In Japan you can rent a Buddhist monk to perform funerals and other rituals, via Amazon.
The “Mr. Monk Delivery” offers a basic service which includes the monk, transportation and a donation, for ¥35,000 ($300). The costs go up for extras.
The monks go to a home, funeral hall or a grave to perform the requested ceremony.
Akisato Saito, director of the Japan Buddhist Association, is cross about this: “Such a thing is allowed in no other country in the world. In this regard, we must say we are disappointed by an attitude toward religion by Amazon.”
But the service is proving popular and the provider claims its orders have tripled over the past five years The company has 400 monks on its books across Japan.
Japanese regard the service as a consumer-friendly approach to Buddhist rituals, which can be extremely expensive.
Buddhist-style memorial services offered by temples comparable to the “monk delivery” could cost as ¥100,000 ($830). Funerals can cost well over ¥1 million ($8,500).
Picture source: Noel F. Singer via Wikimedia Commons