Visiting Famous Tombs in Sugamo

As I wrote in my previous post, Somei Cemetery in Sugamo, Tokyo has several famous tombs including politicians and artists.  And this area has more temples with famous tombs.  Jigan-ji Temple, almost the nextdoor of Somei Cemetery is one of them.

1. Jigan-ji Temple

This temple is famous for the tomb of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, the great writer in early 20th century.  If you know a Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa, you may have heard of his film Rashomon.  This is based on a story by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

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Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s tomb in Jigan-ji Temple

Several website mention that there is also a tomb of another famous writer of the same era, Jun-ichiro Tanizaki in this temple but unfortunately I could not find it.  This is not a very big grave yard but there are many old tombstones and you can feel the lapse of time.

For More Information on Jigan-ji Temple

Address: 35-33 Sugamo 5-chome, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

2. Honmyo-ji Temple

I wrote about this temple when I explained the great fire in Edo Era.  Apart from the Monument of the Great Fire, this temple is also famous for several important tombs.

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Honmyo-ji Temple in Sugamo

This temple came from current Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture to Tokyo in 1590 and the location changed several times.  When the Great Fire of Meireki occured in 1657, the location of this temple was Hongo in Bunkyo-ku.  Wikipedia says that the temple came to the current location in 1910.

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A Tomb of Souho Amano, a Japanese Chess Player.

The name Souho Amano is not known in overseas but I think this tombstone is interesting enough – the pentagonally-shaped tombstone represents the shape of the piece of Japanese chess.  Mr. Amano was a strong chess player during 19th Century.

Japanese chess has been a popular board game among Japanese but in addition to this, there is another board game called Go.  Some anime fan may have heard about Hikaru no Go which is a story about Go players.  Anyway, this Go used to be preserved by a special family called Hon’inbou Family.  And Honmyo-ji Temple has their tombs.

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Tombs of Japanese Go Players’ Family Hon’inbou

For More Information on Honmyo-ji Temple

Address: 35-6, Sugamo 5-chome, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

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