Hirado was the first ever place within the Nagasaki region where Christianity was propagated. In 1553, two retainers of Matsura Takanobu (the feudal lord of Hirado) converted to Christianity. Their family names were Koteda and Ichibu. Following this, Takanobu (whose other name was Douka) had his entire domain (which included Ikitsuki, Takushima and the west coast of Hirado) follow suit.

One of the places along Hirado’s west coast to be converted to Christianity was a village called Kasuga, a settlement nestled on the slopes of the sacred mountain Yasumandake. The landscape has remained much the same since the era of Christian proselytisation. Local livelihoods were carried out by fishing for marine products, obtaining coal and firewood from the forests, and harvesting rice and barley from a splendid set of terraced rice fields sustained by the mountain’s abundant water reserves.