Zoshigaya Cemetary

Mike Grist Guides, Japan 3 Comments

The other day I took a stroll over to Zoshigaya Cemetary, one stop down the Arakawa street-car line from where I live. I meant to only shoot photos, but soon realized that photos couldn’t do the scale of the place any justice, so I decided to take some footage as well:

A few notes that didn’t make the final cut:

– Soseki Natsume the Japanese novelist (he wrote ‘I am a Cat’ and ‘Kokoro’) is buried in Zoshigaya Cemetary

– I came to Zoshigaya Cemetary some time around New Year’s late at night, it was very dark since it has no lamps, so very eerie.

– There are some graves with English on them, but I couldn’t find them this time around.

Some photos:

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Comments 3

  1. Fun video and I do like those 2 boys singing…but I have forgotten their names. Do they tend the graves like here…flowers on and so on. I did see some flowers on one grave. Do they bury only…or is there cremation too?
    The news of the day from here is that the BUILDERS, AFTER 2 YEARS, HAVE FINISHED with the snagging list…i.e., things left to do before you get your final payment!!!

  2. That is fooking hilarious. Mike you really got something with these vids, they are so funny. Keep em coming. Classy!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Post

    Thanks Mom, Al. As for tending the graves, they do, there’s a holiday here in the spring called O-bon, which means- ‘great suffering’, so the holiday is about alleviating the suffering of the dead by going to the graves, cleaning and polishing them up, having prayers and ceremonies, and purifying with incense.

    At O-bon everyone in Tokyo goes back to their home towns to be with their families and deceased relatives.

    As for burying- that hardly ever happens here- all these graves we see are family graves, with ashes interred underneath in urns. There’s just not enough space for all the bodies. Hence they have the wooden sticks rather than engraved stones- it’s easier to add and renew a stick than it is to rework stone every time another family member dies. I don’t know, but I imagine the grave sites in Zoshigaya are all incredibly expensive. Though of course it’s full now- not sure how that works.

    Glad you liked the video Al, wasn’t sure about the dancing bit after- seems a bit weird to dance in a cemetary! At the time of shooting though it seemed fine.

    Good news mom the builders finished, hurrah!

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