Candidates for a world heritage

Mt. Yasumandake

写真右奥に見える山が安満岳(撮影:日暮雄一)

Address

Shuushi-chou, Hirado-shi, Nagasaki-ken, 〒859-5142

A sacred mountain located on the west coast of Hirado, 536 metres above sea level.
At the west side of the mountain’s summit there is a steep cliff, which affords an unbroken view of Ikitsuki island.
Mt. Yasumandake consists of Hokusanhime shrine and sandō (an approach to a shrine), a small stone shrine at the summit, and the remains of Saizenji temple.
Beginning in medieval times, the mountain served as a place of pilgrimage for the yamabushi (mendicants of the Shugendō sect). This group held strong power. Old correspondences which remain suggest that in the sixteenth century, there was hostility between the yamabushi and Jesuit missionaries.
Once Christianity had been banned in Japan, Hidden Christians along Hirado’s west coast began to revere Mt. Yasumandake, believing it to be sacred. They made a special sandō leading up to it from Kasuga village.
To this day, Kakure Kirishitan in the area still continue to go and pay homage at this mountain.

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