Mount Faber – Japanese Tomb

Hidden deep within the forests of Mount Faber (near the abandoned Keppel Hill Reservoir) stands a Japanese Tomb erected by the Imperial Japanese Navy for 小本江笠. To get to the tomb, you will need to trek through the forest and look for these steps that lead to and from the tomb.

The front face of the tombstone has the words ‘Tomb of Navy officer 小本江笠’ inscribed. According to native Japanese speakers, Japanese characters can be read in different ways. So aparently his surname could be Omoto or Komoto, while his first name may be Egasa, Kouryu or something completely different.

According to the inscriptions on the sides of the tombstone, 小本江笠 had been part of the non-combat force sent from Japan in March 1942 to develop the shipping construction industry in Singapore. He was a naval engineer who had worked for the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries under the Kobe shipbuilding division.

小本江笠 was from the 101st Navy Unit’s engineering department, and he brought the first batch of shipyard workers to Syonan (Singapore’s wartime name) on 2 March 1942 when Syonan was surrounded by smoke. He worked tirelessly and devotedly on a shipbuilding project.

He died on the 18th day of the seventh month of the 17th year under the Showa era (July 1942) at the age of 42, just 4 months after he arrived, due to illness. It is not known what sickness he had, or why the memorial tombstone was erected only on 8 Dec 1943, more than a year after his death.

Many thanks to the folks at Temasek Rural Exploring Enthusiasts who brought us here as part of a larger tour of Mount Faber!

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