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stone and dust

photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other monuments

Site 82: Seoul’s Seonjeongneung

In the heart of the Gangnam district of Seoul lies a World Heritage Site, Seonjeongneung. It’s the burial place of two kings and one queen. The oldest tomb belongs to King Seongjong (d. 1494). His queen (and second wife) Jeonghyeon (d. 1530) outlived him by many decades, but Continue reading “Site 82: Seoul’s Seonjeongneung”

Site 81: Seoul’s Jeoldu-san Martyr’s Shrine

As you leave the Foreign Missionary Cemetery and walk south, you soon come across a visually arresting set of stairs. At least, they were to me. It may have been the slight drizzle, or the way the light played across the stairs, and for all their practical use (stairs and ramps), I thought they were Continue reading “Site 81: Seoul’s Jeoldu-san Martyr’s Shrine”

Site 80: Seoul’s Foreign Missionary Cemetery

On my first full day in Seoul I was intending to go on a tour to the DMZ, a place that had always been on my bucket list. Unfortunately I forgot my passport back at the hotel, and no passport meant no tour, which was disappointing. So I decided not to let the fine day go to waste, Continue reading “Site 80: Seoul’s Foreign Missionary Cemetery”

Site 79: Kyoto’s Tenji Mausoleum

I like going for walks, especially at night when it’s quite and there are fewer people about. I’ve been slowly exploring the outer reaches of my neighbourhood/district, and as such, have come to realise that I have easy access to the Biwa Canal route. This is a canal that for years brought water (and Continue reading “Site 79: Kyoto’s Tenji Mausoleum”

Site 78: St.Boniface Cathedral Cemetery

This is probably one of the first cemeteries I ever visited, having done so on a school trip in junior high school back in the late 1980s. I have photos in one of my old photo albums of my friends and I posing in front of some of the monuments, although it seems strange to me now to have Continue reading “Site 78: St.Boniface Cathedral Cemetery”

Site 77: Hong Kong Cemetery

I had a plan to visit this, and several other cemeteries, while I was in Hong Kong. In fact, I planned my entire trip around it. What I didn’t know is that somewhere in Nagasaki or Hagi, I picked up a bug, and by the time I arrived in Hong Kong I was suffering from a full-fledged cold in the Continue reading “Site 77: Hong Kong Cemetery”

Site 76: Hagi’s Tenjuin Mausoleum

This is a small cemetery that I stumbled across while visiting Hagi. I had gone up to the castle grounds and had planned to buy some hagi yaki (pottery from Hagi – it’s quite well-known and has a distinctive look). However, when I went to pay for my purchases I realised that I had left my Continue reading “Site 76: Hagi’s Tenjuin Mausoleum”

Site 75: Hagi’s Daishōin Cemetery

…or the twin cemetery to Tōkōji, or perhaps I should say its elder sibling, as it was established several decades earlier, in 1656. The first, and even-numbered Mori lords are buried here (the odd-numbered ones, minus the first, are at Tōkōji). It definitely takes a little more Continue reading “Site 75: Hagi’s Daishōin Cemetery”

Site 74: Hagi’s Tōkōji Cemetery

Ah, the dilemma. Should I write about Tōkōji and Daishoin together, or separately? They are virtually twin temples/cemeteries here in Hagi, but they were built at opposite ends of the city. There are some slight differences though, and to help me keep them Continue reading “Site 74: Hagi’s Tōkōji Cemetery”

Site 73: Nagasaki’s 26 Martyrs Monument

On February 5, 1597, 26 Christians (20 Japanese, 6 foreign priests) were crucified and lanced to death on 26 crosses put up on Nishizaka Hill. Their deaths were meant to serve as a warning to burgeoning Christian population of Nagasaki. The early Continue reading “Site 73: Nagasaki’s 26 Martyrs Monument”

Site 72: Nagasaki’s Sakamoto Int’l Cemetery

Not far from the one-legged torii that stands near Sano Shrine is Nagasaki’s most well-known cemetery, the Sakamoto International Cemetery. It’s claim to fame lies mostly in the fact that is the final resting place for Thomas B. Glover, a Scottish industrialist who Continue reading “Site 72: Nagasaki’s Sakamoto Int’l Cemetery”

Site 70: Nagasaki’s Sōfuku-ji Temple Cemetery

Sōfuku-ji is an old Chinese temple not far from Nagasaki’s Chinatown. It was established in 1629 by a Chinese monk name Chaonian and is actually one of the best examples of a Ming dynasty temple not only in Japan, but in China as well. Most of the structures were Continue reading “Site 70: Nagasaki’s Sōfuku-ji Temple Cemetery”

Site 71: Nagasaki’s Oura Cemetery

Nagasaki is well-known for the number of foreign nationals that traded, worked, and lived there over the centuries. In the Meiji era especially, a large foreign population lived in the Dejima and Oura neighbourhoods. The Oura Catholic Church is the oldest church Continue reading “Site 71: Nagasaki’s Oura Cemetery”

Site 69: Nagasaki’s Inasa Cemetery

Nagasaki is known for its openness and interactions with foreign merchants, traders, and missionaries, even when all of Japan was shut to the rest of the world. As such, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there is not one, but three cemeteries where foreign nationals Continue reading “Site 69: Nagasaki’s Inasa Cemetery”

Site 68: Nagasaki’s Peace Park

Three days after the horrific events of August 6, 1945, Japan was devastated once again when the Fat Man bomb was dropped over Nagasaki. Even though this was a bigger bomb than the one dropped on Hiroshima, its damage was limited due to the geography Continue reading “Site 68: Nagasaki’s Peace Park”

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