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The costs of construction

Old Nokubi Church was completed in 1908, after Christians living on Nozaki island had willingly embraced financial hardship in order to raise the funds needed to pay for its construction. In today's money, the total cost would amount to around 300 million yen!

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Candidates for a world heritage

Former Nokubi Church Former Nokubi Church
Former Nokubi Church

According to history records belonging to Chuuchi church, the following episode involving Nokubi Church occurred. In 1882, a wooden church was built in Nokubi village, becoming the village’s first church. However, Nokubi’s Christians soon began to wish for a brick church like Aosagaura Church in the Goto islands. They asked a rich person in Ojika to lend them some money for building a church but when he discovered the reason why they needed the money he refused. So the Christians came together, and every family began economising, with adults eating only two meals per day. They also purchased fishing nets and began catching kibinago (silver-stripe round herring), and in these ways they were able to save money to pay for the church’s construction costs.
Towards the end of the Meiji period, they finally reached their goal. The priest at Chuuchi church, Father Nakata Toukichi, commissioned Tetsukawa Yosuke to design a church. The total costs of constructing the church amounted to 2,885 yen, of which Tetsukawa received 750 yen. 2,885 yen is around 300 million yen in today's money! At that time, there were 17 Christian households in Nokubi. The church’s construction was completed in 1908. It seems that some of the labourers were worried about whether or not they would be paid, but in the end they were paid in cash on the day of the church's completion.