Departures Imagery

Departures Imagery

The three coffins

The imaged invoked by the three coffins is important for the main character. While his mother died, Daigo never got to see and feel like death is something real. Or him, death existed but it didn’t affect his life in a major way. When Daigo sees the coffins for the first time, he realizes that death is powerful and that is something that invokes both fear and respect. Instead of terrifying him, the coffins make him have more respect for the dead and for the job he and his employer will perform.

First dead body

The first dead body Daigo sees is the body of a deceased old woman who was found after two weeks of her death. Because of this, the body was badly decomposed and in a really bad shape. While the image of the body is not shown in the film, Daigo’s reaction and the way he behaved after he arrived at the office gives the viewer a hint on what state the body was in. The image of the dead woman’s body will continue to affect Daigo and will also affect the way he sees death.

Brought to life

The scene when Daigo and his boss performs a funeral ritual on a recently deceased lady portrays the job of mortician very differently from how it was portrayed when Daigo encountered for the first time the body of a deceased old woman. The preparation of the body is presented as being very sober and elegant and with the clear purpose of leaving the impression that the dead person is still somehow alive. It at first, the body had a grey tint after make-up is applied the dead body looks as if it were alive. The way the body looks in the end has a great effect on the family of the deceased and the husband even tells Diago that his wife never looked more alive than in that moment.


After Mika finds out about her husband’s occupation, her image about him changes completely. If at first, he was the loving husband who took care of her, now Daigo was filthy and she even refuses to let him touch her, telling him that he is dirty. This image she has about Daigo is given by the job he has. In the Japanese culture, dead bodies are considered to be unclean and those who touch the dead bodies become unclean as well. Because of this, the idea that her husband could work with dead bodies is repulsive to Mika and it also affects the way she sees her husband.

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