One in seven over-sixty Japanese have prepared for their death


Do you know the term 'shuukatsu'? graph of japanese statisticsA word that came into fashion about five or six years ago is 終活, shuukatsu, an abbreviation of the phrase “Activities for one’s end of life”, basically getting one’s finances, will, paperwork, funeral plan, etc all in order while one is still able, so as not to be too much bother for one’s relatives after kicking the bucket. This survey from @nifty looked at this subject, shuukatsu, end of life preparations.

I’ve got my grave prepared – it’s a family plot out in the wilds of Shiga prefecture for myself, my wife, and her parents. Since Japanese funerals are quite expensive, my wishes would be to get everything over and done with with the minimal of fuss and expense. I’ve still got a tonne of paperwork from the UK to sort out though…

At least my place looks prettier than here:

By 白蛇の騎士白蛇の騎士, GFDL, Link

Research results

Q1: Do you know the term “shuukatsu“? (Sample size=2,727)

Know it well20.2%
Know it67.7%
Don’t really know it10.2%
Don’t know it at all1.9%

Q2: Have you started your own shuukatsu, or at least discussed it? (Sample size=2,727)

Started already11.4%
Plan to start soon10.7%
Don’t have plan, but want to start when the time comes59.6%
Don’t plan to do at all18.3%

Not surprisingly, among the over-sixties 19% had already started and 17% planned to start soon. Furthermore, almost twice as many men as women (20.3% versus 10.8%) had no plan at all.

Q3: What are you doing, or thinking about doing, for your shuukatsu? (Sample size=2,727, multiple answer)

Sort out my assets40.4%44.2%
Plan my funds for the remainder of my life28.5%27.7%
Sort out my current insurance policies21.0%23.1%
Make a will18.3%19.4%
Prepare a funeral17.0%17.9%
Gather together details of subscribed-to services like telephone14.0%16.5%
Make up a list of relatives, friends and acquaintances13.0%19.8%
Distribute, sort out mementos12.4%20.8%
Prepare a burial plot11.4%11.7%
Write messages to dear friends8.8%14.2%
Write up a personal history5.8%2.9%
Set up an adult guardian for my children3.2%5.0%
Gather together information about pets1.6%4.6%
Nothing in particular26.8%14.0%
Don’t plan to do shuukatsu8.8%5.4%

Q4: From what age did you start thinking about shuukatsu, or when might you want to start? (Sample size=2,727)

Under 401%
40 to 441%
45 to 491%
50 to 543%
55 to 594%
60 to 6412%
65 to 6916%
70 to 7416%
75 to 7912%
80 years old or later6%
Don’t plan to decide when to start17%
Don’t plan to do shuukatsu12%

Q5: Why did you decide to start shuukatsu? (Sample size=2,727, multiple answer)

Don’t want to be a bother to my family43.7%66.9%
Want to be prepared if I become bedridden32.1%34.9%
I want to decide myself how to live out the end of my life21.1%21.2%
Want to spend the rest of life worry-free15.3%18.8%
Don’t want to be a bother to my friends19.9%10.8%
I want to tell my family my wishes for after I die11.0%14.4%
I want to look after everything17.0%11.3%
I want to sort out, review my life7.8%9.4%
I want to leave proof of my life2.4%3.7%
Got interested when it became a topic of discussion3.3%2.9%
Got interested after atended a family, friend’s funeral0.6%0.4%
No particular reason16.4%10.7%
Don’t plan to do shuukatsu13.3%9.2%

Q6: What uncertainties or worries do you have about shuukatsu? (Sample size=2,727, multiple answer)

Don’t know where to start17.4%22.7%
Worried whether I can do it thoroughly15.8%24.0%
Don’t know if I have enough money for the rest of my life12.2%20.8%
Don’t have anyone to talk to11.5%10.2%
Don’t know when to start10.3%9.8%
Worried things won’t progress according to my plans8.7%15.4%
How might my family, pets live after I die?8.9%12.5%
Don’t know how to prepare for my own funeral5.3%5.6%
Don’t know who or what to pass on as inheritance4.3%5.8%
Don’t know what to write in a will3.6%2.7%
Don’t know where I might wish to be interred2.1%4.0%
Cannot find out about my assets2.2%1.5%
Nothing in particular33.4%21.0%
Don’t have any worries about shuukatsu5.8%3.7%
Don’t plan to do shuukatsu11.8%7.3%

Q7: What wishes would you like to inform your family of regarding your funeral, grave, etc? (Sample size=2,727, multiple answer)

Ceremony style – private family style, public, etc35.4%37.9%
Funeral cost14.2%15.2%
Attendees and how to contact them10.1%13.1%
Burial method9.4%12.5%
What photo to use at the ceremony6.9%12.5%
Whether to be interred with ancestors or to buy a new grave5.3%8.1%
Funeral religion style6.0%4.0%
What to put along with me in the coffin4.6%9.2%
Where to hold the funeral5.5%5.4%
Funeral company4.4%3.8%
Posthumous Buddhist name3.5%3.8%
Headstone shape, cost2.6%5.6%
Chief mourner for funeral2.6%1.7%
Who should give a memorial address1.2%0.4%
Nothing in particular49.6%35.4%


Between the 10th and 16th of March 2017 2,727 members of the @Nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was provided.

Read more on: ,,,

Leave a Comment