Is 弔辞 Not "Eulogy"?

So the translations for 弔辞 are “memorial address” or “funeral address”, and my first thought was why isn’t that just a eulogy?

This is a question about subtlety. When I did a quick search, there are different translations for “eulogy” that typically come up. Is there something about the notion of 弔辞 that is notably different? As a native English speaker, the one thing that comes to mind might be that I think of a single person delivering “the” eulogy, whereas maybe this word isn’t as specific?


I never really thought about it, but most funerals I’ve ever attended were Christian religious ceremonies, and as such have a certain set of specific things they all shared in common. I don’t really know much about the various types of funerals in Japan and what’s expected at them specifically.

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I have been to a number of funerals here (in the inaka of Shikoku) and have never heard one of these memorial addresses, but I do see them regularly on TV when someone famous dies. From what I can make out, they are more like personal stories/memories of the speaker and the person who has passed away, as well as a good bye. An eulogy might include these too but the purpose is more to generally praise the person. The memorial address doesn’t necessarily do that, or at least is more subtle-to be inferred through the relation of the story.

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