9/29/2007

Otsuya ??? Dinner at Otsuya ???

I will write about Otsuya today in case you do not know what it is. Like this friend's death, the news came from a friend of the group. When I heard it, it was Sunday afternoon. The friend said " He passed away around 2:00 a.m. and the Otsuya is planned Monday night. " Usually, the next night is Otsuya. The start is around 6:00 p.m. usually. It is better to arrive at the ceremony site early enough or on time. What we wear is same as other countries , I guess. If you are family of the person, you would wear black kimono with family emblem. ( especially women wear kimono ) I wore black one piece with pearl necklace and earrings. no manicure, no flashy accessories. The pearl necklace has to be single string. ( since it is not a good news and if the string is double or triple, the image gives you the bad news will repeat. ) When you write your name at the registration , you write your name and address. You are supposed to bring a condolence money wrapped in special envelope. ( You can easily find them at convenience stores. ) If you know the person from business or something and not that close, 5,000 yen is fine. If you are close, 10,000 yen or more. Also, if you are old enough , it is better to avoid 5,000 yen, I guess. ( Ask other Japanese people's opinion , please ! ) Then, the ceremony starts. The monk starts the sutra and you will be invited to offer incense to the person in front of the photo and the coffin. After that, there will be a dinner served at the tables. I would say, if I don't know the person well enough, I would decline. This time, I was close enough and there were other close friends also, so, we decided to go up stairs and start having beers , sushi and other dishes. We talked about the dead friend and recalled good memories. We also put the beer and food in front of his photo.

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