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日本で去年亡くなった人は約130万人で、20年前の1.5倍ぐらいになっています。自分が亡くなったあとの葬式や墓について考えている人も増えています。
1.3 million people died in Japan last year; around 1.5 times as many as 20 years ago. The number of people who are thinking about funerals and graves after their own death is also increasing.

I'm uncertain about how to parse this part: 自分が亡くなったあとの葬式や墓. Initially I saw this as a verb in past tense followed by あと so it must mean 'after doing verb' but I've never seen this whole structure act like a noun before, which it seems to be doing here. The dictionary also said that あと by itself can mean "after one's death", so then I got a bit more confused. I'm guessing this is just a red herring.

So I guess my question is, can you please confirm that 自分が亡くなったあと in this context means "After one's/their own death" and that the whole structure can work as a noun? If not, please explain how it should be parsed.

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According to monolingual Japanese dictionaries, yes, this 後【あと】 is a noun, which can safely be modified by a relative clause. But it's typically translated into English using the preposition "after ...", so some learning resources may explain it differently.

Since it's a noun, it can be followed by の, は, も and other particles:

  • 自分が亡くなったあと... After I have died...
  • 自分が亡くなったあとは... After I have died...
  • 自分が亡くなったあとの葬式 a funeral after I have died
  • 自分が亡くなったあとから有名になる to become famous after I have died

The same thing can be said for 前 ("before"), 間 ("while"), 場合 ("if"), 時 ("when"), ところ ("when/if"), and so on. These are nouns even though they are typically translated using English conjunctions and prepositions.

  • 食べる場合... if you eat it...
  • 食べる場合は... if you eat it... (topicalized)
  • 食べる場合の問題 a problem when you eat it
  • 見た時... when you looked at it...
  • 見た時の記憶 the memory of the time when you looked at it

The dictionary also said that あと by itself can mean "after one's death"

あと or あとのこと by itself can mean "the rest" as in "I'll leave the rest up to you", and it can refer to various problems after one's death in certain contexts. This usage is not related to your original sentence.

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I'm going to try and explain this using Japanese grammar, but the answer is yes.

連体修飾語{れんたいしゅうしょくご} are modifiers of non-inflectable words (nouns, pronuns, etc). They describe them.

The auxilliary verb [た] attached to the 連用形{れんようけい}/masu form of a verb, which can amongst other things transform it into its past tense form (食べる➡食べ(連用形)➡食べた), is one of these modifiers.

Since "自分が亡くなった" is a verb phrase with this auxiliary verb at its head, it modifies the noun [あと] in front of it. They form a noun phrase together, but it acts as a noun. :)

  • +1 ^^ it modifies the noun [あと] – Chocolate Aug 28 '17 at 1:41
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I think 「自分が亡くなったあとの葬式や墓」 is a noun phrase in this case, meaning "Funerals and graves after one's own death", where the 「自分が亡くなったあと」 acts as a prepositional phrase to the collective 「葬式や墓」 connected by 「の」.

The 「について」 afterwards shows that the noun phrase above is what the increasing number of people were thinking about.

To my knowledge, using 「あと」 after a verb is a valid way to make a prepositional phrase. e.g. 「雨が降ったあと」 is a way to say "after it rained".

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I think you are correct. Besides, If you used future perfect, wouldn't it be the same meaning as using after?

Like the following: I am thinking what I will do when I will have arrived in Japan. 日本に着いたあと何をするか考えているんだ。

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