picture of the day

Remembrance Day

31 Comments

A Japanese couple look at a gravestone at the British and Commonwealth War Cemetery in Yokohama, the only one of its kind in Japan. Sunday was Remembrance Day.

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31 Comments
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Ok, 2 things here:

How do youknow they are Japanese? Could be Korean, Chinese, Japanese Americans, etc.

How do you know they are paying their respects? Could just be curious passers by gawping at the gaijin graves.
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@trulymadlyfukai:

Generally speaking, feature photographers will take a moment to talk to the people they photograph, so it is not unusual for the caption to identify the people in the photograph in some way.

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My "uncle," my dad's childhood friend, Lyle Ellis, is buried there. Mr. Ellis grew up in Canada as an American citizen. When WW2 broke out, he didn't wait for the American entry, which was to come more than two years later. He immediately joined the Canadian Army, was sent w/ other Canadians to bolster the British garrison in Hong Kong, captured in December 1941,was subjected to slave labor in the mines, and died of beriberi. (My dad was sent to Europe and survived.) Just thought folks should know.

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subjected to slave labor in the mines

That's a sad story JapanUSA. Maybe he was forced to slave in one of the notorious Aso family's mines in Kyushu? I'm glad this couple is paying their respects - so many Japanese are unaware of the thousands of Canadians/Brits/Aussies/Kiwis - not only Americans - who were enslaved, tortured and often executed by Japanese soldiers. Lest We Forget these brave Commonwealth soldiers.

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I agree with other posters. Nice to see something regarding froeigners in Japan that is not just about the USA.Sadly many Americans thes days forget that the British and Commonwealth tackled Japan and Germany alone for over 2 years.

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the British and Commonwealth tackled Japan and Germany alone ...

Gee, I wonder how the Poles, French Underground, the Chinese--I don't have time to make a complete list--feel about that word "alone"?

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brotokyo - point taken - but remember the Commonwealth nations like Australia, Canada, NZ and Britain NEVER surrendered or had their lands captured, despite coming under constant bombing attacks. They fought tooth and nail for their mates and country. That's why Remembrance day is still so important to us Commonwealth nations - to respect those heroes of the last 90 years or so. The Poles,French and Chinese all had their heroes, no question about that - but this is The British and Commonwealth War Cemetery.

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Burakumin: Indeed. And I have personally carried the US flag representing the VFW at that cemetery during ceremonies to honor our war dead. The VFW (An American organization) always remembers and participates in those ceremonies, and so do we Americans who also fought in that and later struggles. What a shame that cemetery doesn't make even a blurb on NHK, et al, ad nauseam local media while too much coverage continues for the "victims" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I hope our commonwealth friends realize Americans took part in those conflicts and we remember and celebrate ours and yours alike. We sell Buddy Poppies, too. I wish rafts of people would visit that cemetery.

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I will definitely visit that cemetery, brotokyo. Education in history is what is sadly missing for many here - and to a lesser extent back home. You sound very repectful of all the fallen - respect to you.

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Bura.. you won't regret your visit there. It is a well-kept beautiful place, a place we foreign nationals can truly appreciate and respect in Japan. Thanks for your kind words.

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Stevecpfc

many Americans thes days forget that the British and Commonwealth tackled Japan and Germany alone for over 2 years

How can you forget something that never happened? Prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the only Axis forces being engaged by the Commonwealth were the Italians and Germans.

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@burakumindes

i actually live about 10 minutes away from the old Yoshikuma mine site where these POWs were forced to work.two of the guys that died there are buried in the cemetery pictured in yokohama.its pretty amazing the amount of selective amnaesia Aso Taro has regarding the family company`s past.

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Unfortunately the focus of the photo is on the, supposedly, Japanese couple. Only the backs of four graves show due to the focus on the Japanese couple. If we truly wanted to show a picture in remembrance of Remembrance Sunday, then why isn't there a nice photo of the graves themselves and the front of the graves, recognising those who fell, as opposed to recognising the Japanese couple ?

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I had a minute of silence on Sunday

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Judderman, well said - those Allied POWs - Aussies, Brits, Dutch (as well as loads of indentured Korean slaves) helped enrich the Aso family - yet as you say, ex PM Aso won't apologise or even acknowledge the fact - despite the Japanese Foreign Ministry confirming this fact in 2008. The man is a disgrace to all good Japanese. I'm sure that grub would never visit this cemetery and pay his repects to some men who died helping to make him extremely wealthy.

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northlondon, I can only say thank you. I never even thought about this--again, thanks.

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Kudos to Japan for having such a place on its land.

And some interesting, thoughtful postings above.

