Bones of over 1,500 people found at Osaka Station area construction site
soranews24.com -- Aug 14
With people think of a Japanese city with a rich cultural legacy, Kyoto is the first place that springs to mind, but Osaka is no slouch in the historical significance department either.

Osaka’s coastal location connected it to trade routes even in Japan’s feudal era, and the town that spread out from Osaka Castle was the country’s most thriving center of merchants and commerce when Tokyo was still a backwater town called Edo.

As present-day Japan’s third-largest city in terms of population, Osaka continues to be a busy place. Right now there’s an urban redevelopment project going on in the area north of Osaka Station, and during construction surveys Osaka’s past, present, and future have intersected.

The district around Osaka Station is called Umeda, and the sub-section where the redevelopment project is taking place is called Umekita (combining “Umeda” and kita/”north”). But once upon a time, it was known as Umeda Haka, or Umeda Grave, one of seven major cemeteries of Osaka. Because of that, survey teams for the Umekita redevelopment project have discovered the bones of more than 1,500 people at a project site, according to a recent announcement from the Osaka CIty Board of Education and Osaka City Cultural Properties Association.

Various burial styles were observed, ranging from enclosed wooden caskets to barrel-like open containers, as well as earthenware coffins called kameganbo (“turtle caskets”). While cremation is the norm in Japan now, surveyors found both cremated and non-cremated remains. Several of the bodies had also been interred with burial items such as juzudama (rosary-like prayer beads), rokusenmon (a set of six coins used to pay passage across the Sanzu River, said to separate the world of the living and the afterlife), pipes, and clay dolls.

In another section of the site, separated from the casket area by a stone wall, a mass grave with bodies of the deceased only covered by earth was found. Given the number of people who were apparently buried at the same time, researchers suspect the burial may have come following a plague that claimed the lives of many in a short period of time.

大阪・梅田で進められている再開発の工事現場から古い時代の人の骨が発掘されました。その数、約1500体。生まれ変わろうとしているエリアには元々、有名な墓地がありました。  大阪の繁華街・梅田周辺にぽっかりと空いた空間。JR大阪駅の北側、「うめきた」と呼ばれる地域で、大阪駅のすぐ隣の工事現場では発掘の結果、なんと1500体の人骨が見つかりました。人骨以外に、土でできた人形や位牌(いはい)なども見つかりました。  一体なぜ、都会の真ん中に・・・。その謎を解く鍵となる絵がありました。「盂蘭盆会(うらぼんえ)七墓巡り図」。江戸時代、大坂にある7カ所の墓地を供養のために参拝して歩く、「七墓巡り」が庶民の間で流行しました。墓地の一つ「梅田墓」。その「梅田墓」があったのが、ここなのです。  大阪市文化財協会調査課東淀川事務所・大庭重信所長:「大阪市内はもちろん、日本全国のなかでもこれほど多数の人骨が一度に見つかる事例はほとんどありません」  土人形やミニチュア食器は、子ども用のおもちゃ。埋葬された子どものために入れられた可能性があるといいます。  この梅田墓があった場所・・・。7年前にその役目を終えた貨物駅があった所です。貨物駅は、100年以上にわたってこの場所にありました。その間もずっと、この地に眠っていたのです。今回、見つかった人骨は大阪駅周辺の再開発事業に伴って行われた発掘調査によるもので、3年前にもこの周辺で約200体の人骨が見つかっています。  大阪市文化財協会調査課東淀川事務所・大庭重信所長:「恐らく、あまり身分の高くない人たちが埋葬されているので、歴史に名前を残さないような人たちに光を当てることが期待できる」  調査を終えた大半の部分はすでに埋め戻されていますが、まだ一部、調査中の所もあるということです。
News sources: soranews24.com, ANNnewsCH
Oct 22
Japan's health ministry has suggested that many women in the country may have opted out of pregnancy due to the coronavirus epidemic. (NHK)
Oct 21
Have you ever felt like your teacher really had it in for you? Maybe they graded you lower, spent extra time calling you out in class, or peed on your sleeping bag during a school trip. (soranews24.com)
Oct 19
Boys and girls in Japan in 2019 had lower athletic ability than their counterparts in 1964, when the previous Tokyo Olympics were held, an annual government survey showed Sunday. (Japan Times)
Oct 19
A collection of newspaper comic strips by the late Japanese manga creator Osamu Tezuka featuring handwritten dialogue as well as previously unreleased works will be published as a set of books in November. (Kyodok)
Oct 19
Have you ever eaten Sushi roll? I think it’s popular Japanese food in overseas, how about it? At the end of the video, there is a tip on how to cut sushi rolls well, so watch it till the end! (Kimono Mom)
Oct 19
This time we'll learn how to say "Good luck!", "Break a leg", "I'm supporting you", "I got your back!" in many different ways. (Japanese Ammo with Misa)
Oct 18
Tokai University, a four-time Japanese national university baseball champion, said Saturday it has suspended all activities of its baseball club indefinitely due to illegal drug use by several members. (Kyodo)
Oct 18
(newsonjapan.com)
Oct 17
Previously, today is the day we have moon viewing called Tsukimi in Japan, and I was planning to make dumplings with my daughter, Sutan. (Kimono Mom)
Oct 16
An expert panel has basically approved anti-infection measures to be taken for next year's standardized university entrance exams in Japan, which would take place amid the pandemic. (NHK)
Oct 15
Japan's education ministry has requested national universities and other official institutions to join the central government in mourning for former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone during his state memorial service this weekend, school officials said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Oct 15
A survey of schools in Japan shows that more than 10 percent of them had students who were absent to prevent coronavirus infection. (NHK)
Oct 14
Japan plans to sharply cut the inheritance tax bills for highly skilled overseas professionals working in Japan, Nikkei has learned, as part of a broader scheme to nurture the country's status as a global financial center. (Nikkei)
Oct 12
The number of suicides rose in Japan in August due to more women and school-aged children taking their own lives — offering a first glimpse into the consequences of the mental health strain brought about by COVID-19 around the globe. (Japan Times)
Oct 12
Tokyo on Sunday opened its first major community hub for LGBTQ people this month, part of a pre-Olympics project that campaigners hope will tackle stigma and raise awareness of discrimination. (Japan Today)
Oct 12
Japan's health ministry is conducting an online survey to find out how the coronavirus is affecting mental health. (NHK)
Oct 10
The University of Tokyo is planning to issue its first bond, amid dwindling government grants and subsidies. (NHK)
Oct 10
A survey in Japan has found that many children's sleep patterns have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. (NHK)
Oct 10
As the fall semester kicked off, universities in Tokyo and the surrounding area, where daily new COVID-19 cases are still relatively high, have been slow in shifting to physical classes. (Japan Times)
Oct 10
近ごろの親は、学業上のプレッシャー、思春期の落ち込み、コンプレックス、メンタルヘルス、ボディイメージの問題など、さまざまなタイプの十代の問題に対処する必要があります。 (newsonjapan.com)