A 23-year-old undertaker won a contest at Japan’s biggest funeral expo on Thursday that tested ancient skills in the ritual dressing of the dead.
“I practiced every day to prepare for this competition,” said a smiling Rino Terai after her win over three other finalists.
“I took videos and made improvements by asking myself, does this look beautiful? Am I treating the deceased kindly?”
Japan’s Shinto religion believes that the soul is impure shortly after death and the process of dressing a body - usually in front of close relatives only - purifies the deceased spirit before it is sent off to the “other world”.
Japan’s ageing society has increased demand for undertakers with special skills, said Kimura Kouki, head of the Okuribito Academy.
“There are about 2,000 undertakers whose expertise is in dressing the deceased, but their skills vary a lot,” he said.
“I wanted this competition to be a way to spur undertakers to improve their skills.”（Reuters）
drop-dead/drop dead：口語，指極其引人注目的。例句：She is drop-dead gorgeous! （她美呆了！）drop-dead還可指最終截止期限。例句：That is our drop-dead offer.（這是我們最後的提議。）
spur：名詞，指激勵因素、支柱、公路或鐵路的支線；動詞，指策馬前進或加速、鞭策、急速前進。例句：Such books serve as a spur to children’s imagination.（這類書籍能激發孩童的想像力。）