Lovingly appropriate choice by wacky inventor asserts that mom isn’t gone, she’s just resting.

Since moving to Japan, I’ve come to appreciate many of the country’s attitudes about life, such as pride in craftsmanship and considering the feelings of others when choosing your own actions. And at the same time, I’ve come to admire some of the ways Japan handles death.

In most Japanese family homes, you’ll find a butsudan, a cabinet-like Buddhist altar in which the ashes and photographs of deceased relatives are placed. The residents of the house regularly make offerings of incense, fruit, or sake to the spirits of the departed, as do family members who come to visit. When we visit my in-laws’ house, for example, generally the first thing my wife and I do is light some incense in the butsudan for her grandparents, and I really like the attitude that they’re not gone, but merely resting within the altar.

As with burial caskets in the west, butsudan are usually purchased from specialized manufacturers. But after Nobumichi Tosa’s (@MaywaDenki on Twitter) mother passed away on New Year’s Eve, he decided to make her butsudan himself, and out of some very meaningful materials.

Up until the time of her passing, Tosa’s mother had been living with his older sister. Originally, his sister was planning to throw away their mother’s now-unoccupied bed, but when Tosa saw the quality of the wood, as well as the hinges and handles for the storage compartments built into the frame, he realized he could repurpose the bed into a butsudan for her, which he did with beautiful results.

If that has you thinking that Tosa is a creative and handy individual, you’re totally right, as he’s also an artist, musician, and inventor who’s the head of creative team Maywa Denki. His best known invention? The baffling yet captivating instrument/musical toy Otamatone.

“I think my mom is smiling about this,” Tosa says of his mother’s custom-made butsudan, and considering she gets to continue resting comfortably in essentially the same bed that she’s become accustomed to, he’s probably right.

Source: Twitter/@MaywaDenki