2024 Obon Grave Washing, Saturday, August 10th at Ross Bay Cemetery

OBON in Victoria – SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2024

ROSS BAY CEMETERY – 1495 Fairfield Road, Victoria, B.C.

Summer has arrived! And in this very busy season, we will be gathering to mark Obon and look forward to your participation in the day’s activities.

The Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society and The Japanese Friendship Society have come together to host this event and highlight the following activities and times in historic Ross Bay Cemetery:< LOCATION: ROSS BAY CEMETERY – Kakehashi Stone and surrounding area<

  • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (noon) – Grave Headstone washing of 152 graves of pioneers of Japanese descent and placement of flowers on these gravestones. Your assistance with this task is greatly appreciated.
  • 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM – Buddhist Obon Ceremony at Kakehashi Stone. The ceremony will be presided by Reverend Grant Ikuta, resident minister for the Steveston Buddhist Temple and Bishop of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada.
  • 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Heritage Walk of Japanese Pioneer Graves

Following the Ceremony, light refreshments will be served – Please join us as we welcome travellers from the Steveston area to the Ross Bay Cemetery joining our Obon observance.


VOLUNTEER HELP – As well as the help needed for the Grave Headstone washing, we would appreciate some EXTRA assistance in the setting up and taking down of tents, chairs, tables, signage, decorations, and food services. If you are able to assist with any of these tasks, please contact us – thank you.


Flower Donations – We appreciate the donation of flowers for both the laying on the gravestones and for the Kakehashi Stone.


2024 marks the 82st anniversary of the internment and displacement of citizens of Japanese descent from the west coast of British Columbia after which many people did not return to their former homes. This includes former Japanese Canadian residents of the greater Victoria area and because of this, the pioneer graves fell into disrepair. In this year, we remember not only the pioneers, their descendants and community, but also the small group that came together years ago to bring about repairs or to replace individual headstones and to raise the Kakehashi Stone in Ross Bay Cemetery.

Ross Bay Cemetery Map showing Japanese Grave clusters.


We look forward to meeting you and your family. Please come, wear your Yukata, and share in the friendship at this unique event.


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