Taijun Yajima, the head Buddhist priest at Koukokuji temple to which Ruriden belongs, constructed the glitzy burial ground in 2006. Back then, it was the first of its kind in Japan, according to Yajima, but its format has since caught on and other Buddhist temples across the country have followed suit. Yajima said his idea was borne of the necessity to adapt to changing social norms.
"All these glass Buddha statues are like your compatriots, and you'll be there with them once you die"
"I had to remind them that we weren't trying to imitate Las Vegas, and that this was a serious place of worship and commemoration"