Japanese life is, no doubt, getting busier every single day that communal ties to Buddhist temples are gradually fading. The practice of finding a monk online for ritual purposes has long been done by different families. It provided ease and comfort to those who have a hard time looking for a monk. Recently, Amazon allowed a Tokyo-based provider, Minrevi Co., to offer “Mr. Monk Delivery” on its website.
Every person is uncertain when they will lose a loved one in life. What makes it more difficult are the uncertainties related to the cost of funeral services and other ritual ceremonies. This is the reason why Minrevi Co. started offering the monk delivery service.
A typical plan for a monk, inclusive of his services and transportation, is worth 35,000 yen or 300 dollars if you order them online. This price is regarded as budget friendly as the company offering it is known as an emerging budget company. One would usually pay 100,000 yen or 830 dollars to a comparable service offered by other companies. Some prices are even as outrageous as nearly one million yen!
Delivering a monk online has been criticized by many people as something that commercializes religion. Some also say that the service is only done in Japan which makes it a big disappointment in people’s attitude towards religion. However, regarding financial reasons, temples have long been struggling to survive. One reason for this is the lack of donation and income-generating businesses for it to flourish. This kind of service online may change people’s behavior towards religion and prevent further closure of major temples.
With the company’s initial offer on Amazon site, around 100 monks started registering for the delivery service and another 400 made reservations already. The monks believe that there’s no point in being a monk if they cannot extend their service to people. This is definitely one of the ways to do so for the internet age.
What do you think of the monk delivery service offered by Amazon? Is it a yay or a nay?