Cemetery Traditions in Japan

Jizo statue

Many thanks to J. Matsumura for sending this excerpt my way. If you ever wondered about the reason behind the Jizo statues marking the graves of Japanese children, here’s an enlightening excerpt from the August 1, 1913 issue of the Enumclaw Herald:

“Among the Buddhists in Japan it is believed that the souls of children go farther after death to Sue-no-ha-wara (the stony river-bed) and there they remain until they reach maturity under the care of Jizobosatsu, who is represented as a priest with a long cane in one hand and ball in the other.

He is said to stand in the center of the Kawara, where he preaches to the children as they pile up stones, one for the salvation of their father, one for the mother, the third for brothers, the fourth for sisters and the fifth for their own salvation.

When night comes and the wind blows hard a gigantic evil spirit appears and with huge iron rod knocks down the heaps of stones which the children have made, and they are so frightened that they run to Jizo and hide themselves in the big sleeves of his Kimono, which have a miraculous way of increasing in size according to the number of children who seek refuge. Then the evil spirit disappears and the children begin again the work of heaping up the stones.

Passing these cemeteries in Japan, one sees tombs that have the image of Jizo carved upon them, as the parents take that way of going the special favor of Jizo for their children, and one will see little piles of stones built up by the parents and brothers and sisters of the children with the hope of helping in the tedious work of the little ones in the Kawara.”

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Filed under Odds and Ends, Symbols

A little mid-winter creepiness

Lebanon Circle_Highgate

Visitors to West Cemetery portion of Highgate Cemetery will recognize these photos showing view from the top and the bottom of the stairs into the Circle of Lebanon mausoleum. For more photos that really give a more full overview of what the Circle looks like, check out this Google photo collection.

Circle of Lebanon_HG

 

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Sharing Saturday: Ancestors at Rest

Mithian_Cornwall

Cornwall is another one of those places on my To Visit list, but up until now, I was just interested in going there to see the ocean views and maybe tramp around on a couple of walking trails. Ancestors at Rest is a blog set in Cornwall, and features some terrific photos/exploration notes.

It appears to be a static blog (similar to what BTG was at one time), but maybe if enough people check out this By Day, We All Miss Thee post, maybe the owner will be persuaded to begin posting again.

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Having a sense of humor is a must. So there.

A view at last

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February 20, 2015 · 05:30

Gone but not forgotten

Gone_but_not-Forgotten

A carving of two hands clasped, one female, one male, signifies the loss of a spouse. Take a closer look at the details on the cuffs in order to tell which of the hands is masculine and which is feminine.

This style seems to have appeared most frequently in Victorian times.

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Pushing up some daisies

daisies

I’m willing to bet there are a large number of BTG readers out there who are THOROUGHLY sick of winter’s cold weather, ice, snow, dripping clothes, and even drippier noses.

I’m also willing to bet there are a significant number of you who are seriously wondering whether you’ll ever see green grass again. So in the spirit of all that’s good about flowers and cemeteries pushing up daisies in the spring, here’s a little something that will hopefully speed the arrival of warmer weather to where you live.

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To be continued…

To be continued

Argh! I can’t believe I completely forgot to publish this on Saturday as a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Found this headstone in Cambria, CA (just south of Hearst Castle) years ago and just loved how it commemorated 56 long and happy years together – a marriage that started shortly after the Pearl Harbor bombing.

Check out the wedding date right about the, “To be Continued…” sign.

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