A Buddhist memorial service was held on Friday, February 3 in Azabu-san Zenpuku-ji in Moto-Azabu, Minato City to mark the 116th anniversary of Yukichi Fukuzawa’s passing. Many people associated with Keio University prayed in front of Fukuzawa’s grave. This included President Seike, students from Keio Yochisha Elementary School and Keio Yokohama Elementary School to university students as well as their family members, alumni, and faculty and staff members. The weather was good this year and there was a long line of visitors at the temple.
On February 3, 1901, Fukuzawa passed away of a stroke in his home that was located on Mita Campus. He was 66 years old. Originally, he was buried in a graveyard in Kami-Osaki (which later became the Joko-ji cemetery). However, in 1977, his remains was moved to Azabu-san Zenpuku-ji. A monument in Joko-ji, commissioned by Keio University, marks the final resting place of Fukuzawa.
Tokujiro Obata, the eldest member of Keio University at the time, gave Fukuzawa his posthumous Buddhist name, “Daikanin Dokuritsu Jison Koji.” This roughly translates to “saint of independence and self-respect.” It is said that Obata chose this name because when he thought about Fukuzawa’s character, independence and self-respect came to mind.
President Seike at the grave
Children at the grave
People at the grave
Keio Yochisha Elementary School children and others waiting in line to visit the grave