Saturday, September 12, 2009

Going Out In Style

'In Japan, hearses can come in two styles: "Foreign" style, which is similar in build and style to an American hearse, or a "Japanese" style, in which the rear area of the vehicle is modified to resemble a small, ornate Buddhist temple. This generally requires the rear of the vehicle to be extensively altered; commonly, the rear roof is cut away from the front windows back and all interior parts are removed from the rear as well. The ornate Buddhist-style rear area, generally constructed of wood and in which the casket or urn is placed, is built on top of this empty cavity and most often is wider than the base of the vehicle, so that it sticks out on the sides, over the rear body panels.'

There are regional differences of ornaments. The one in this picture is Nagoya style, so not only the upper half of the body is decorated, but the lower half as well. Kansai style has relatively modest unpainted decorations, Kanazawa style is known for having a red body (other styles mostly have black bodies) with gilded ornaments, and Tokyo style, found everywhere else in Japan, features painted/gilded ornaments only on the upper half of the body. (Source of info Wikipedia)

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