おらしょ こころ旅

Registered asset

Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

Kuroshima Church

  • Kuroshima is an island located southeast of Hirado, off the coast of Sasebo. Many people came and settled here in the 18th century.
  • When the ban on Christianity was lifted in Japan, all of Kuroshima’s Hidden Christians chose to formally rejoin the Catholic Church. In 1880, Kuroshima’s first ever church was built in the same spot as the present church currently stands.
  • In 1897, Father Marmand was appointed pastor at Kuroshima. He took responsibility for designing the present church and managing the whole construction process, as well as for providing practical instruction to his flock, who were devotedly assisting him. By their strenuous efforts, the present church was built.
  • At the front of the church there is a multilayered roof with a bell tower. Its outer walls are made of brick. The interior has three isles, with an arcade, triforium, and clerestory nave. Porcelain tiles from Japan’s Arita region have been laid on the floor around the altar. The floor is a normal wooden floor, although until recently they laid tatami mats on the floor during the winter.
  • Kuroshima church is one example of a church built on a remote island in a village where Hidden Christians lived prior to their return to the Catholic Church in the nineteenth century. It is also a representative example of a large-scale brick church built under the guidance of a French missionary priest.

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

Doctrine

[Doctrine] Doctrine consists of religious teachings.

Blessing

[Blessing] Blessing is a celebratory Mass in which people receive God's special grace.

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.

Senpuku Kirishitan

[Senpuku Kirishitan] Senpuku Kirishitan (hidden Christians) lived ostensibly as Buddhists during the ban on Christianity but secretly carried on their faith.

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."

Joseph Ferdinand Marmand

[Joseph Ferdinand Marmand] Joseph Ferdinand Marmand was a missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. He came to Japan in 1876. After missionary works in Amami and Ryukyu, he was assigned to Shimogoto as parish priest in 1880. After serving in Iojima and Amami, in 1897 he was sent to Kuroshima where he was instrumental in constructing the Kuroshima Church.

Biography & Glossary >>

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Articles related to this asset

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    A church of 400,000 bricks

    It is said that 400,000 bricks were used to construct Kuroshima church. Some of these were made on Kuroshima itself by the Christians who were living there.

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    A unique pulpit

    Father Marmand decorated Kuroshima church’s pulpit with ornamentations which he himself carved by hand. There are only a small number of pulpits in Japan.

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    A “Crossroad” for the Hidden Christians

    Those Hidden Christians who migrated to Kuroshima during the Edo period came in search of new land.

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    A meeting of East and West

    Kuroshima church is built in a beautiful Romanesque style. Many of the items within the church are of French origin, having been sent away for by Father Marmand.

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    First Mass

    When the first mass was celebrated on Kuroshima, Christianity was still officially banned within Japan. The priest who went there to say Mass crossed the ocean in disguise so as to avoid detection.

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    A romance which blossomed in the shade of Kuroshima Church

    Kuroshima Church took two years to complete. Among the carpenters who took part in the church’s construction was a young shipwright from the Goto islands…

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    A church containing porcelain tiles from Arita

    Local materials were used in Kuroshima church’s construction

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    Island of prayer

    On Kuroshima, there is a special adjective meaning “pious” or “devout”. All of the islands Christians possess a picture of the Virgin Mary, a crucifix, a rosary and such like.

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    Financial obstacles during the church’s construction

    Father Marmand gave his all to construct Kuroshima church. However, spiralling financial costs meant that construction had to be halted for a while.

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    A hand-painted wooden ceiling

    One striking feature of Kuroshima church is its magnificent rib vault ceiling. Interestingly, its wood grain was painted on by hand.

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    黒島の島めしとふくれまんじゅう

    大きくて堅い豆腐や素朴なまんじゅうは、
    カトリック集落に伝わる昔ながらの味

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    黒島天主堂の鐘の音

    シスターが鳴らす黒島天主堂の鐘
    透き通ったその音色の秘密とは・・・

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    祈りの島の墓地をたずねる

    黒島は天国のほうが人口密度が高い!?
    十字架が密集するカトリック共同墓地

  • Nothern Nagasaki Prefecture

    潜伏キリシタンの生活を助けたサザンカ

    樹齢250年以上といわれる巨大サザンカは
    西彼半島からの移住者が持ち込んだもの

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