stone and dust

photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other monuments



Site 87: Random burial places, Kyoto

I was on my way to work when I decided to do a little detour to visit a couple of sites in the local area that I always meant to visit, but never did. Even though it’s been quite a cold winter here in Kyoto (in fact, the morning started with a blanket of snow, but was gone by the time I Continue reading “Site 87: Random burial places, Kyoto”

Site 86: Kyoto’s Nison-in Temple Cemetery

The Arashiyama district in Kyoto is one of the most popular, and therefore crowded, areas of the city. During the fall foliage season, the number of visitors to this area seem to increase tenfold, making it a crush of humanity no matter where you go. As such, this is usually a place I avoid. Continue reading “Site 86: Kyoto’s Nison-in Temple Cemetery”

Site 83: Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple Cemetery

I like going for walks and exploring different neighbourhoods, but I often return to the same places time and again. Which often leads me to explore lesser known areas, which is how I stumbled across Kurodani Temple, just north of Heian Shrine and a bit west Continue reading “Site 83: Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple 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 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 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”

Site 67: Hiroshima’s Peace Park

The first time I visited the Peace Park and Memorial in Hiroshima was in 2000, the year I got transferred to work in the city. It was the first place I visited after I got settled in here. I remember that as I walked through the park, I was very conscious of being from the “side” that Continue reading “Site 67: Hiroshima’s Peace Park”

Site 66: Kyoto’s Honen-in Temple Cemetery

I like to go for walks at night. It’s quieter, cooler, and there are fewer people out and about. It gives me a chance to de-stress and get a little exercise while I’m at it. However, I’ve gotten quite bored with my little neighbourhood, so I’ve been jumping on Continue reading “Site 66: Kyoto’s Honen-in Temple Cemetery”

Cemetery 54: Kyoto’s Jizoyama Cemetery

Not far from the mound of ears is a large temple complex that most tourists to the city give a miss. Chishaku-in is a Buddhist temple that features some nice small gardens, but I have yet to find a single reference to the large cemetery that lies at the very back of the complex. Of course, Continue reading “Cemetery 54: Kyoto’s Jizoyama Cemetery”

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