A disagreement over which location was the most auspicious as a burial place for their late father has brought two feuding brothers to the prosecutors’ office.
The 88-year-old father of the two brothers, surnamed Huang (黃), passed away in February after suffering from blood poisoning after a kidney dialysis procedure.
According to family accounts, the father purchased two grave sites, one in Taoyuan County’s Dasi (大溪) and one in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Guanyin Mountain (觀音山) before his death.
A firm believer in feng shui, the ancient Chinese geomancy system based on Taoist traditions and knowledge of geographic positioning, the father had commissioned experts to choose the sites and later picked Guanyin Mountain as his final resting place, which he had furnished as a grave site prior to his death.
The younger brother sought another opinion from another feng shui master, surnamed Chen (陳), who reportedly said burying his father at the Guanyin Mountain site would likely bring bad luck to the whole family.
In addition, the feng shui master said the elder brother would be in immediate danger of bankruptcy and may be killed in a traffic accident.
The feng shui master reportedly advised the family to bury their father at the Dasi site, claiming it would bring good fortune to his children and grandchildren.
The remarks led the younger brother to — 40 days after his father’s death — take the father’s coffin and transport it overnight to Dasi for a formal burial.
In response, the elder brother filed a lawsuit with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, charging his younger brother with committing offenses against a corpse, an article in the nation’s Criminal Code.
According to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, the elder brother insisted that their father’s wish was to be buried at the site in Guanyin Mountain.
The younger brother said: “The Dasi gravesite has better feng shui. I did it to bring good fortune to our family,” adding that his father had verbally agreed to the Dasi site.
However, the rest of the Huang family disagreed, saying that the Dasi site was furnished with railings around the grave, preventing family members from getting close enough to pay respect to their late father.
On Monday, the prosecutors’ office said it decided to drop the case and will not indict the younger brother and Chen on the grounds that the body was not harmed.
The body had not been deliberately damaged in any way, and no offense had therefore been committed, the prosecutors said, adding that the fight over where to bury their father was merely a civil dispute between family members.
Following the case, the Huang family reburied the father at the Guanyin Mountain site.