Sunday, April 14, 2019

Japanese converted into Chinese (Bukit Brown)

Masiyah/ Masuiah / Ma Si Ye / 马士野 was born around 1853, and married into a Chinese family with the surname Tan. This information is from the burial entry and from her tomb. She passed away at the age of 81 on 22 May 1934, making her possibly has one of the early Japanese immigrants or settlers in Singapore. Her tomb can be found in Hill 2 Section C plot 125. Another interesting point to note, in the burial records, it was written that Masiyah was a Japanese who converted into Chinese. (we know that is not possible, but nevertheless, very interesting indeed that it was described as so).

Extracted from the burial registrar (Japanese converted into Chinese)

Tomb of Masuiah / Ma Si Ya / 马士野

Tomb of Masuiah / Masiyah (taken in 2013) 

Can you spot the mistake? 
Decorative tiles

Other tombs in Bukit Brown who are non-Chinese include; Yamada Ofuni, Wiesje De Haay, Nek Mina.

The tomb shoulders are decorated with Japanese imported tiles, while there is a unique 4 piece tile, with one of the tile wrongly placed. If anyone has more details do share ! From research done by Khoo Ee Hoon, another interesting nugget gathered was the residence listed in the burial registrar was 299 River Valley Road, the same address as Cheong Koon Seng.

1 comment:

Colin said...

I don't know about Sino-Japanese traditions, but for comparison, in some Islamic and older Christian traditions it was common to intentionally place a tile or piece of stonework the wrong way round - a mark of humility, as 'only God can be perfect'