View Spot

Hidden Christian Sites become a World Heritage Site Sightseeing in the Nagasaki and Amakusa Region Heritage Group

Nagasaki Prefecture Hirado city and Minamishimabara city

Sacred Places in Hirado and Village (Kasuga Village and Mount Yasumandake)

Hidden Christian sites in Nagasaki and the Amakusa region became a World Heritage site It consists of 12 heritage sites including the Hara Castle Ruins, Nakaenoshima Island, Kasuga Village, and Mount Yasumandake. In June 2018 it was registered as a World Heritage site.
Sacred places in Hirado and village (Kasuga Village and Mount Yasumandake) are communities in which Christians secretly maintained their faith by adhering it to natural things such as mountains and islands amidst Japanese ancient nature worship. Religious items were handed down in rooms called the "Nando" of the teacher's house and worshiped at sacred places such as Mount Yasumandake on Hiradoshima Island and the Christian cemetery that existed before Christianity was prohibited. The sacred places are still worshiped at, maintaining the unique landscape of the era of the persecution of Christians in Japan.

Sacred Places in Hirado and the Village (Nakaenoshima Island)

Nakaenoshima Island, where records of the execution of Christians in the Hirado Domain from early in the era of the persecution of Christians remain, is an uninhabited island with a length of about 400m and a width of about 50m, located 2 kilometers off the northwest coast of Hiradoshima Island in the northwest of the Nagasaki region. Those Christians were secretly revered as martyrs. It is also worshiped as a sacred place where "water removal" to collect holy water that seeps from the rocks was performed, leaving a distinctive form of religious belief.

Hara Castle Ruins

This Castle site was the setting for the Shimabara Rebellion, in which Shimabara and Amakusa Christians rose up in the beginning of the era of persecution. The Christian rebellion had a great impact on the Edo shogunate and after that it established a system banning maritime activity that lasted for over two centuries, forcing Christians in the absence of foreign missionaries to continue their faith on their own. A large amount of human bones and religious tools, etc., were unearthed at the site of the Hara Castle Ruins showing the brutality of the oppression during the era of persecution.

Related article