Thursday, June 25, 2015


MARC collection

In a pre-war photo of Pigo Catholic Cemetery stands a large mausoleum.

The mausoleum itself is prominent, dwarfing the small lápida (grave stones) around it. But what also catches the eye on closer inspection are the Chinese characters written above the entrance of the mausoleum.

Japanese names are written in Chinese characters (kanji). The mausoleum shows that the owners had some money, and that they were Catholic, which usually meant a Japanese male married to a Chamorro female.

So I asked some people to take a look at the kanji. They said it meant No ("field") and Daka or Taka from takai ("high").

This only made me more mystified because there was no Japanese-Chamorro families names Nodaka.

But there was (is) a Japanese-Chamorro family named Takano, and they ran a store.

If you invert No and Daka/Taka, you get Takano.

Perhaps this was the Takano family mausoleum.

The family patriarch was a Japanese who settled Guam and who received the Christian name Vicente when he married Dolores Dydasco San Nicolas.

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