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A trail which connected two Hidden Christian villages

The remains of Nokubi and Funamori villages are linked by a rugged trail, which the island’s Christians walked for over 100 years.

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An old trail linking Nokubi and Funamori villages An old trail linking Nokubi and Funamori villages
An old trail linking Nokubi and Funamori villages

A 2.8 kilometre long trail connects the remains of Nokubi and Funamori villages (there and back again takes around 3 hours for an adult). The churches that were built in these two villages were both attached to Chuuki parish, and because the location of the Mass would alternate, the island’s Christians would walk along this precipitous path to attend Mass. If you walk along it today, you can sense the strength of the Christians of that time.
A 66-year-old Christian originally from Funamori village recalls his experiences: "On the occasions when Christmas Eve Mass was held at Nokubi church, we returned home along a mountain trail in total darkness carrying lit bamboo poles. The flames quickly went out. It was scary". After the schools in Funamori and Nokubi were combined into one, children from Funamori would, from primary school age, walk along this path to go to school, sometimes in rain or even snow. The older children would carry the satchels of the younger ones, and when it rained they would walk whilst stopping to take shelter. The inhabitants of Funamori always helped one another in severe circumstances such as these. The path, which for over 100 years Christians on Nozaki island trod, remains in the same state today.