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stone and dust

photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other monuments

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Japan

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”

Cemetery 53: Kyoto’s Mimizuka

When most people think of Kyoto, they probably imagine old temples and shrines, maiko and geiko walking in the streets of Gion, the soft rustle of bamboo…and…a mound full of severed noses? Welcome to Kyoto folks! You’ve just discovered Kyoto’s Mimizuka, also known as the ear mound. Continue reading “Cemetery 53: Kyoto’s Mimizuka”

Cemetery 33: Nikko’s Self-Immolation Cemetery

There is something about moss in the rain, the green is so luminescent, the air that surrounds it is practically breathing, that it makes one forget the frenetic pace of life in the concrete and steel cities of Japan. So it was as I made my way to Nikko, Continue reading “Cemetery 33: Nikko’s Self-Immolation Cemetery”

Cemetery 31: Yokohama’s Foreign General Cemetery

Other than the magnificent cemetery of Okunoin at Koya-san, the only other cemetery that I knew I wanted to visit in Japan was Yokohama’s Foreign General Cemetery. This cemetery’s history in intimately connected to the opening of Continue reading “Cemetery 31: Yokohama’s Foreign General Cemetery”

Cemetery 30: The Byakkotai Cemetery on Iimoriyama

In the late 1860s there was a massive civil war in Japan, called the Boshin War, in which supporters of the Shogunate (military commanders who effectively ruled Japan, and had, up to that point, had had an isolationist policy) and the supporters of Continue reading “Cemetery 30: The Byakkotai Cemetery on Iimoriyama”

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