Japanese funeral home ad re-creates skeleton with flowers

Eric Pfeiffer

It’s common practice to have a floral arrangement at a funeral. But a new ad for a Japanese funeral home is showcasing a unique twist by using pressed flowers to re-create the shape of the human skeleton.

The image, titled Life Is Endless, is composed of a variety of colorful flowers.

“The March 11th earthquake and tsunami had a traumatic effect on Japan. Issues of life and death, hope and despair, beauty and tragedy became an all too real part of people’s everyday lives,” reads a press release from Tokyo-based ad agency J&S BBDO, which created the image for the Nishinihon Tenrei funeral home. “Funerals became a commonplace ordeal as the nation dealt with unprecedented loss.”

J&S BBDO recently debuted the image at a trade show, saying it was created to counter the tradition in Japanese culture of funerals being “somber events accented with black and white.” The company said it was tasked with coming up with a concept that would “bend the tradition without being seen as disrespectful.”

The funeral industry in the U.S. has had some unusual moments of its own in recent years.

For example, in May 2012 a gold-plated coffin was put on sale for $35,000 that was based on the same model used for Michael Jackson after his death. That same month, a New England man was buried in a coffin made from the wood of a 103-year-old tree he had spent decades preserving.

And in March, a Philadelphia couple decided to turn their deceased relative’s funeral into a festive environment by getting married at his wake.