Small inland Chinese county makes 90% of coffins in Japan

globaltimes.cn -- May 27
Caoxian county, a little-known inland county in East China's Shandong Province has become China's latest internet fad built on making 90 percent of coffins sold in Japan.

According to Liang Huimin, deputy Party chief and head of the local government, the county produces 90 percent of the coffins in Japan, adding that hundreds of thousands of local people are engaged in the wood-crafting industry.

Timber resource has made the county a manufacturing base for coffin production since early 2000, according to local people. Although China's funeral industry reform does not support burial in the ground, leaving weaker market for coffins, Caoxian county has found a way out to export coffins abroad.

The Japanese people prefer paulownia wood for coffins, and Caoxian county happens to be China's largest paulownia processing base as well as the country's largest board processing base, a manager at Heze Dehong Woodwork Co, surnamed Tian told the Global Times on Tuesday, adding that the processing of Japanese coffins in the county has an advantage of natural raw materials.

Caoxian county is home to the important wood panel production industry and the largest paulownia wood trading distribution center in China, with more than 600 enterprises of various types and more than 60,000 employees. Each year, around three million cubic meters of timber are processed, creating an output value of 50 billion yuan ($7.82 billion), according to media reports.

Unlike Chinese people who see coffins as unlucky, Japanese people attach great importance to the afterlife and see the coffin as the last gift given to the dead by the living, according to coffin manufactures.

It usually takes more than 30 processes to complete a coffin, which is mostly done manually. During processing, workers must ensure that their hands are clean, even nails should be cleaned prior to work. - globaltimes.cn