Thursday, April 28, 2011

the 49th day after death

In the affected areas, Buddhist memorial services were held on April 28th that marked the 49th day after death. 
It is thought that the souls of the dead alternate between the afterworld and this world during the seven weeks after death in most buddhist sects. The dead are judged by Yama(the King of Hell) every seven days and Yama decides whether the dead could go to the heaven(Amitabha's Pure Land) on the day.

Remains of the deceased pray that the dead can go to the heaven during the period. Bereaved families come to terms with their family member's death during the period. Most of them place the dead's ashes in their tombs on the day.

However, 11,432 people are still missing although the Japan Self-Defense Forces and others have been searching for them.

On April 26th, 25 years have passed since a large-scale radiation leak occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in 1986.

On April 25th, an actress's funeral was held in Japan. She debuted as a member of an idol trio, retired five years later and made a comeback as an actress since then.

Her best knowm film is "Black Rain(黒い雨, Kuroi Ame) " directed by Shohei Imamura in 1989. He depicted the real nature of human beings in his films.

The film is based on the novel of Masuji Ibuse and the novel is based on the diaries of atomic bombing victims. It depects the horror of radioactive rain called black rain and residual radioactivity, a lack of understanding about atomic bomb disease and discrimination against atomic bombing victims.

It was shown at the Cannes International Film Festival. When I read a movie critic's review that the film emphasized that Japanese people were victims during the war and lack understanding of themselves as aggressors, I was stunned by the fact that he never thought that radiation exposure could be a problem for himself although only three years had passed since the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl.

The actress left a message recorded on her sickbed for her farewell service. she condoled with the quake and tsunami victims at the beginning. She told that she wanted to be of service to the dead from the quake and tsunami if she went to the heaven, she had a very happy life but wanted to continue to act more and more and appreciated everybody.

She maintained a friendship with the other members of the idol trio. They knew that she had been fighting against breast cancer for nearly twenty years and didn't have that much time. They were in at the finish with her family and made the main speech at her funeral.

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