A new home for Houki’s Christians
The Christians who lived in Houki during the Meiji era were very devout, and they played their part in the church’s construction.
“Before the church was built, people would lay mats in a wooden meeting hall, and a priest would come there to meet them” says 89-year-old Matsuo Ryouji, a Christian who attends Houki church. His parents were both very devout and he too never misses his daily prayers. “My aunt was born in 1889. She did not marry, and worked as a catechist until her death. She made her living from weaving and was a wonderful person who was also very tough”.
The Christians of that time were very devout. Prayer was an important part of their day, and many of them were eager to help with the church’s construction in whatever way they could. For example, the stone wall which runs around the church was made using stones which, after being cut by a stone mason, were carried there by Christians from the area (who then built the wall themselves). Furthermore, in order to obtain the wood needed, big Japanese cedars from Mt. Shijiki were transported by a large boat with three masts to a nearby beach. Local Christians then carried them up the hill to where the church was going to be built. Then they looked forward to the completion of their new home.