The remains of an orphanage that were discovered deep in the mountains
A place where people tilled the land so that children could live, and where people prayed
Around thirty minutes from Sakitsu by car, on a mountain road in the middle of nowhere there is a place called Nebiki. If you are not guided there by one of the locals, it will probably be difficult for you to find. It is said that an orphanage once stood here. There is an old water well and a “children’s room” made of wood which has been reconstructed. In between a thick cluster of Japanese cedar trees, there is a path which has been maintained, and near the mountain's summit there is a big wooden cross and a statue of Mary.
The orphanage was called "Nebiki no kobeya" (lit. “the children’s room of Nebiki”). A French priest called Father FERRIÉ established it in the early days of the Meiji period. It accepted children who, in their need, had stolen and damaged food from fields because they didn't have enough food of their own, and was a place which encouraged them to be self-sufficient. The priest carried food there from the church, and together they cultivated the surrounding land.
After the passing of many years, the orphanage’s remains were discovered in 1960 (the deciding factor being the old water well). These remains were covered in thick overgrowth. The priest appointed to Sakitsu in 1981, Father Diamond, visited here almost every day and removed the weeds and began to maintain the place. Nowadays, Masses are held there every May and October.