Broome Japanese Cemetery – Broome, Australia - Atlas Obscura

Broome Japanese Cemetery

Broome, Australia

The final resting place for many Japanese divers who tragically lost their lives in the Australian pearling industry. 

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The Broome Japanese Cemetery is a poignant site of remembrance for the Japanese citizens who made significant contributions to the late 19th and early 20th-century pearl industry in the town of Broome, Western Australia.

The first burial occurred in 1896, there are now 919 people buried here across 707 graves. The majority of the graves are the final resting places of those who tragically died working in the arduous and highly dangerous pearling industry. 

The lucrative pearling industry attracted many Japanese seafarers and divers to the area at the end of the 19th century. The highly dangerous art took the lives of many of these Japanese migrants.

It is said that in 1914 alone, a diver’s paralysis caused the death of 140 men in Broome. Interesting gravestones inside the cemetery include a large obelisk that details the lives lost in a destructive cyclone in 1908. The tropical weather pattern in this part of Australia caused further cyclones in 1887 and 1935. 

Know Before You Go

There is a small parking area outside the cemetery.

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May 9, 2023

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