A Morning Stroll in the Neighborhood Cemetery

On weekend mornings, Mark ventures out on long walks with our pup Ruby. Recently he discovered a huge cemetery about 20 minutes away and invited me to join him and Ruby. Because who doesn’t love to visit cemeteries!



I have always found cemeteries fascinating. As a child we lived in the outer suburbs of Chicago, and a small pioneer cemetery called Cady Cemetery was tucked away beside a main road. I remember looking at the dates from the 19th century and imagining settlers and cabins on the same land where suburban houses now sit. In Washington DC we joined our fellow dog-walking denizens of Capitol Hill at Congressional Cemetery.

Here in Yokohama, we have noticed small cemeteries with perhaps ten or fewer graves tucked in between houses scattered throughout the neighborhood. By contrast, Negishi Cemetery holds thousands of graves.


Wooden boards called sotoba stand in racks built into every grave. These boards include the name of the deceased, and mourners place sotoba on graves during the interment and later memorial services.


We noticed red lettering on many graves and later learned that these indicate family members who are still alive. For simplicity’s sake all of the grave marker’s engraving is done at once, and the red ink is removed as family members are interred.




2 thoughts on “A Morning Stroll in the Neighborhood Cemetery

  1. Donald Kane

    Hi Marta, Love your posts. We are learning a lot.  Thanks for sending these. When we lived on Shaw AFB (Mark born in base hosp), just west of Sumpter, DSC,  I was fascinated living in a state rich in history and sites from the Revolutionary war and the Civil war.  On weekends I would take what ever boy (Dave or Kevin) was either anxious for an adventure or one that Julie designated the “kid who NEEDS to go out” and drive the local back roads.  On one trip, I came across an old small church built about 1770 and still in good shape and used to that day for a very very small congregation but one which had access to historical preservation funds to keep it up. That was not the case for the grave yard.  It was over grown but got my curiosity so I ventured into it.  I can across a grave for a Revolutionary era biologist  by the name of John Poinsett.   It told how he brought a unique plant from Africa to the “colonies” while in the service of General Sumpter.   As I read about this plant individual,  a light went on:———- the Poinsettia.  Small world and a great Sat AM discovery. Take care. DonPS:  Kids school photos and other items arrived yesterday. Many thanks for sending. Tessa responds to a camera with a great performance.  Cy’s response is “do I gotta do a full smile or just a half smile until its over”So, use Jan 23 date and the date you mailed them as a “Japan to US” mail travel time.


  2. Pingback: A Rainy Tuesday in Ueno Park and Yanaka, Tokyo – martayaki

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s