Our city is famous for above ground tombs. For those of you who are not impressed with our cemeteries yet, try to remember how cool Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper were in 1969, and you know how cool those cemeteries are. Thank you very much.
Even for me, a Japanese native, the above ground concept doesn't really sound that strange. The Japanese cremate the dead, put the ashes in an urn, and store it inside a little compartment either under a gigantic headstone or inside a small garden-shed like fancy structure. Since the 'underground' tombs are somewhat raised off the ground kind of like the tombs in New Orleans (if that makes any sense), it doesn't feel that the Japanese dead are really 'buried.'
To me the regular ordinary American cemeteries where the ground is flat and only the tombstones are sticking out, seem very odd, compared to the New Orleans style tombs. (do people not mind the fact that they are actually standing on top of their dead loved ones when they visit those flat American cemeteries?)
Anyway, one of my grandfathers' ashes is housed inside a small garden-shed-like structure on a hillside, where we simply unlock the front door and walk in, just like you're visiting someone in a 5x5 shed. There are shelves and drawers you can display and store pictures, candles, flowers, liquor bottles, small alter, etc., sort of like a mini-church, made just for you.
Here's a few paintings done at Lafayette Cemetery #1, a very popular tourist spot in Garden District.
|Community Tomb for Volunteer Firemen|
|Above Ground Tombs|