Departures Irony

Departures Irony

Boy or girl

The first scene of the film presents a funeral ritual performed on a young dead woman. The scene is presented as being very tragic and sober until one point when the cleaning process starts. Then, Daigo notices that the person he thought to be a woman is actually a man. The sobriety of the scene is then changed rapidly to a more ironical state when Daigo questions the dead boy’s parents if he should put make-up on the corpse that is suitable for a girl or for a man.


Daigo decides to try apply for the job after he saw an ad in a newspaper, thinking that he will have to work in a tourism company that deals with ‘’departures’’. Ironically, when Daigo arrives at the office where he was supposed to give an interview, he sees coffins lined up against the wall and is meet by a secretary who is both shocked and amused to see that Daigo doesn’t really know for what job he is applying. When the boss arrive, it is revealed that the ad contained a typo and instead of advertising a job position that deals with funeral rituals, it ended up giving the impression that it is an ad for a position in a travel company.

Left by the one he expected the less

Daigo’s wife is presented from the beginning as being open minded and tolerant. She supports her husband and when he proposes that they should move from the city, she agreed almost immediately. Because of this, it is ironical to see how she was the one who judged Daigo the most for his job as a mortician. She even put him in the tough position of choosing between her and the job he has. When Daigo refused to leave his job for her, she left and moved to Tokyo.

Dead chicken

The first experience Daigo had with a dead body was not an ideal one because of the fact that the person died a few weeks before the body was discovered and thus it was in an advanced state of decomposition. Ironically, in the same day when Daigo had to deal with the decomposed corpse, his wife decided to serve him for dinner raw chicken, which immediately reminded Daigo of the corps he encountered earlier that day.

Helped by the one he criticized

One of the first people to criticize Daigo because of his choice to work in the funeral industry is one of his former classmates, Yamashita. Ironically, Daigo is the one who prepares the dead body of Yamashita’s mother after she suddenly passed away. After that, Yamashita is forced to admit that the job Daigo does has a powerful impact in the lives of those he helps.

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