By Oona McGee, SoraNews24 – Japan Today
Love dolls have been the subject of exhibitions and the object of affections for a number of people around the world in recent years, and as their appearances become increasingly lifelike, they’ve come to be seen as more than just bed partners but life partners as well.
However, when a doll companion comes to the end of their life, what’s a caring partner to do? Now there’s a service that promises to put love dolls to rest in a respectful way, complete with funeral rites led by Japanese monk and AV actress Rei Kato.
The service is being offered by Human Love Doll Company, who believes “love dolls are born to be loved”. In Japan, it’s widely believed that all types of dolls have souls like humans, making it bad luck to throw them out with the garbage, so a number of shrines and temples hold services where owners can depart with their cherished dolls in funerary-like fashion.
However, given the stigma surrounding love dolls, there’s no such service for life-sized silicone companions. The disposal of love dolls is particularly problematic in Japan as large-sized waste needs to be picked up separately via pre-paid reservation with local disposal companies, and if they’re illegally dumped there’s a risk of it being mistaken as a possible murder case.
Identifying this void in the market for departing love dolls, Human Love Doll Company aims to give these silicon companions and their partners the respectful ceremony they deserve, with a choice of plans available.
The standard Doll Funeral Plan costs 50,000 yen, and includes a funeral and memorial service, with the owner receiving a a funeral certificate and a commemorative photo or video of the ceremony.
For those looking to send their doll to the afterlife on a budget, there’s the Joint Funeral Plan for 30,000 yen, which includes everything in the standard plan, only the ceremony will be conducted with other dolls at the same time, and owners receive a commemorative photo only.
Those who want to go all-out on their silicone partner can opt for the Doll Angel Funeral Plan, priced at 90,000 yen, which includes everything in the standard plan, but with the following additional extras: the owner can attend the funeral in person, doll parts will be disassembled carefully before disposal, a letter will be read to the doll, and a part of the doll will be sent to the owner after the ceremony as a treasured keepsake.
Funeral services are conducted in Osaka’s Higashiosaka city, and after their souls have been laid to rest during the ceremony, the dolls are sent off to be processed by a highly certified industrial waste disposal company nearby that have partnered with the Human Love Doll Company.
It’s not only love dolls that are being given formal sendoffs either, as ball-jointed dolls, regular dolls, stuffed animals and figurines are also being taken care of by the company, with rates provided on request.
It’s a nice way to say thank you to your cherished companions before sending them off to the afterlife, and as decluttering guru Marie Kondo says, it’s always important to say “thank you” to things before bidding them goodbye.
Source: Value Press