“In the boats of the Christians from this neighbourhood there are statues of Christ”. In Kuzushima Yukinori’s boat, there is a crucifix in the middle of the part which houses the steering wheel. He lives in the Nangoshi area of Naru island. In addition to the crucifix, there is a statue of Mary with an offering of Japanese sago palm leaves beside it, which he had specially blessed by a priest (this is similar to what Buddhists in Japan do when they purchase an ofuda from a temple or shrine and put it inside their boat or vehicle as a way of invoking safety during the voyages upon which they embark). “Fishing is life-risking work. You never know what will happen. Mary and Jesus protect me”. When he is unable to attend Mass, he prays silently from on board.

He hasn’t always kept his faith, however. There have been times in the past when he left the Church for a while. However, he then met a priest who began to look out for him so that he wouldn’t drift away. “Young people are leaving both the island and the Church but it is my belief that one day, they will return”.