Video Duration 24 minutes 50 seconds
From: 101 East

When I Die: Inside Japan’s Death Industry

101 East explores how Japan’s funeral industry is getting creative as the ageing nation runs out of space for the dead.

Sumiko hops into a coffin and lies down, testing it for size. For her, it is a chance to “try before you die”.

The 40-year-old woman is among a growing number of Japanese taking a proactive approach to planning their funeral, sparking a booming death industry.

In 2014, approximately 1.26 million people died in Japan. And with an ageing population, that number is estimated to continue rising until 2042.

Japan is running out of space to bury the dead, and traditional funerals have become expensive as a result. The death industry and temples are trying to get creative by finding innovative, affordable ways to send their clients into the afterlife. We take a look at how Japan says its final goodbyes.

What do you think of Japan’s unique approach to death and funerals? #whenidie Join the conversation @AJ101East