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The Wonders of Stained Glass

The magic of light filtered through stained glass comes from the composition of elements that either refract or absorb the colours of the glass.

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Oso Church Oso Church
Oso Church

Oso Church is famous for its floral stained glass, reminiscent of sakura cherry blossoms. The light that passes through it holds a secret. The stained glass fitted into the outer frame casts beautifully-coloured rays on the church’s interior, but the flower-shaped portions do not cast any coloured light. What is the reason for this? A closer look at the structure reveals that the flower-shaped parts alone have an extra layer of frosted glass built into them. In other words, there was an intentional effort made to stop light from passing through. While the impetus for this design remains unknown, it is hypothesised that this was to prevent coloured light from blurring print and obfuscating the reading of the Bible or other holy texts. The same sakura-shaped stained glass structure is also located on a position near the top of the altar, but this one has no frosted glass. One wonders what sentiments were held by Tetsukawa Yosuke, the cathedral’s architect, on constructing this place. A contemplative viewing of the site might reveal yet more things to be seen.