By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

Over the years, I’ve been shown a few photos carried around by surviving spouses and parents of children that show their beloved in a casket. I recall that one of my uncles in South Carolina always carried around a photo of my aunt in her casket in his wallet and showed it to almost everyone he met. For many years, I thought the practice was limited to the US until one day a young man from Denmark who’d practiced karate here sent me a photo of his deceased young daughter in a casket.

I’ve always thought it to be an odd way of remembering someone who’s died, but I guess it provides solace for the survivors. As for me, I think it’s far better to snap a photo of the person before they die, since having viewed so many dissection videos in my classes, I can easily tell when I’m looking at a corpse.

Unlike the Japanese-American funeral photos I wrote about before which serve as attendance records, these seem unique because they seem to serve as reminders of the last physical form of the deceased.


何年にもわたって残された配偶者や両親に繰り返されて亡くなった方の棺内の遺体写真を見せられてきた。サウスカロライナ州に住んでいた叔父さんが叔母の死後の棺内の顔写を常に財布に持ち歩き、すぐに出して見せる行動を覚えている。長い間、そのまれにみれる習慣はアメリカ独特のものだと思ったが、 ある日、日本で空手を稽古したデンマーク人から亡くなった娘さんの棺内の写真が送られてきた。

私にとって、亡くなった方を思い出す方法として変わった習慣だけど、残された方を癒してくれるだろう。しかし、ネットでの解剖授業で死体ビデオを数多く見た私には一目で『死んでいる』と判るので何とも言えない違和感を感じる 。まだ生きている間に写真を撮った方が何倍もいいだといつも思う。



English books by Billy Hammond published by AELS



I. Majoh Gakuin and Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools Trilogy

1. Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools

2. Lost Witch (The second book)

3. Fate & Magic (The final book in the trilogy)

II. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire Trilogy

1. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire

2. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Returns

3. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Challenges (The final book in the trilogy)

III. Fantasy fiction set in Japan

1. 21st Century Ninja

2. Regressed

3. Japanese Woman

IV. Fantasy fiction set outside of Japan

1. Dimension Jumpers