Yokohama Foreign Cemetery, c. 1940.

1940sHistoric DistrictReligiousYokohama
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Foreigner's Cemetery, Yokohama, c. 1940.

A view of Yokohama, c. 1940, as seen from the Foreign Cemetery. In the distance are the towers of the Kanagawa Prefecture Office, and “Jack’s Tower” (Port Opening Memorial Hall).

“In the earliest days of foreign residence in Yokohama, the Japanese Government treated us in a right royal and liberal manner. As since at Hiogo, and Osaka, and the sister settlements, the native Government granted to the subjects of all treaty powers a portion of ground to be used exclusively as a Cemetery. This ground was given without any charge for ground rent or even any tax whatsoever if we remember.

“The ground, so far as was necessary for existing requirements, was prepared for interments by the Japanese Government, and at the same time was surrounded with a fence the future expenses of maintaining the Cemetery being understood to devolve upon the foreign communities. This ground seemed then to be of considerable extent and happily it sufficed for the necessities of some few years. Its site and limits are too well-known to require from us any description further than quoting an official memorandum now before us.”

The Japan Weekly Mail, May 28, 1870

“Foreign cemetery”, Yokohama, c. 1930.

“The Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery, located in Yamate Naka-ku, Yokohama, and one of four cemeteries for foreigners in the port city, was first established in 1859 soon after the opening of the Port of Yokohama. The current cemetery consists of 22 sections in an area of 18,500 square meters. In 1864, a memorandum for the foreign settlement at Yokohama was signed by the Tokugawa shogunate with the legations of the main trading nations permitting the extension of the cemetery area to the top of the Bluff opposite the Anglican Christ Church.

“On the weekends of the spring, summer and fall (from noon to 4:00 p.m.), the cemetery is opened up to the public for a small donation to help with the upkeep of the premises. Visitors will get a small pamphlet showing graves of interest, and they can also view the museum at the site.

“The Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery includes among many others the grave of Charles Lennox Richardson, murdered in the Namamugi Incident in September 1862, John Wilson, and that of Charles Wirgman, Ludovicus Stornebrink, and John Carey Hall. The French military advisors of the Boshin War, François Bouffier, Jean Marlin, and Auguste Pradier are also buried there.”


Foreigner’s cemetery, Yokohama, c. 1970.

“Edmund Morrell became the much-admired chief engineer of the first eighteen miles of railroad laid in Japan. But he died from overwork at age thirty before his Tokyo-Yokohama Line was completed in 1872. His tomb, in the Yokohama Foreign Cemetery, is clearly marked for sightseers to pay their respects.”

Heroes and Friends: Behind the Scenes of the Treaty of Portsmouth, by Michiko Nakanishi, 2006

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