TOKYO – The Japan Buddhist Federation has criticized the Japanese subsidiary of online retail giant Amazon for offering to supply monks to conduct funerals and memorials, media outlets said Friday.
The service “puts into question the attitude that Amazon has towards religion,” the Federation said in a statement, reiterating its opposition to linking religious services to the profit motive.
Monks who officiate Buddhist funerals or memorials traditionally do so in exchange for a donation whose amount varies according to the regions and other factors, Japanese daily Mainichi said.
Those donations must not be considered direct compensation, nor should conducting services be considered a product, the Federation emphasized.
MinRebi, the distributor of the services through the Japanese subsidiary of Amazon, offers the services of a monk for funerals and memorials from $266, a sum that covers transport costs, donation, and other expenses, according to the company.
On its Web site, MinRebi says it aims to cater to the needs of people with different lifestyles and those who wish to hold funerals and memorials according to Buddhist tradition but are not affiliated with any specific temple.