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A Buddhist architect with a good understanding of Christianity

You can see the influence of Tetsukawa Yosuke everywhere in Egami church, including in the way he designed the altar

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Egami church Egami church
Egami church

It is said that the pattern of the wood grain on the church's slender pillars was achieved using a comb. This is similar to how, in Europe, people make imitation marble pillars by giving a marble pattern to pillars made from stone. On Egami church’s window panes there are cherry blossom flowers which have been drawn on by hand. The man who designed Egami church, Tetsukawa Yosuke, had formed deep friendships with the French missionaries Father de Rotz and Father Pelu, and had eagerly learnt from them about Western construction techniques. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the same wood grain pillars as those mentioned above can also be seen in Shitsu church in Sotome (where the construction was overseen by Father de Rotz).
The altar of Egami church was also designed by Tetsukawa. On the back of a plan which was only discovered in 2005, the following is written: "Made on 20th June Taisho 6 [the 6th year of the Taisho era] at Minami Tabira Tenshudou construction studio for Egami in Naru island, Goto. Designs carried out were ears of wheat, grapevines with grapes and roses". In Christianity, wheat and grapes are often used to symbolise the Body and Blood of Christ, and the rose is a symbol for Mary. The combination of these designs along with the statue of St. Joseph above the altar evoke the Holy Family.
These design features tell us that although Tetsukawa Yosuke was himself a Buddhist, through his encounter with the foreign missionaries he had come to acquire a good understanding of Christianity.