, Research Paper
Death in the Kojiki Religion Vs. The Christians of Ireland
Every culture is different. They all have their own beliefs, customs, and traditions. But, all people are the same. We all are born, live, and die. Every culture handles death a little differently. Even though all cultures have differences, all cultures share common beliefs and traditions with some other cultures. All of us are also human, and experience the same emotions when we deal with emotional situations, like death. But even though we all share the same emotions, people in different cultures handle them differently.
The Christians of Ireland s practices are similar to all other Christian burial practices. When someone dies, they are kept in a wake house , which is traditionally the house where they lived and died. Traditionally, people placed salt on the bed, which was believed to keep evil and ghosts away from the mourners. People may still do this because it makes them feel more at ease, even though they do not believe that it has any effect. Candles are also placed around the bed. Friends and family walk into the room where the dead is lying, and say a prayer for their soul. In Irish custom, everyone shares a smoke of tobacco, which was important to have at a wake. It probably helped people be more at ease, and be able to share their feelings and cope with their loss. The friends and family of the deceased sit around and talk of how good of a person the deceased had been. They also share all of their memories of the dead, showing respect for and honoring the dead as they did. They also talked so they would forget their sorrow. The mourners later put the body in a coffin and carry it to the graveyard, taking a long route. This was done to fool the other ones , fairies and the dead who have died before. If anyone was walking along the road and met the procession, they would walk along with it for a ways and say a prayer. After the funeral rites are done, people leave the grave one by one. The men go to the pub, and the women to home. They believed that too much mourning was not good for the dead.
Some believed that on a day when more than one burial was taking place, the deceased carried in the last of the processions to reach the cemetery had to take care of the other dead souls buried that day. The Irish also believed that the other ones took the young ones, but everyone goes at the end. They believed that the death of a young person was unnatural, like a murder, but they realized that the death because of old age is natural.
Another religion is the Kojiki, which is a Japanese religion. There are similarities to the Irish Christians but also some significant differences in their burial rituals. The Kojiki would wrap the corpse in white silk, in a crouching position. Yellow silk was used around the head. The Ajio, the most important male relative, would come to confirm that the death was natural and that the family had treated the deceased with the utmost of care and respect. Xiaobu, a funeral bread, is baked, torn in pieces, and passed around to the related families and villages. This ritual is called poxiao . The coffin was usually painted with motifs, different for each person and type of death. The procession is made up of family, villages and xiaozi, who are old women wailing loudly. The Irish Christians also did this. It was called keening . They sang and wailed about the person s life and virtues over their gravesite. Unlike the Irish, the Kojiki s cremated the deceased. At the cremation site, butter, paper and the funeral bread are placed with the coffin. The oldest xiaozi is given a long branch to light the fire beneath the coffin.
It was believed that if for any reason the ceremony was forgotten, the dead would come back to haunt the family of the deceased. Survivors wanted to join their loved ones. Some maidservants did sacrifice themselves for their mistresses. After the cremation, the loss was not spoken of only through literature. Their pain was very sheltered. One of the most known writings is The Tale of Ginji. It deals with Genjis love affairs and how he dealt with the loss of his love, wanting to die to be with her in Yomi, the land of the dead, what Irish Christians would call Heaven.
Both of these cultures dealt with their pain differently but yet somewhat the same as well. Neither talked of their losses after the burial or cremation but dealt with it through other methods; the Irish dealt with it by drinking and smoking while the Kojitis through writing. Both believed that too much mourning was not good for the soul. As far as the burial or cremation rituals of the two, they shared likenesses but differences as well, such as the wailing women for the deceased or the prevention methods of ghosts and spirits. All in all, the basis of death for both of these religions is pain no matter how it was dealt with or practiced.