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Tuesday, July 8, 2003

LIFELINES

Funeral rites, shipping pets and cheap ink


Funeral rites

A reader in America has a friend who requested that his ashes be scattered over Mt Fuji.

She would like to know what the procedure is for bringing cremated remains to Japan from abroad, and about arrangements for a traditional Shinto funeral rite.

Unfortunately, scattering ashes in Japan is illegal, which is about all there is to say on this topic.

As to the rest of the enquiry, I suggest the reader check with individual airlines, which all have strict rules regarding the transportation of ashes, coffins etc. Also, treaties between certain countries do exist covering these issues, so call the relevant embassies.

Ring the Japanese Embassy regarding Mt Fuji. Japan has rules regarding the disposal of ashes, which is apparently why hundreds of urns turn up on trains as "lost luggage."

Organising Shinto burial rites should be as a simple as booking a Buddhist, or Christian ceremony. Just call up a shrine, with an interpreter on hand to sort out misunderstandings.

Shipping pets

Lorri and her husband will be moving back to the United States in August, and they will be taking their dog with them.

They originally brought their pet over in the autumn as checked baggage but now, due to the summer heat, airlines will not accept the dog as such. They are looking for a reliable pet shippers in the Tokyo area that can help them get the dog home in August? They are also looking for airlines that will accept her as cargo.

It is true that August is often unbearably hot and humid, but animals travel in the cargo hold, which is generally on the cool side. I suspect airlines are worried about the period before take-off and after, when check-in luggage may be hanging around, and there is no respite from the heat.

If the major airlines can't help, there are two shipping companies that generally transport animals. Nippon Express at Narita is on (0476) 32-8011, and they will be able to offer advice in English. They are closed weekends.

Alternatively, get an Japanese speaker to call Seino Cosmo Express, which operates on (0476) 34-8750, 7 days week.

Printer ink

Rainer bought a Hewlet Packard printer for 10,000 yen a while ago. The cartridges of ink cost 2,000 yen each and, being small, have to be replaced often.

He wonders if there is a company that will refill a cartridge, or whether he can buy the ink and do it himself.

Rainer can can buy ink from any company that sells computers, like Yodobashi. Alternatively, he can check out the Web site www. inkjetcartridge. com/ inrefkiforh. html

This offers injet refill kits for Hewlet Packard HPC872 and HPC8728A cartridges, for Deskjet 3320, 3325, 3420 and 3425 (including black and color refills). Each kit will refill four times in black, and eight in color.

The regular price is $30.80, but the sale price (as of Saturday) is only $24.95. Orders are usually shipped the same day.

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp


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