ANZAC Day Memorial Service
Hosted by the Australian Embassy
Thursday 25th of April, 2013
9:00am - 9:50am
Commonwealth War Cemetary, Hodogaya
238 Kariba-cho, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama
Map and Directions to Hodogaya Cemetery
ANZAC Day commemorations will be held again this year at the Hodogaya War Cemetery in Yokohama on Thursday, 25 April, starting at 9:00am and finishing at around 9:50am. The commemoration service will be followed by morning tea and the event will finish at around 11am. Everyone is welcome to attend.
About ANZAC Day
On Anzac Day, the anniversary of the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915, the people of Australia and New Zealand commemorate the sacrifices made by their soldiers, sailors, airmen and service women.
The Anzac tradition - the ideals of courage, endurance and mateship that are still relevant today was established on 25 April 1915 when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
It was the start of a campaign that lasted eight months and resulted in some 25,000 Australian casualties, including 8,700 who were killed or died of wounds or disease. The men who served on the Gallipoli Peninsula created a legend, adding the word "Anzac" to the Australian and New Zealand vocabularies and creating the notion of the Anzac spirit.
In 1916, the first anniversary of the landing was observed in Australia, New Zealand and England and by troops in Egypt. That year, 25 April was officially named "Anzac Day" by the Acting Prime Minister, George Pearce.
By the 1920s, Anzac Day ceremonies were held throughout Australia. All States had designated Anzac Day as a public holiday. Commemoration of Anzac Day continued throughout the 1930s and 1940s with World War II veterans joining parades around the country. In the ensuing decades returned servicemen and women from the conflicts in Malaya, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam, veterans from allied countries and peacekeepers joined the parades.
During the 1960s and 1970s the number of people attending Anzac Day marches fell as Australians questioned the relevance of Anzac Day.
However, in the 1990s there was a resurgence of interest in Anzac Day, with attendances, particularly by young people, increasing across Australia and with many making the pilgrimage to the Gallipoli Peninsula to attend the Dawn Service.
For further information about ANZAC Day, please visit the Official Australian Government Anzac website.
About the cemetery
Yokohama War Cemetery is situated about 5 kilometers west of central Yokohama and about 30 kilometers from the centre of Tokyo. The Australian War Graves group constructed the cemetery in 1945. It is the only war cemetery in Japan administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The cemetery comprises four main parts; the United Kingdom section, The Australian section, the Canadian and New Zealand section and the Indian Forces 1939-45 section. There is also a post-war section. A Cross of Sacrifice stands in each of the first three sections. Instead of a cross, a specifically designed monument in the form of a pylon dominates plot in the fourth section. In the north wall of this section is also the Yokohama Memorial commemorating those who died while serving with the occupation forces in Japan and for whom no burial or cremation information exists.
In the Australian section of the cemetery there are graves of 277 known and 3 unknown Australians. There are 10 navy, 250 army, 8 air force and 9 merchant navy named graves. Of the 3 unknown Australians, 2 were re-buried at Yokohama from their unmarked resting place on Hainan Island in June 1992.
In the post-war section, 57 Australian servicemen are laid to rest. These include those who gave their lives in the Korean War, some from the occupation forces in Japan and those who died more recently. The grave of Warrant Officer Ray Simpson who won a Victoria Cross in Vietnam, and who subsequently lived in Japan, is in this section.
How to get to the Hodogaya Cemetery
Maps and directions
Australians interred at Hodogaya
List of War-Interred Australians
List of Non-War-Interred Australians
Biographies of Australians
Text and images from the Australian Embassy, Tokyo website.