Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Autumn Reminiscence - Yanaka Cemetery

Departing autumn
with hands spread open
chestnut burs
                                       Matsuo Basho


The eternal home for many of Japan's luminaries; including the last of the Tokugawa Shogunate - Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

I felt slightly at odds visiting it, torn between the need to be respectful; as this is after all very much an active graveyard, and being a total tourist and snap photos of everything I see.

The cemetery was a quiet peaceful pocket in Tokyo and we heard birds chirping, saw colourful autumn colours and enjoyed a nice shady stroll through it. Like Rurousha mentioned in her post on Yanaka Cemetery (which, by the way was what made us finally venturing there) I wouldn't mind ending up here for my eternal resting place either. *^^*
 
 
 
 
And while we are on cemeteries, there'll be a post about an insect cemetery put up, one of these days so stay tuned. Visit me often because I sure as heck don't know when I'm gonna do the post. ^^

Do read previous posts of this Autumn Reminiscence series while you are here visiting.
Autumn Reminiscence - Lake Kinrinko
Autumn Reminiscence - Shikoku Mura
Autumn Reminiscence - Nara
Autumn Reminiscence - Ritsurin Koen
Autumn Reminiscence - Ueno Park

22 comments:

  1. INSECT CEMETERY??? This i have to see! I am looking foward to the post, the idea makes me laugh of course but it also intrigues me....

    :)

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    1. It's called Mushizuka and was set up by Lord of Ise Nagashima to console the spirit of insects that died as model for his drawings.

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  2. Yanaka! (^0^) I know what you mean about being snap-happy vs being respectful, but I've seen so many photographers in that cemetery. And joggers. And cyclists. And dog walkers. I think as long as you don't take photographs of funerals or visitors praying, it's OK.

    I want to see the insect cemetery! I didn't know there was such a thing until you told us!

    PS: That big ginkgo is glorious, isn't it? ^^

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    Replies
    1. When we were there, the place was pretty deserted sans the lady who asked for direction.

      It's Mushizuka at Kaneiji Temple. Nothing big - just a stone set as a monument to insects that perished after being his drawings model.

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    2. I love the idea of an insect cemetery, but I'll wait patiently for m'lady's photos. ^^ Well, maybe not so patiently, but I'll wait.

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    3. Be warned though. This might just be false advertisement to lure you all to come for repeated visits here. ^^

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  3. So cute :D Do they have names on each tomb? :D

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    1. The mushizuka, you mean? Well, it's named as an insect cemetery on the signboard but I think it can be called an insect monument. No lots of insects tombstones around there.

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  4. I love visiting cemeteries both in UK and other European countries. :)
    It's always so quiet and peaceful in there.
    Also I can look for some ideas for my own tombstone for future use! Ha ha...

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    1. What would be inscribed on your tombstone, I wonder? ;)

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    2. Ha ha... Still thinking.
      But you can find my famous aeroplane logo for sure!

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    3. Let me know where you buy your plot. ^^

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  5. I was surprised that you knew Matsuo Basho who is a famous poet.
    How did you study about him?

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  6. @cocomino,
    Well, there is the internet. ;p

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  7. Beautiful ginkgo tree leaves!
    To put it more precisely,Mushizuka is located in Kan-eiji temple's cemetery, Tokugawa Yoshinobu's grave is located in Metropolitan Yanaka cemetery.
    Tokugawa Yoshinobu's grave is Shinto-style grave. So It was impossible to put in Temple's grave. So his grave is located in public cemetery.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment.

      And clarification on my post.
      It is a post on Yanaka cemetery's autumn colours not about Yanaka cemetery specifically. And the mention of Mushizuka is as a teaser for my upcoming post on it. I understand that they are not at the same place.^^

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  8. Smiled to myself to see you 'enjoying' these 'off-beat' places... they are very 'Japanese', so to say...

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    Replies
    1. There are many kind bloggers in Japan to help us visit off the beaten path places. ^^

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  9. The place looks lovely not creepy at all. When I was young, we used to play in a cemetery as it was the only open space available :)

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    1. But would you dare to play at the cemetery at night? ^^

      My grandfather's sister has a house right next to a "jirat cina"/Chinese cemetery. I would've been scared stiff if I'm asked to spend a night there. But of course, during daytime - it doesn't feel so scary, right? ^^

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  10. It's beautiful with those trees and so well-kept. I have been to some that are not so nice and overrun with weed. I know how you feel about visiting cemeteries and taking photos as a tourist. Perhaps the residents are happy they have not been forgotten.

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    Replies
    1. I hope so too! I hope the souls there are not neglected by their kin, but by the look of how well kept the place is, they aren't.^^

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