I enjoyed Alex Cordero’s article about Halloween and the Day of the Dead. And yes, we humans are indeed most creative in our efforts to prevent the grim reaper from pouring vinegar into the tasty punch of life.
So yes, for centuries already my fellow Mexicans have celebrated “El Dia de los Muertos” (The Day of the Dead). On that day, families gather to honor their dead by enjoying life … they eat, they drink, and they make merry.
But my favorite death story comes from Japan. It’s the one in which Ikku Jippensha, the irrepressible humorist of the Samurai period, arranged his own funeral by entrusting to his closest friends some sacred Buddhist scrolls, with instructions that they were to place them within the folds of his robe before he was cremated.
Those scrolls, however, turned out to be spectacular aerial fireworks – which, when ignited at his pyre, lit up the night sky in a dazzling display of colors and provided a grand finale to all who attended his funeral. Thus, not only did Jippensha go out in blazing glory, but he also had the last laugh … and sent everyone home in happy spirits.