3rd Death Cafe at Hirosaki Gakuin University


A Death Café was held in the learning commons on the evening on October 25th. 10 students, teachers, and community members gathered to talk about death while drinking tea and eating sweets. This third and final death café of 2021 was notable in that participants came from not only Hirosaki city, but also Aomori city and Kyoto.


The Death Café began with each participant introducing themselves and stating their reasons for attending. The attendants at this Death Café had either attended Death Cafés previously or were death practitioners. As a result, both the reasons for attending and the discussion that arose was focused more on societal ideas surrounding death, sharing cross cultural views on death practices, and the sorts of changes happening to systems surrounding death and dying in Japan and America.


One unique topic that was discussed was centered on the problem of what people might do with a family grave if there is no one to look after the site. As in Japan it is the role of surviving family members to care for the grave those who have departed, there is an increasing problem of abandoned graves which have no one to care for them.


At the end of the event participants filled out an evaluation form. Comments were mainly positive with nearly all participants expressing a desire to join future Death Cafes. It was noted, however, that as many of the participants had been to Death Cafés before, or were death practitioners, it was difficult for everyone to have time to speak.





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