• Culture
  • Nagasaki

Hara Castle Ruins

"Tastes of JAPAN by ANA" is a regional vitalization project that collaborates with the different prefectures in Japan to present the Land of the Rising Sun in all of its diverse glory.

Hara Castle was the scene of the Shimabara Rebellion that took place about 400 years ago.
One of the Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Hara Castle Ruins today attracts many tourists. With views of Amakusa across the sea, it is a highly recommended spot for viewing beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

The vassals of the Christian daimyos (feudal lords) who once ruled this land, such as Arima Harunobu and Konishi Yukinaga, played a leading role in the Shimbara Rebellion. These vassals were known as leaders of a kumi, that is, a unit of the Christian community. Records of the Shogunate tell us that, when they were besieged in Hara Castle, they built a chapel inside the castle, from which they continued to preach their faith.

Archeological excavations of the Hara Castle Ruins to date have uncovered the skeletal remains of Christians who were felled in the battle and many objects of devotion. These devotional objects include medals that had been bestowed by the missionaries who first brought Christianity to Japan and that had been passed down from generation to generation, as well as crucifixes that had been improvised from bullets found in the castle. The strong faith of the Christians who were besieged in the castle has been revealed from an archeological viewpoint. These digs have also found the remnants of several semi-underground dwellings that were built in a uniform fashion on the western side of the honmaru, or main bailey. These remaining structures clearly indicate that the Christians who had taken refuge inside the castle after Christianity was banned continued to uphold their faith, acting in an organized manner in units of families and villages. The fact that many of these artifacts have been discovered embedded inside the destroyed stone walls is evidence that, fearing that Hara Castle would be used for another uprising, the Edo Shogunate completely destroyed the castle.

Location

Name Hara Castle Ruins
Web Sites (In Japanese) https://himawari-kankou.jp/learn/000524.php
Address Minami Arima-cho Otsu, Minami-Shimabara-shi, Nagasaki
Business Hours Open year round
Inquiries TEL:0957-65-6333 (Minamishimabara City Tourist Association)

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