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尸体住宾馆:日本殡葬新风俗

更新时间:2017-7-5 11:24:50 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Crematory Is Booked? Japan Offers Corpse Hotels
尸体住宾馆:日本殡葬新风俗

OSAKA, Japan — The minimalist rooms at the Hotel Relation here in Japan’s third-largest city are furnished with plain twin beds. Flat-screen televisions adorn the walls. Plastic-wrapped cups and toothbrushes are provided in the bathrooms. And just across the hall are the rooms where the corpses rest.

日本大阪——在这座日本第三大城市,关连宾馆(Hotel Relation)的极简主义房间里布置着两张普通的单人床。墙上挂着平板电视。浴室里配备了塑料包裹的杯子和牙刷。门厅对面就是停放着尸体的房间。

Checkout time, for the living and the dead, is usually no later than 3 p.m.

不管是活人还是死人,退房时间通常不晚于下午3点。

The Hotel Relation is what Japanese call an “itai hoteru,” or corpse hotel. About half the rooms are fitted with small altars and narrow platforms designed to hold coffins. Some also have climate-controlled coffins with transparent lids so mourners can peer inside.

关连宾馆是日本人所称的“遗体宾馆”(itai hoteru)。大约一半的房间配有小型祭坛和用来停放棺材的狭窄平台。有些房间还有温控棺材,配有透明的盖子,哀悼者可以透过盖子看见里面。

Part mortuary, part inn, these hotels serve a growing market of Japanese seeking an alternative to a big, traditional funeral in a country where the population is aging rapidly, community bonds are fraying and crematories are struggling to keep up with the sheer number of people dying.

这些酒店既是殡仪馆,也是宾馆,它们的服务对象是那些不想举办大型的传统葬礼的日本人,鉴于人口快速老龄化,社区纽带不断松解,死亡人口的急速增加令火葬场不堪重负,这个市场正在日益兴起。

By custom, Japanese families take the bodies of their loved ones home from the hospital and sit for an overnight wake followed by a service the next morning in the company of neighbors, colleagues and friends. Then, in the afternoon, the body is sent to a crematory.

通常,日本家庭会把亲人的遗体从医院带回家,守丧一晚,第二天上午,邻居、同事和朋友都来参加追悼仪式。下午,遗体被送往火葬场。

But as neighborhood ties have weakened, funerals that once involved entire communities are increasingly the province of small, nuclear families. At the same time, Japanese society is getting old so fast and deaths per year are climbing so quickly that families sometimes have to wait several days before a body can be cremated.

但是,随着邻里关系淡化,曾经牵动整个社区的葬礼慢慢变成了核心家庭的事。与此同时,日本社会的老龄化速度很快,每年死亡人数的攀升速度很快,有时要等好几天才能轮到遗体火化。

The corpse hotels offer a practical solution — a place where a body can be stored at low cost until the crematory is ready, and where small, inexpensive wakes and services can be held outside the home.

遗体宾馆提供了一个实际的解决方案,在可以火化前,遗体可以以较低的成本存放在那里,也可以在那里举行价格不高的小型守丧和追悼仪式。

“We can say the supply doesn’t meet the demand,” mainly in urban areas, said Hiroshi Ota, an official at the Japan Society of Environmental Crematories. While Japan has an estimated 5,100 crematories, Tokyo, with a population of more than 13 million, has just 26.

日本环境斋苑协会(Japan Society of Environmental Crematories)官员太田宽(Hiroshi Ota)表示,“可以说现在是供不应求的,”尤其是在城市地区。日本约有5100座火葬场,但是拥有1300多万人口的东京只有26座。

“The demand for cremation will increase until the baby boomers disappear,” Ota said.

“在婴儿潮出生的人都去世之前,对火葬的需求会不断增加,”太田说。

Japan has funeral parlors, too, an industry that developed as people moved from the countryside to the cities and it became difficult — and often impossible — to take corpses into high-rises. But they cater to larger groups and more elaborate ceremonies, and these days, that can seem a bit much.

日本也有殡仪馆,这个产业是随着人们从农村搬到城市生活而发展起来的,把遗体运到高楼大厦里变得十分困难——很多时候完全不可能。不过,殡仪馆是为更大的群体和更复杂的仪式服务的,如今,那样做似乎显得没必要。

When Hajime Iguchi died at age 83 last autumn, his sister and brother-in-law held his wake and funeral at Sousou, a corpse hotel in the Tokyo suburb of Kawasaki City. Iguchi, a lifelong bachelor, had died in a nursing home after a protracted illness, and had few friends left.

去年秋天,井口元(Hajime Iguchi,音)以83岁高龄去世,他的妹妹和妹夫在东京郊区川崎市的遗体宾馆“葬送”(Sousou)为他举行了守丧和哀悼仪式。井口终身未娶,经历了漫长的病痛后在一家养老院去世,几乎没有在世的朋友。

“Back in the day, we used to have funerals at home, but times have changed,” said his sister, Kunie Abe, 73. “Neighbors all used to know each other and would help one another out. But today, you don’t even know your next-door neighbor.”

