Rent-A-Monk

No monk? No problem, says Amazon Japan. As communal ties to Buddhist temples weaken throughout Japan, many are at a loss as to how to find a monk to perform memorial services when a loved one dies. But now Amazon Japan offers “Obo San Bin” or “Mr. Monk Delivery” for just these situations.

The basic plan offered through Minrevi Co. on Amazon costs 35,000 yen—approximately $300 US dollars—and provides for a monk to come to your home or another location and perform a traditional memorial service. There are also several upgraded plans—for 45,000 yen, you can have a service in more than one location, and for 55,000 yen you can have your loved one awarded a posthumous Buddhist name—a critical part of the funeral process that often costs exorbitant amounts at temples. Whilecritics suggest the monk delivery program will further weaken ties between Japanese and their local temples, it offers an important service for a price typically not available elsewhere.
–Forbes magazine