Nice Ocean View Can Be Enjoyed at Last Part of Lives -Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery in Hakodate-
June 30th, 2017
Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery (函館外国人墓地) is laocated at the foot of Mt. Hakodate (函館山) in the western edge of Hakodate and is known for dividing into 3 cemetery sections, Russian Cemetery section, Chinese Cemetery section and Protestant Cemetery section. It is said that an origin of the Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery has been that 2 crewmen were buried here in 1854 when Admiral Matthw C Perry (ペリー提督) visited the Hakodate. This place seemed to be choosen because an ocean view was very good on a small hill. Admission free. There is a restroom at the site. An one-way road is narrow. A patrol car sometimes patrols to crackdown on illegal parking. A cafe such as Cafe Morie (カフェ・モーリエ) and Tea Shop Yuhi (ティーショップ夕日) are popular because the location is good.
Here is called "Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery", but in reality, there are a lot of sects that are divided into each cemeteries in the Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery, so it may be said "Cemetery Ginza * Ginza means busy or gather in Japanese". Except graves, I am interested in some private houses that stand side by side. It was said that the Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery was one of major haunted place in Hokkaido when I was a student. But the rumor might not be true because of many private houses around the cemetery. Koryuji Temple (高龍寺), a famous temple, is in front of an entrance, and except 3 cemetery sections, there are Japanese Christian Cemetery (キリスト教日本人墓地), Cemetery of Jizoji Temple (地蔵寺の墓地), Cemetery for Feudal Retainers of Nabu Domain (南部藩の墓), Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres Cemetery (シャルトル聖パウロ修道女会墓地 * Catholic Cemetery (カトリック墓地)) and Orthodox Church Cemetery (ハリストス正教会墓地) at the Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery, and Hakodate Koseiin Cemetery (函館厚生院墓地) is a little far away.
In 1633, the Koryuji Temple was founded by Banshitsu Horyu (盤室芳龍) as a branch temple of Soto school Hogen-ji Temple (曹洞宗法源寺) in Matsumae. It is the oldest temple in the Hakodate. A building was destroyed by Great Hakodate Fire (函館大火). But it was moved to this place, and a main building was built in 1900. 10 buildings were designed as registered tangible cultural properties, and especially, the main gate of the temple is famous. Detailed sculptures that were made by Mr. Atsusaburo Hara (原篤三郎) and Mr. Kuroji Kaneko (金子九郎次) from Echigo Domain (越後) are high quality. In addition, they own Shaka Nehan-zu (釈迦涅槃図 * painting of Buddha nirvana) that is considered as the master piece of kakigzaki Hakyo (蠣崎波響). The precinct is open to the public. Admission free.
Chinese Cemetery surrounded by brick walls is named "Chukasanso (中華山荘)". An origin of the Chinese Cemetery is that Chinese people has been rented land from early-Meiji administrative unit for Hokkaido (開拓使) to bury the chinese people in 1976. The Chinese Cemetery is only cemetery that tourists can enter freely among the 3 cemeteries. Some tombstones are built on the site, but the scale is the smallest among the 3 cemeteries. I am interested in a private house at the site. The Chinese Cemetery is maneged by an overseas Chinese, so perhaps the private house is a family concerned with the overseas Chinese.
Russian Cemetery is managed by the Orthodox Church. An entrance is clsed. There are 43 graves at present. The oldest grave is that Mr. George Borikekovic, a mate of Russian screw frigate Askold, has been buried since 1859. Mrs. Goshkevich (初代領事ゴシケーヴィチ夫人), wife of the first Russian consul in Hakodate, and Mr. Vissarion Sartov (ヴィサリオン・サルトフ), a teacher at the National School in Hakodate were buried, too.
At present, there are 40 graves of the German Vice-Consul Haber (ドイツ代理領事ハーバー) and the Denmark Consul Duus (デンマーク領事デュース) as well as 2 crewmen, Wolfe and Remick, that have been buried by the Admiral Matthw C Perry at the Protestant Cemetery. An entrance is clsed. Various shaped tombstones are lined. Although it is named "Foreign General Cemetery", some Christian Japanese people were also entombed here.
A Grave of Extra Edition Newspaper Distributor (天下の号外屋翁の墓) is built on Hakodate Koseiin Cemetery. In a calm atmosphere, a red tombstone catch eyes. An Extra Edition Newspaper Distributor is Mr. Sukeharu Shinano (信濃助治). He came to Hakodate in all red clothes in 1894 and opened a newspaper office, and distributes newspapers in all the red clothes. He left a will to paint his tombstone red. I thought here is not famous, but there is a signboard to explain about him.
The center of Hakodate was around Funami-Cho (船見町) when Japan opened a port of Hakodate. A place written "Yamasedomari (山背泊)" is around Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery at the lower left of a photo below. There are Shomyoji Temple (称名寺), Jitsugyoji Temple (実行寺) and Jogenji Temple (浄玄寺) at the Funami-Cho, and those are relatively near the Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery. A lot of Yukaku (遊郭 * Brothel) were built around there, and prostitutes died at Yamonoue-Asobimeya (山之上遊女屋) were mounted for at Jizoji Temple in the Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery, and Umuryoento Monument (有無両縁塔) was built for their souls.
Atmosphere of Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Parking lot is not provided|
|Business hours||Open for 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around Hakodate Foreign General Cemetery.
|Pension Jokura(ペンション じょう蔵)|
|Share House Miyabi(シェアハウス みやび)|
|Hakodate Perry House(函館ペリーハウス)|
|Hakodate Motomachi Hotel(函館元町ホテル)|
A page of Hakodate is here