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stone and dust

travel, photography and musings on cemeteries, memorials, and other dark sites

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Tokyo

Site 154: Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine

Perhaps the most controversial place in Japan is Yasukuni Shrine, located in the heart of Tokyo. It certainly didn’t start out that way – after the end of the Boshin War, a civil war between forces loyal to the shogunate and the emperor in 1868-69, the emperor Continue reading “Site 154: Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine”

Site 155: Tokyo’s Zōjō-ji Temple

Zojoji Temple is located in the heart of Tokyo, not far from Tokyo Tower, one of the more iconic symbols of Tokyo. I have been meaning to go here for some time as I knew this had a mausoleum in which six Shoguns were buried. However, I almost didn’t make it Continue reading “Site 155: Tokyo’s Zōjō-ji Temple”

Site 29: Appeasing a vengeful spirit

Here’s a Japanese story that most people have probably never heard. Taira no Masakado was a nobleman who lived during the Heian era in an area of what is now the northeast of Tokyo. In the year 935 Masakado was ambushed by another local Continue reading “Site 29: Appeasing a vengeful spirit”

Site 27: The graves of the 47 Ronin

The 47 ronin, or masterless samurai, is probably one of the most well-known historical stories that comes from Japan. That said, whenever I mention the 47 ronin to my students, they have no idea who I’m talking about, as in Japanese they are Continue reading “Site 27: The graves of the 47 Ronin”

Site 26: Tokyo’s Yanaka Cemetery

This is another one of the big cemeteries that are dotted around Tokyo. After a very short walk from the train station I was in land of stone and trees. And cats. Some of the most beautiful, friendly, and well-fed cemetery cats I have ever seen Continue reading “Site 26: Tokyo’s Yanaka Cemetery”

Site 25: Tokyo’s Zoshigaya Cemetery

There’s something familiar about visiting a cemetery, no matter what culture, city, or country you’re from. The quiet. The trees. The stone memorials that mark the final resting place of the departed. The people that you see tend to be of the greying set. Continue reading “Site 25: Tokyo’s Zoshigaya Cemetery”

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