Creative Caskets at NFDA

Nov 12, 2015 | 1 comment

It was “Caskets-R-Us” at the National Funeral Directors Association convention and expo. You may have seen previous posts about Trey Ganem’s personalized caskets, and the video visits with Andrea Fernandez of Clear View Caskets and Mark Elder with Vision Casket.

Here are other creative caskets that were on display at the 2015 expo:

C.J. Boots Golf CasketC.J. Boots Casket Company was founded by Christopher J. Boots in 1999. He was a custom furniture and cabinet maker by trade who started building hardwood caskets. Business boomed after his first year and has grown tremendously since.

C.J. Boots Casket Company manufactures only solid hardwood caskets. Their “Craft Caskets” take customization to a whole new level. The Fairway Hickory is the ultimate casket for a golfer, with golf balls embedded in the sides, an embossed golf themed inlay around the edges, and a forest green interior (and what looks like a putting green on the top).

C.J. Boots Horse CasketThe Horse Poplar has horse head images, horse shoes and rope adorning the sides, and a cap panel embroidered with running horses. It’s perfect for a horse enthusiast or rancher.

Other models on display at the NFDA expo included The Patriot, to honor veterans, Lonestar, for those who love Texas to the very end, Rustic Hickory, with bark edging and interior lining in camouflage or duck print, and more.

C.J. Boots Caskets are available through a network of nationwide distributors. Learn more and see more great casket photos at

Sanwa Bussan Co. Ltd.

Sanwa Bussan President

Sanwa Bussan President Yoshinari Hamanaga with Lotus coffin.

People from 33 different countries attended the 2015 NFDA convention. The employees and president of Sanwa Bussan from Japan were among those who came a long way for this expo.

President Yoshinari Hamanaga did not speak English very well, nor did the sales team, so we didn’t do a video recording. But their caskets were so elegant, and different, pictures speak 1,000 words.

If you’ve ever seen the film Departures, which focuses on Japanese funeral traditions, you saw these kinds of caskets which have small doors at the head. Rather than put the whole body on display in the casket, you would look at just the face of the deceased.

Walnut Japanese casketOne of these elegant offerings was a walnut coffin. From their English language literature: “The Kurumi (walnut) coffin like the most favorite furniture. The soft cloth to wrap a newborn baby is known as Okurumi in Japan. When you were born, when you are at rest, wrapped, and cherished. This gem is always in the family’s thoughts.” Rather poetic, wouldn’t you say?

The Sanwa Bussan company also makes other funeral goods, such as altars and memorial garments.

Sanwa Bussan casket

The description for this satin covered casket read, “The flowers in the mirror, the moon in the water. These are ephemeral phantoms that you are never able to reach. We are here to start your loved one’s journey with a gleaming, flowery coffin, illuminated by the moon. For the soul that is no longer here.”

Their corporate vision (from their materials):

  • Our mission is to help create the new funeral culture of the clients.
  • Realize the potential demands of the clients.
  • We believe we can break down the status quo and create the new funeral culture.
  • Our corporate name “Sanwa” derives from the harmony with the clients, our employees, and the society.

The company is planning to distribute their products in the U.S. from a base on the West Coast. Given that Japan has a 99% cremation rate, these folks could teach American funeral directors a thing or two! Their website is

A Good Goodbye