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A church of 400,000 bricks

It is said that 400,000 bricks were used to construct Kuroshima church. Some of these were made on Kuroshima itself by the Christians who were living there.

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Candidates for a world heritage

Kuroshima Church Kuroshima Church
Kuroshima Church

On Kuroshima there is a piece of coastline called Nakirinohama. At the time of Kuroshima church’s construction, bricks purchased from places such as Sasebo and Arita were unloaded there. The island’s Christians, including nuns from the island’s convent, then carried these bricks on their backs up the hill which leads to the present church.
In order to keep construction costs to a minimum, these Christians, under the guidance of Father Marmand, dug a hole at the back of the present church’s presbytery and sometimes made bricks there themselves. However, the red clay on Kuroshima wasn’t well suited to making bricks (the clay’s high level of salinity made it too sticky). In addition, those making the bricks lacked the technology to heat the bricks very strongly. These two things meant that the bricks were not of good quality. It is thought that for this reason, those bricks that were made on Kuroshima itself were used in parts of the church which cannot be seen from the outside.