Candidates for a world heritage

Kashiragashima Church

撮影:池田勉

Address

Tomozumi-go 638-1, Shinkamigoto-cho, Minamimatsuura-gun, Nagasaki-ken

Kashiragashima is an island located east of the island of Nakadorijima, in the north of the Goto archipelago. The church itself is found in the village of Shirahama.
At the end of the 18th century, hidden Christians from Sotome in the Omura domain migrated to Kashiragashima and founded a village.
They formed the village by clearing land on mountain slopes as well as the limited amount of flat land.
Following the discovery in 1865 of hidden Christians at Oura Cathedral, Kashiragashima’s hidden Christians too went there in secret to meet with the priest.
In 1867, a priest from Oura Cathedral named Father クザン visited Kashiragashima and undertook missionary work.
After the removal on the ban on Christianity, the people of Kashiragashima founded the island’s first church on the site of their leader’s residence.
In 1919, the stone building you see today was constructed near the location of this first church.
The structure, with its tower at the front and single layer gable roof, is built mostly out of the local Kashiragashima sandstone.

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