A company in Japan has invented a so-called ‘DIY coffin’ to help keep funeral costs from spiralling out of control.
The coffins are manufactured by the Tsubasa Public Utility Company, and retail for around £200, excluding delivery costs.
The product could help families struggling with the cost of funerals, considering the average UK funeral currently costs almost £4,000, according to moneyadviceservice.org.
What comes with the DIY coffin kit?
The coffin itself is made of a plywood-type material, and comes with a viewing hatch for the option of an open casket ceremony.
According to the company website, the DIY coffin has the following dimensions:
Length: 180cm (5.9 feet)Width: 48cm (1.5 feet)Height: 38.4cm (1.25 feet)
At just under six feet long and 1.5 feet wide, the coffin might not be suitable for larger people.
It comes with a duvet set including a pillow, a mattress, and comforters, as well as wrapping cloths.
The company also provides an urn in case customers opt for a cremation rather than a burial, as well as a silver box described on the website as a “bone box”. Finally, anyone purchasing the coffin set will be given a DIY funeral handbook, explaining how to organise a funeral.
Shinohara Norifumi, the CEO of Tsubara Public Utility Co, told reporters that the handbook “contains information on how to carry the body, how to lay it down, and when actually cremating, how to make an appointment, how to pay, how to do it at the crematory, those things are explained.”
The coffin, which is assembled in a similar way to flat-pack furniture, may truly be ‘do-it-yourself’, but anyone thinking of buying it will still need the help of professionals, as the cost of preparing the body and booking the funeral parlour are not included.
Even so, the price of traditional coffins can cost thousands of pounds, and many people find themselves in financial difficulty as a result.
Moneyadviceservice.org says, “It’s unlikely that the person who has died would want you to get yourself into debt to pay for the funeral. It’s not wrong or disrespectful to give thought to funeral costs.”
In cases where relatives are unable to afford the cost of burial, the local council or hospital can arrange a public health funeral, which usually involves a cremation.