Kuroshima Church

Kuroshima Church
Item# SASEBOSHI006

Product Description

Kuroshima Church
Christianity arrived in Japan in 1549 with the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier. Fanning out from Nagasaki, the new faith won many converts, including a number of daimyo. Toyotomi Hideyoshi then Tokugawa Ieyasu persecuted those professing to be Christian. After the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637-1638, the official repression of Christian practices was combined with a policy of national seclusion that lasted over two centuries. With the advent of Western powers and reopening of Japan in the 1850s and the reforms of the Meiji Restoration, missionary activity was renewed and a number of Hidden Christians resurfaced. Oura Cathedral of 1864 is the first of the churches built in subsequent years.

Kuroshima Island is the largest of the Kujukushima islands. Two months after the discovery of the hidden Christians in Oura Cathedral in 1865, 20 representatives of the hidden Christians visited Father Petitjean in Oura to confess their faith. Subsequently, Father Poirier read the first mass in Kuroshima Island at the house of Deguchi Daikichi, one of the representatives. By 1873, Kuroshima had become an "island of Catholic." Kuroshima Church was constructed through the endeavors of Father Marman, with the self-sacrificing cooperation of the local laypeople. They carried bricks and other necessary materials by themselves, climbing up the steep slope from the beach.The interior of this church is magnificent, with arcades, triforia and clerestory. Kuroshima Church is unique in that Arita porcelain tiles, granite quarried in Kuroshima and other local materials are used.