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An early Japanese Christian graveyard

“Maruoyama” is a hill where an early Japanese Christian graveyard was excavated. It sits amid terraced rice fields.

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Candidates for a world heritage

Mt. Yasumandake Mt. Yasumandake
Mt. Yasumandake

In roughly the centre of Kasuga village, there is a hill called "Maruoyama" which local residents have worshipped for centuries. An early Japanese Christian graveyard was excavated here, although today all that can be seen is a small stone shrine. Based on a record from that age, it is thought that a cross was erected on this site.
The vast terraced rice fields which spread out around the base of Mt. Yasumandake, Kasuga river which flows by their side, houses, Shinto shrines, footpaths between the rice fields...a scene of complete simplicity. This scenery has hardly changed at all in 400 years. Gravestones from the 16th century can still be seen in Kasuga today, and until the early days of the Shōwa period Kakure Kirishitan baptisms and funerals continued to be performed here by one of Hirado’s special Kakure Kirishitan organisations.