“过去,我们通常在家里举行葬礼,但是时代变了,”他的妹妹、73岁的阿部邦惠(Kunie Abe,音)说,“过去邻居们都认识,会互相帮忙。但是现在,你甚至连隔壁的邻居都不认识。”

The demand for “itai hoteru” is likely to grow. Last year, 1.3 million people died in Japan, up 35 percent from 15 years earlier, and the annual toll is expected to climb until it peaks at 1.7 million in 2040, according to the Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare.

对“遗体宾馆”的需求很可能会增加。据厚生劳动省称,去年日本有130万人死亡,比15年前增加了35%,预计每年的死亡人数会不断增加,直到达到2040年170万人的最高点。

About 37 percent of Japanese women who died last year were over 90, with few surviving friends to mourn them. And close to one-fifth of Japanese men never marry or father children, leaving behind few relatives to plan or attend funerals.

去年死亡的日本女性中有约37%超过90岁,几乎没有在世的朋友能来悼念。有近五分之一的日本男性从未结婚或养育子女,几乎没有可以筹划或参加他们的葬礼的亲属。

The number of people dying alone is also on the rise. In Tokyo, for example, the number of people over 65 who died alone at home more than doubled between 2003 and 2015, the latest year for which government figures are available.

独自死去的人数也在上升。比如,在东京,从2003年至2015年,65岁以上、在家里独自死去的人翻了一倍多——这是政府能提供的最新数据。

At the Hotel Relation in Osaka, about a third of the customers forgo a formal funeral. Instead, they sit in the rooms with their dearly departed for a day or two, with only close family in attendance, and then send the bodies for cremation.

在大阪的关连宾馆,约三分之一的顾客不打算举办正式的葬礼。他们选择在房间里与逝去的至亲待一两天,只有近亲在场,然后把遗体运往火葬场。

“In the past, if you heard someone held a funeral just for family members, people in the neighborhood would say, ‘What kind of people would hold a family-only funeral?’ But now it is accepted,” said Yoshihiro Kurisu, the hotel’s president.

“过去,如果听说谁举办仅限家庭成员参加的葬礼,街坊邻居们会说,‘什么样的人才会办只有家人参加的葬礼啊?’但是现在,这已经是可以接受的了,”该宾馆的总裁栗须吉弘(Yoshihiro Kurisu,音)说。

Corpse hotels are more economical than large funeral homes. According to the Japan Consumer Association, the average funeral in Japan runs 1.95 million yen, or about $17,690. The cheapest package at the Hotel Relation costs 185,000 yen, or about $1,768.

遗体宾馆比大型殡仪馆更经济。据日本消费者协会称,日本葬礼的平均花费为195万日元,约合17690美元。而关连宾馆的最低套餐价格为18.5万日元,约合1768美元。

The package includes flowers, a room for the family to spend the night in the same room as the corpse, a traditional white gown for the deceased, a simply decorated coffin, transport of the body from the hospital and then to the crematory, and an urn to hold the ashes. Each additional night costs 10,800 yen, just under $100. Families who want separate rooms, wakes or funerals pay extra.

套餐包括鲜花、家人和逝者共享的一个房间、逝者穿的传统白色袍子、简单装饰的灵柩、把遗体从医院运到宾馆以及从宾馆运到火葬场的交通,以及存放骨灰的骨灰盒。每多住一晚,多交1.08万日元,约合近100美元。如果想要单独的房间,增加守丧或追悼仪式,需要另外交费。

“Itai hoteru” first appeared about five years ago in Japan’s largest cities, and there are only a few across the country. Some have angered residents who do not want to live in such proximity to death and mourning.

“遗体宾馆”约五年前开始出现在日本的一些大城市,全国总共只有几家。有些宾馆会让附近的居民恼火,因为他们不想住在离死亡和哀悼这么近的地方。

Near the Sousou hotel in Kawasaki City, signs on fences protest, “Corpse storage: absolutely opposed!”

在川崎市的葬送宾馆附近,围栏上有一些标语抗议道:“遗体存放:坚决反对!”

At Iguchi’s tiny funeral ceremony last fall, a monk chanted last rites as his body rested in a coffin lined with white satin. Five guests, all relatives, sat in folding chairs nearby.

在去年秋天为井口举行的小型葬礼上,有一位僧人诵经,他的遗体躺在披挂白色绸缎的灵柩里。五位宾客全是亲属,坐在旁边的折叠椅上。

After the chanting, they rose to lay flowers and origami cranes on Iguchi’s body, making a bright garland around his head and on his chest.

诵经结束后,他们站起来,往井口的遗体上放鲜花和千纸鹤,在他的头部周围和胸口摆出一个鲜艳的花环。

His sister, Kunie Abe, leaned close to her brother’s ear. “So long,” she whispered.

他的妹妹阿部邦惠弯下腰,贴近哥哥的耳朵。“再见,”她轻声说。

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