おらしょ こころ旅

Registered asset

Shimabara/Amakusa

Sakitsusuwa shrine

  • A shrine built in a small fishing village on Shimoshima island in Amakusa (which is part of Kumamoto prefecture).
  • The shrine’s torii (archway) is inscribed with the date 1685, and it remains standing in the spot where it was first erected.
  • During the ban on Christianity in Japan, many of the people living in Sakitsu village were Hidden Christians. The village’s population was strictly monitored, and so the Hidden Christians joined Sakitsusuwa shrine as a way to avoid being discovered.
  • The shrine appears on maps from the Edo period. It has been loved by people in Sakitsu since it was first built.
  • In 1805, an event occurred which became known as the “Amakusa kuzure” (literally, “the falling of Amakusa”). Hidden Christians living in Amakusa were detected and were required at Sakitsusuwa shrine to present whatever Christian objects they had secretly been keeping.
  • The village leader is recorded to have said during the subsequent investigation: “We recite anmen riyusu when we visit the shrine”. These words are thought to be a corruption of either “Amen Jesus” or of “Amen Deus” (the Latin word for God).

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

Kuzure

[Kuzure] Kuzure is the destruction of the faith-based organization of Kirishitans (Christians) due to strict control or informing during the forbidden period. The term refers to large-scale arrests of Kirishitans in an area, including the Omura county kuruze, the first to fourth Urakami kuruze, and the Goto kuruze.

Senpuku Kirishitan

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

Biography & Glossary >>

Map and access

View map here

Articles related to this asset

Related registered assets

  • World Cultural Heritage
    Sakitsu church
  • Recommended sites
  • Museum
  • Sites for a side trip
Top