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On Friday, September 14th, we received word from Kenji’s aunt that his Grandmother had finally passed away after being in the hospital in a coma for almost two months. After calling his parents, and our work to let everyone know what was going on, we headed down to Kanagawa for the funeral on Sunday. Along for the ride was Kenji’s uncle who lives in Maebashi, who wanted to ride with us since he was worried about an incoming typhoon stopping the trains.

The ceremonies on Sunday were sort of the “pre-event”, called otsuya, although in a lot of ways it mirrors the actual funeral to be held the next day. Kenji’s aunt and uncle had gotten us, and other family members, rooms at a nice nearby hotel. And that night, the typhoon rolled in. Luckily, Kenji’s parents had made it to the airport Sunday night, but about an hour away from the funeral place on Monday, their train stopped, so they had to take a taxi. Finally they arrived, and after the Buddhist ceremony, we headed to the crematorium to wait for the body to be burned. After transferring the ashes to an urn, the final part of the funeral was putting the urn into the family grave at the temple. It was a long day, and we drove home that evening, so we were both exhausted on Tuesday. Luckily, Kenji had the day off and I the morning, so we were able to get a little rest before going back to work.

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The sigh for the funeral

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Typhoon weather Monday morning

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First Buddhist ceremony on Monday

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Waiting at the crematorium, a process which takes about an hour

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Kenji and I, and his parents. It was VERY windy, hence my awful hair

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At the cemetery

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Dinner after

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Saying goodbyes

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The temple