Shinmon Aoki

Coffinman: The Journal of a Buddhist Mortician

by Shinmon Aoki

Coffinman is the autobiography of Shinmon Aoki and his experiences of working as a nokanfu (mortician). Through his profession as a mortician, Shinmon Aoki comes to understand the philosophy of Shin Buddhism (Jodo Shinshu), and the Jodo Shinshu view of death and dying.

This story looks at one man’s very personal struggle to engage his Shin Buddhist faith (the ideas from Jodo Shinshu in Japan) to make sense of his experiences with the dead and dying. Shinmon Aoki is forced by extreme financial circumstances into a job in one of the most despised professions in Japanese society, that of the nokanfu, one who washes and prepares dead bodies for burial. Shunned by family and friends and burdened by his own initial revulsion for his work, Aoki throws himself into the job with a fervor that attracts the attention of the townsfolk and earns him the title of Coffinman. In this spiritual autobiography, Aoki chronicles his progression from repulsion to a gradual realization of the tranquility that accompanies death. He assists the uninitiated in gaining an understanding of the basic principles of Shin Buddhism and its concepts of death and dying. Also included are definitions of key terms and phrases and a bibliography.

een recensie op internet, een tweede,

een site over de dood in het boeddhisme, en nog wat info vanuit antroposofisch /theosofisch / boeddhistische hoek

over shinboeddhisme (in België)

en over de 5 kanda’s

over boeddhistische begrafenisrituelen


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