Virtual Tour of Ross Bay Cemetery
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22. Obelisk

The Japanese grave markers are simple shapes, such as the obelisk. Square wooden posts were also used to temporarily mark many of the Japanese graves.

When the Japanese were forced to move from BC’s coast during World War II, none of them returned and there were no the family descendants to look after the graves.

A group called Kakehashi (bridge) formed to restore the existing damaged gravestones and create markers for the unmarked graves.

Every August members of the Japanese and Japanese-Canadian community celebrate the Obon Festival “Festival of the Dead” in Ross Bay Cemetery. It is observed with communal grave cleaning, placing a flower on each grave and a ceremony at the Kakehashi Memorial Stone. At the end of the ceremony a member of the Old Cemeteries Society conducts a tour of some of the Japanese graves.