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There seems to be a certain lack of understanding here. Japanese have a cultural affinity for strolling through cemeteries, like Yanaka, Tama, Aoyama and Zoshigaya, to name four Tokyo examples, mingle with the past and perhaps view the graves of famous people. Some may be interested for historical reasons, but I suppose there is also a sentiment that once a person is dead any negative feelings can be washed away. Anyway strolling through such places is a very Japanese thing, and I must confess to having done it myself a few times.

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The largest and most complete Memorial Park is on Mabuni Ridge on Okinawa Every nation is recognized and row on row of granite tablets pay homage to all that died. Thoughts ae in the mill to make the entire islnd of Okinawa renamed to become Memorial Island. Thousands of every race come daily to paaaaay their respects to those who died in WWII

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brotokyo, I'm an ex-British serviceman, and I'm not happy with Japan Today's reasoning behind this photo. Picture of the day is usually aimed to be controversial amongst the English-speaking community who follow this site, to gather lots of comments and good reading stats for JT's advertising targets. I feel it was Japan Today's intention to be controversial here, otherwise if they really wanted a Remembrance Sunday memorial photo they could easily have shown more of the graves showing the names from the front. Focusing on a modern-day Japanese couple and only showing the backs of a few graves was intended to garner the usual dogfight amongst the posters here.

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I don't see anything wrong with the photo. There is certainly nothing controversial about it. I think it is quite touching. Who knows who that couple are? Maybe they are Japanese, maybe they are not. Maybe they are looking at a relative's gravestone.

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There's nothing disrespectful in either the photo or the caption. Look at the body language of the man and woman. It would seem some posters in here can't resist their urge to be contentious no matter what the subject matter.

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smartacus:"I don't see anything wrong with the photo. There is certainly nothing controversial about it. I think it is quite touching. Who knows who that couple are? Maybe they are Japanese, maybe they are not. Maybe they are looking at a relative's gravestone."

I think you missed the part in the article that says "the British and Commonwealth War Cemetery in Yokohama",

unless one of these two people is of mixed heritage, I would think it highly unlikely they are visiting a relatives grave.

No I think @Beelzebub at 10:24 PM JST - 15th November touched on what is really going on these are just your typical "cemetery tourist" and I would also venture to guess that they had no idea it was remembrance day throughout the commonwealth.

FYI, The Japanese at the time did not recognize Asian as actual members of the British of any other Commonwealth military they were not afforded even the minimum that the other commonwealth POWs got.

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The cemetery is kept clean by Sailors from Fleet Activities Yokosuka's Chapel of Hope and volunteers.

I've gone to clean it twice.

Taka

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Taka313:"The cemetery is kept clean by Sailors from Fleet Activities Yokosuka's Chapel of Hope and volunteers."

Thank you for that information, I would have thought that the same agreements that are enforce in Europe would have been enforce here as well, that is the host country is responsible for maintaining the graves of their former enemies and allies.

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stevecpfc at 05:44 PM JST - 15th November Sadly many Americans thes days forget that the British and Commonwealth tackled Japan and Germany alone for over 2 years.

In Europe, yes. The Pacific War began for everyone pretty much on the same day, Dec 7/8, 1941.

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jeffrey - The Pacific War began for everyone pretty much on the same day, Dec 7/8, 1941.

You're forgetting the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the second Sino-Japanese War beginning in July 1937, Japanese occupation of French Indochina (now Vietnam) and joining the Axis powers in 1940. The US was dragged into the war on Dec 7/8, 1941.

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A point to consider is the politeness of taking photos of graves with names on them and posting them.

I agree with the comments here though that they should have captured the gravestones from the front. Perhaps if they took a wide angle shot of many gravestones from the front and in the foreground with names blurred. The shot could include the couple in the background among a sea of gravestones. It might have made for a more powerful shot.

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RIP

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arrestpaul at 03:00 AM JST - 16th November You're forgetting the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the second Sino-Japanese War beginning in July 1937, Japanese occupation of French Indochina (now Vietnam) and joining the Axis powers in 1940. The US was dragged into the war on Dec 7/8, 1941.

The Pacific War involving the U.S. the U.K. and the Commonwealth nations began on the same day in 1941. The Sino-Japanese war had nothing to do with the U.S. or any other nation. The comment that began all this, which was just as ill-informed as yours, was "reminding" us all that the war in Asia went on for a couple years before the U.S. got involved, except that it didn't.

And while the Japanese did invade Indochina in 1940, last time I checked, France was never part of the U.S., the U.K., and/or the Commonwealth.

A Japanese couple look at a gravestone at the British and Commonwealth War Cemetery in Yokohama, the only one of its kind in Japan. Sunday was Remembrance Day

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We need to remember all of the dead from all of the countries. I sometimes think about how things could be without our petty conflicts. All of the men and women who died before their time. I dream of a world without our petty conflicts, just think of all of the things we could do tougher.

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