The Burning Bones

I’m excited to announce I had a short story published in an online literary journal called OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters. You can view the story here.

I thought I’d briefly talk about what prompted me to write this short story.

Unfortunately, I had to attend a funeral in the fall of 2019. It was my first funeral in Japan, and I spent a long time researching all of the etiquette involved in attending one. Beyond wearing black, there are rules such as you can’t wear anything shiny or have a shiny or leather purse, and you can’t wear any jewelry beyond your wedding ring and possibly a strand of pearls.

Thus, I was struck by the man whose wife had just died. Like in the story I wrote above, he wore a cardigan to the funeral, and no one said a word about it. Despite the strict rules on dress code, here he was in a cardigan.

It made me immediately wonder what he was thinking, and it inspired me to write my speculations as a story.