Is visiting a grave a DFing offence in Japan?

by wifibandit 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • wifibandit

    In a post at the exjw sub-reddit a user, UrsusAractus, posted a link to a site showing a secret ossuary/mausoleum built a few years after the Chiba Assembly Hall was constructed.

    As to why this is of note, he said in part:

    In Japan, cremation is the norm for burials, and most either inter the ashes in a family plot (with many other deceased relatives) in a Buddhist ceremony, or bring them home to be placed on the family Buddhist altar. Witnesses, however, simply have the crematorium staff dispose of the ashes, as interring them requires a social obligation of visiting the grave, which is a disfellowshipping offense here (it's seen as ancestor worship).

    Does anyone know about this? I've never heard of this.

  • cappytan

    I can't see it officially being a disfellowshipping offense...

    Although I could see it being one of those things that calls your "exemplariness" into question.

  • Vidiot
    Considering how few JWs there are in Japan, I don't imagine it makes much difference.
  • Bonsai

    To Vidiot: I see JWs everywhere I go here. They are everywhere.

    Most JWs dispose of the ashes or take them home and store them in a closet. It is not a punishable offense to visit a grave for the purpose of maintenance or cleaning. It is a disfellowshipping offense to take part in "ohakamaeri'" which involves visiting the grave and giving a Buddhist prayer for the deceased person's soul. Some people who have the money buy a plot of land, but they keep it a secret so as not to stumble anyone. There are some local congs though where the overlords are powerful and demand that the ashes of deceased family members be disposed of. Elderlords here have oodles of power and are not afraid to wield it!

    On a side note, i have been to the Chiba Assembly Hall a few times and have never noticed that area. Next time i will climb the fences and see if i can get a good look!

  • Vidiot


    I'd read that JW membership in Japan was in serious decline.

  • Bonsai
    I haven't looked at the latest yearbooks, but its quite possible you are right Vidiot. The huge boom of the 70s and 80s has long since ended. What I do know is they cover my neighborhood quite often and I run into them all the time. Having preached here for years I can tell you that they are active and very zealous with tens of pioneers in each congregation. They do suffer from a shortage of elders and male publishers, though.

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