The Japanese tradition of visiting ancestral graves during the Bon summer holidays has been largely disrupted by the new coronavirus outbreak. Some families are asking a local cemetery headstone maker in the western prefecture of Tottori to send its staff to their family graves.
On Monday, a staff member was seen cleaning and polishing the headstone of a family grave on behalf of a woman who lives in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan.
The company in Tottori City has been providing this substitute service for about 10 years. It says as more people have refrained from visiting the homes of their parents this year, it has received orders for the service from more than 60 families. The figure amounts to an increase of about 30 percent compared with past years.
The company says it will finish cleaning all the graves by Tuesday, and offer flowers and incense the following day. It will send photos of the service to its clients.
A worker at the company expressed readiness to assist families anxious to pay tribute to their ancestors amid this difficult time of the pandemic.