Tuesday, May 13, 2008

49 day service

First, I want to apologize if I am overloading your rss readers. I am trying to add tags to some old posts. I guess Blogger added this feature after I started my blog. :(

Sunday was the 49 day service for my father-in-law. We held the service at the church his family goes to, Hiden-in, which is on the grounds of Sennyuji, in Higashiyama, Kyoto.

Most of the same relatives showed up with the addition of a few more.

Luckily, the service was performed on chairs, so we didn't have to sit on our knees. I was disappointed because we do the same prayers every time. I thought that maybe there would be different prayers for the different stages that the deceased goes through. Satoshi was a bit disappointed by the service, the priest doesn't give a sermon at the end of the prayers. He thought that the priest should be there to explain different topics to "help the living cope with death". I guess services are different from what I've experienced in Hawaii and different from the ones that Satoshi has gone to in Japan.

Since the service was at 15:00, my mother-in-law wanted to serve a "light dinner" after. She asked the priest if we could borrow their large tatami room and she ordered food.

She told them to bring it by 16:00 because the service would only take an hour. Well, they came at 16:00 to set up.

They sent 1 guy to set up kaiseki (meal served in delicate courses) for 16 people! If you've ever gone to a ryokan (Japanese inn), you'll know that kaiseki has many dishes and is arranged "just so".

Satoshi and his brother had to help the guy lug in all the 10 different dishes, and my sister-in-law and I had to put everything onto everyone's tray! It was crazy! We had to constantly apologize to our "guests" for the mishap!

Then we were looking for the beer and tea that we ordered, he didn't have it. He was "just the delivery guy". Oh, but he brought 2 cases of beer glasses and sake ochoko (the little cups to drink sake with)!

He put out the sauce for the fried fish, but realized that he didn't have enough bowls for everyone. He had to borrow from the church! The wife of the priest wasn't too happy. Even she had to help with the passing out of the food!

Satoshi and his brother had to go out to buy some beer and tea, since the delivery guy said it would take over 20 minutes for him to drive back to the restaurant...they came back just in time to eat.

Despite the mishaps, everyone seemed to enjoy the meal.

Just as everyone was leaving, the delivery guy and ryoricho (chef) came to apologize--they brought cream puffs (as if they could calm our anger with sweets).

I felt as though I worked an 8 hour shift (I think I did!) and we were all glad that the service was over.

Here were some of the wagashi (Japanese sweets) that we received. At the top, Kanshundo's shihori--a creamy sweet white bean filling with a thin coating on the outside.

Kogetsu's sujakuooji--a sweet white bean filling with a thicker coating on the outside.

Lastly, we also received some plain mochi (rice cake), I broke them up into little pieces and will dry them for a week, then fry them up to make kakimochi (rice crackers)....stay tuned for the results of this (I hope they don't get moldy in the process..).


tamakikat said...

Oh what an awful way to end the service. Did you pre-pay for the kaiseki suppers? I wonder if you could refuse payment for shoddy service.

K & S said...

I know, Tamakikat! My mother-in-law was going to speak the the funeral home guy because he was the one that arranged everything. I don't think she paid for the meals yet. Hopefully she won't have to pay.

Take care.

Lori said...

So to hear about the dinner service. That's terrible that you folks had to work serving and going to buy drinks.

Looking forward to see if that kakimochi works out! :)

K & S said...

Thanks Lori, will definitely keep you posted on the kakimochi :)

Take care.