Kaminoshima Church in Nagasaki

Virgin Mary standing on the cape of a Christian island

By Masayoshi Hirose    - 1 min read

I visited a white church standing in a place called Kaminoshima on December 27th in 2014.

Kaminoshima (God's Island), which was reclaimed after WWII, used to be an island you could only access by boats. For its inconvenient location, quite a few Hidden Christians (Kakure Kirishitan in Japanese) hid out on this island during the Edo Period when Christianity was forbidden. Some Japanese Christians were martyred here. One martyr was thrown into the sea from Takahoko Island which you can see in front. To me, the white and shining statue of the Virgin Mary standing at the cape seemed to be not only watching over our safe voyage but also was praying for the martyrs' spirits to rest in peace.

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

Original by Masayoshi Hirose