Tokyo Damage Report

kubikiri jizo (首切り地蔵) cemetery

Nate (from the Ramenate blog) took me to kubikiri Jizo –  just a few feet from Minami Senju station (those are the Hibiya-sen tracks there in back).

As you can tell from the name, kubikiri means "neck cutting" – this cemetery was built on an Edo-era execution ground (further evidence of which is the 'namidabashi' bridge ('bridge of tears') which leads to it!) 

Nate didn't know if the graves at the cemetery are the people who were executed, or regular folks who lived in the neighborhood.

But either way, it seemed a rad place to check out – but when we got there we were doubly shocked:

the whole cemetery was in the process of being destroyed – executed, if you will.

What will replace it? A KFC? A real estate agency? The data center for a cyber-execution academy??? Who knows. But the half-completed destruction (complete with with green "Family of Unknown Origin" stickers applied to the remaining graves) simply added to the already ominous, post-apocalyptic atmosphere of the whole shebang.


Also:  they're not moving bodies. People are burned and their ashes are interred in the graves. But still.


Below:  an empty grave – ashes already (presumably) removed. Now it's a race between the bulldozers and the kudzu to see which can erase it first. A classic example of the "Man Vs. Nature Vs. Machines Vs.  Zombies" plot device.

Below, the dilapidated Buddha of Japan's most ironically-named temple:

延命寺 (long life temple!), located in front of the execution grounds.


below, Nate himself.



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3 Comments so far

  1. ross August 30th, 2010 11:17 am

    Somehow I always thought that the name of Namidabashi came from Oku no Hosomichi, specifically 
    just because of the weird kanji they both use for namida and Basho setting off from somewhere around Senju

  2. Brian August 30th, 2010 7:18 pm

    There is a cemetery near that one that had a dedication to all the prostitutes who died in Edo times.  And senju is just whack to begin with.

  3. Barbara December 9th, 2010 3:20 pm

    Yesterday we went and saw this place (Kotsukappara keijou at Enmeiji). Thekubi-kiri jizo is still there unharmed and the "reconstruction" is still in progress. It is really hard to find now with all the fencing and construction machinery etc around it. They have removed all of the old graves pictured above and there were crates at the front of the site with blocks of granite inside presumably for more new graves. Not sure what is going on there but I doubt it will be replaced with a KFC or other. I think the site will probably be maintained as a graveyard in some form or other but we got the impression that the new granite may be used for new graves rather than for restoration,. Nearby at the neatly-kept Eko-in cemetry (on the main street outside Minami Senju station) you can find the grave of Nezumi-kozo who was Japan's Robin Hood of the day. …

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