Coffinman

How to wash and dress a Buddhist corpse

Shinmon Aoki

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My new job starts today, washing corpses and coffining them. It made me nervous just thinking about it, and I wanted to back out, except I’d already gone and told everybody a few days ago. Finally, I decided, hell, I’ll just do it.

There’s more to washing corpses than meets the eye. It’s not just bathing them. You’ve got to wipe them down with alcohol, put them in their white “Buddha-robes,” fix their hair and faces, put their hands together with an ojuzu [rosary]—all of this in preparation for coffining.

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