Pesticide Company Holds Temple Ceremony in Honor of Killed Bugs

Every year, Japanese pesticide company Earth Corporation holds a ‘transcendence ceremony’ at the Myodoji Temple in Ako City to honor insects that sacrificed their lives for research purposes.

Earth Corporation prides itself on being the ‘no. 1 preferred household insecticide company in Japan’, a status it has achieved over decades of research and trial & error. In order to test the efficacy of its products, the company uses them on various species of insects at a proprietary research facility in Ako City, and some of those bugs inevitably die in the process. The company breeds the bugs it uses for testing, but that doesn’t make their sacrifice meaningless, and to show that it doesn’t take the tiny creatures for granted, Earth Corporation holds an honorary ceremony at the Myodoji Temple in Ako City.

Photo: Earth Corporation

Last month, over 60 Earth employees took part in a solemn transcendence ceremony that involved a daoshi (Taoist priest) reading prayers in front of dozens of photos of dead insects. Pictures of mosquitoes, ticks, flies, cockroaches, and other insects were placed near the temple altar, and people put their hands together in prayer as the priest honored them.

Tomihiro Kobori, Chief of Earth Pharmaceutical Research, pointed out that many people take the sacrifice of thousands of bugs for granted, without acknowledging the value of their sacrifice in the name of science, but this ceremony helps put things in perspective.

At any given time, Earth Corporation’s research facility breeds around 1 million cockroaches and more than 100 million ticks for testing purposes that end up being sacrificed for the health and comfort of humans, so although the Japanese company thrives on the death of millions of insects, it “can’t help but honor” their sacrifice.

According to the Sankei Shinbun newspaper, Earth Corporation has organized this unique ceremony every year for the last four decades.

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