I need some help understanding what 安そう means in the following context.

Is character 3 saying that the 永代使用料 for this cemetery looks like it would be inexpensive? This seems a bit out of place to appear where it does in the conversation which makes me think they are saying something else.


character 1「火葬場に書かれていた案内図だとここが墓場のはずだが……」

character 2「間違いないな。ここが墓場のようだ」

引出しにはネームプレートが結ばれ、 そこには様々な番号が彫られている。

character 3「なるほど、この設計ならお墓の土地に悩まなくて済むわね」

character 4「高いところの引出しだと首が痛い、かもしれないね」

character 5「お墓参りという感じがしませんね……」

character 2「これが墓だとすると数が少なすぎないか?」

character 1「古いのは別の場所で他の遺骨と一緒にされて合祀されるんじゃないか。普通のお墓でもそうだぞ」

character 2「え、そうなのか!?」

character 3「永代使用料とか安そうよね……」

character 1「まあ仲間がいれば寂しくないだろう。……これでよしと」

  • Sounds like they're talking about 'companion crypts' and 'family crypts'. Seems to make sense that sharing internment space would be economical, and as a bonus you don't get lonely. Why do you find it out of place? The 料 (fee) part seems to make it pretty clear that they're discussing expense. – BJCUAI Mar 24 at 11:10

That line sounds hilariously out of place. Readers are meant to make a chuckle here.

永代使用料 "permanent site fee" is a very present-day word. The traditional Japanese grave is a family grave where deceased ancestors are thought to be dwelling. The family is responsible for constantly maintaining and tending their grave, and grave fees are charged periodically. But as modern lifestyle gets predominant, more and more people want to pay a once-for-all cost to leave their personal grave to cemetery. This is 永代使用料, and it is practically synonymous to buying a grave plot from the cemetery.

The character is joking that it would be fairly cheap to be stuffed into such a vault if it were in modern Japan.

This type of ~そう is explained in this post, which is used to indicate counterfactual conjecture in this situation.

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