On a typical day in Daejeon, South Korea, Jung Joon puts several people into wooden coffins and pounds the lids shut with a wooden hammer. That wouldn’t seem unusual if Jung were an undertaker, as his blue suit and funeral director demeanor would seem to indicate. Nor would it be unusual if the people in question were dead. But, in fact, Jung isn’t… and they aren’t.
Jung is an entrepreneur, and each wooden coffin lined up in a room at his place of business contains a very live person who paid $25 for the privilege of being “dead” for 10 minutes. With arms folded over their chests, they lie there “resting” in a dark space that’s all at once very creepy and very claustrophobic.
And all God’s people said, “HUH?!”
In what has to be the ultimate niche industry, Jung has caught the wave of a trend aimed at stressed-out workers in Korea, where the suicide rate is the highest in the developed world because of ruthless...
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