Candidates for a world heritage

Sakitsu church

撮影:池田勉

Address

Sakitsu 539, Kawaura-machi, Amakusa-gun, Kumamoto-ken,〒863-1204

A church built in a small fishing village on Shimoshima island in Amakusa (which is part of Kumamoto prefecture).
After the ban on Christianity was lifted, the Hidden Christians in Sakitsu chose to formally rejoin the Catholic Church. In 1880, a wooden church was constructed adjacent to Sakitsusuwa shrine.
The present church was constructed in 1934 under the guidance of Father Halbout. It stands where the residence of the village headsman once was, which is where e-fumi ceremonies were performed during the ban on Christianity. These ceremonies involved having to trample on an image of Christ or the Virgin Mary (known as a fumie) in order to prove that you were not a Christian.
The inside of the church has a tatami floor, giving it the air of a traditional Japanese house.

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