you’ll still need to hire a mortician and bring the body to a crematorium.