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A hand-painted wooden ceiling

One striking feature of Kuroshima church is its magnificent rib vault ceiling. Interestingly, its wood grain was painted on by hand.

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Candidates for a world heritage

Kuroshima Church Kuroshima Church
Kuroshima Church

One thing many visitors are struck by upon entering Kuroshima church its magnificent rib vault ceiling. People sometimes refer to it as koumori tenjyou (literally, “bat ceiling”) because of the way its shape resembles a bat’s outstretched wings. One thing that often astonishes visitors to the church is that the ceiling’s wood grain has all been painted on by hand. First, the wooden boards were coated with varnish, and then the grain was painted on using the “brush mark” technique. This certainly gives the ceiling an air of extravagance. Diligently painting the entire ceiling in this way using a paintbrush must have been very tiring and time-consuming work. If you look carefully, you will notice that this “brush mark” technique has also been used in many other parts of the church, including on the doors and on the church's supporting pillars. It seems that Father Marmand and his flock wished for their house of prayer to look spectacular, even down to the smallest level of detail.