Japanese garden pictures giclee are so soothing in a stressed day. In honor to that level of freedom, I created this digital artwork.
In 1990, while shooting our feature film “The Candidate”, we had to use a location in this Japanese ash cemetery near São Paulo.
I had never been to gardens with such calm and comforting feeling of respectful celebration. I told the still photographer to take some extra pictures of the place for me to keep.
I knew some day I would need them for something.
Funerals are 90% guided as Buddhist liturgies since Japan became a more secular order.
With the doom of a person, relatives moisturize their lips, a gesture set to prepare the passage known as “water of the last moment”.
The Japanese have cultural habits both from Buddhism and Shintoism, and most households have places of worship for both, that are practiced in syncretism.
I saw ceremonies in which they covered the body with some sort of white parchment. They told me that procedure is necessary to “keep the maculate spirits away from the deceased one”.
Next, they placed a small table arranged with a candle, flowers, and incense near the body, but I could not make anything out of that since nobody was near me when it happened. I could only guess it has some sort of protection or purification symbolism.
The eldest son is usually the one responsible for the arrangements that begin with scheduling the funeral event with the temple.
The Chinese lunar system dictates which are the most appropriate days for funeral visitations.
Reincarnation and aftermath are the bases of the Buddhist beliefs. Therefore, funeral rites are a preparation to help the deceased on making that transition from life to the afterlife or the cycle of rebirth.
All that very detailed ceremonial may seem a bit exaggerated to some people, but, done in the very tranquil and respectful way that they do it, seems such a warm way of guiding someone’s soul to another dimension.
If you believe in that sort of thing, like I do, it ends up bringing a warm feeling of relief from the crazy world we live in.