Zōshigaya Cemetery

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Signage at the entrance to the cemetery
Pathway among the graves

Zōshigaya Cemetery (雑司ヶ谷霊園, Zōshigaya Reien) is a public cemetery in Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo, founded by the Tokyo Metropolitan government.

The cemetery welcomes people from any religion and contains the graves of many famous people in its 10 ha area. It is maintained by the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association.


Zōshigaya Cemetery was founded by the local government of Tokyo Prefecture in 1874 as a public graveyard following the policy of the new government of the Meiji period, which prohibited burial in the central part of Tokyo. Cremation was prohibited in 1873[1] and nine sites were designated new public graveyards in 1874. The local government of Tokyo prefecture established six cemeteries including Zōshigaya.[2] Its construction and administration works were entrusted to the Tokyo Chamber (the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry of today). In 1876, the administration of the cemetery were taken into care by the prefectural government, and then by the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association in 1985.

The name of the cemetery at first was Zōshigaya-Asahidechō-Bochi (雑司ヶ谷旭出町墓地); as Zōshigaya-Asahidechō was the name of the town in which it was located. It was changed to the current name of Zōshigaya Reien (雑司ヶ谷霊園) in 1935.


Among those interred here are (Japanese surnames are in capital letters):

Cultural references[edit]

Before Natsume Sōseki himself was buried in Zōshigaya Cemetery, he selected the cemetery as the final resting place for the friend of the Sensei in the novel Kokoro (1914).


  1. ^ "Cremation". History of Japan: A Guide to Japan's Past and Present. Retrieved 3 Dec 2013. 
  2. ^ The other sites were Aoyama, Tateyama, Yanaka, Kameido, Somei
  3. ^ Prange, Gordon W.; Goldstein, Donald M.; Dillon, Katherine V. (2014-05-06). Target Tokyo: The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring. Open Road Media. ISBN 9781480489486. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°43′22″N 139°43′11″E / 35.722753°N 139.719764°E / 35.722753; 139.719764