おらしょ こころ旅

Registered asset

Goto Islands

Egami church

  • A wooden church with a multi-layered roof, designed by Tetsukawa Yosuke and completed in 1918. It has three aisles and a rib vault ceiling. The nave walls are arcade and mock triforium.
  • During the Edo period, four families migrated to Egami from the Nishisonogi peninsula. Once the ban on Christianity in Japan had been lifted, it developed into a Catholic village.
  • The church has certain distinctive characteristics because it was built taking into account the surrounding area’s level of humidity and also the fact that this area has many typhoons.
  • The church was completed at a time when the main local industry, fishing, was prospering. It is the kind of church which you cannot see elsewhere.
  • This church is a representative example of a church showing the development from a time when private houses were used as churches (in the period just after the Hidden Christians were discovered) to the time when wooden churches using traditional Japanese architectural techniques began to start being built.
  • The way in which the altar has been designed shows that Tetsukawa Yosuke possessed a good understanding of Christianity (despite being a Buddhist himself).
  • Now there is only one Christian household left in Egami, but Christians throughout Naru island still continue to pray there and keep the flame of faith alive.

Related persons and terms(By hovering your mouse pointer over an item, explanation of the item are displayed.)

Priest

[Priest] A priest is one of the offices of the Catholic clergy; referred to as "Father." A parish priest is entrusted with the parish by the bishop. Depending on the size of the parish, the priest may be assisted by a curate.

Parsonage

[Parsonage] A parsonage is a building where a priest lives.

Discovery of Hidden Christians

[Discovery of Hidden Christians] The Discovery of Hidden Christians is an event in which several Senpuku Kirishitans (hidden Christians) in Urakami confessed their faith to a priest for the first time in about 250 years, in 1865, even when the ban on Christianity had not yet been lifted. This historical event happened at the Oura Cathedral built in the foreign settlement of Nagasaki.

Nave

[Nave] Nave refers to the central aisle from the entrance of a church to the main altar.

Baptism

[Baptism] Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption into Christianity, and receiving a baptismal name (Christian name) such as "Mary" or "Francis."

Side aisle

[Side aisle] A side aisle is the part of a church building that runs parallel to both sides of the nave.

Yosuke Tetsukawa

[Yosuke Tetsukawa] Yosuke Tetsukawa was a master builder and architect from Kamigoto. He received instruction in church architecture from Father Marc Marie de Rotz. Yosuke was later involved in constructing many church buildings on his own, mainly in Nagasaki.

Biography & Glossary >>

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