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Kuroshima Culture


"Worth ordinary landscape conceal"

Long in history, moved to Kuroshima, island of livelihood was Itonama under natural and geographical environment, unique Kuroshima of the cultural landscape that has been created by life.
For people who live in its place, it is a natural landscape that is familiar from the usual, is what quite unaware in their value.

Faith and development and the history and.

The value an ordinary landscape has:

Kuroshima’s unique cultural landscape which was developed by settlers’ work and lives affected by island’s natural and geographical environments in a long history.
The landscape around the Warabe area was a common sight on Kuroshima. The area was first designated as island’s important cultural landscape for its well maintained and well preserved sight.
In this area, many sea fig trees can be seen planted as windbreaks around the houses.

People of bracken settlements, was the people who came from the open sea of ​​Nagasaki. The incubation Christians who have fled the persecution, when it has been moved to Kuroshima, continue to cultivate from the coast to the top of the land, windbreaks around the house, behind to reclaim the field to a low back around the field windbreak forests went planted.
Unlike the Motomura area where mainly Buddhist islanders live, they formed dispersed settlements which consist of a couple of houses.

  • National Important Cultural Landscape
  • Designated Date: Sep 21, 2011
  • Area: the Whole Island including Kuroshima port

Historical background:

20151223001During the Edo period, Kuroshima was the territory of the Nishi Family, one of the chief retainers of the Hirado Domain and used as Domain’s pasture.
After the pasture was closed, the Domain encouraged its people to move to the island to clear land for cultivation to make use of the former site of the pasture. The two small islands, Ishima island and Konokojima island, located off the north coast of Kuroshima had been considered as dependent ones of Kuroshima. Ishima was used for cattle grazing and Konokojima for gathering seagrasses for making fertilizer.

Kuroshima is affected by seasonal winds in both winter and summer, especially during the typhoon season, it is hit by furious south winds.
Therefore the residence locations were carefully selected and the windbreak trees were planted on the south side of the houses and the adjacent fields.

There are two types of windbreak, one utilizing the natural trees like chinkapin and one utilizing purposely planted trees like sea fig trees.
In the Warabe area, the southern part of the island, sea fig trees were planted as windbreak on the seashore side. Big subtropical sea fig trees and diorite stone walls form the island’s typical landscape.

Nature and Living Environment

028Kuroshima Island has about 50m steep coastal cliffs around the island. Fields and houses are dotted on the plateau about 100m above sea level.

Since Kuroshima has a subtropical climate affected by the warm Tsushima Current, subtropical plants such as sea fig trees and sasanqua camellias can be seen growing wild.

Though the evidence of people’s living during the Paleolithic period was found in the island, the first written material which has the name of Kuroshima is ‘Aokata Paper’ in 1271.

Food culture:

001Each season, various fish dishes using fresh locally-caught sea food such as sea bream, horse mackerel, striped pigfish, top shell, abalone, horseshoe crab and filefish are set on the table.

Since the island is covered with red soil, such root vegetables as potato, onion, Daikon radish and carrot have a superior taste.

Weddings in the Past:

039A decade ago, I boarded the previous day's hairdresser is a wedding, had her hair done's bride overnight.

The bride could not sleep all the night to keep her hairstyle beautiful.
They had a wedding ceremony at the church and a wedding reception at home.

Moving by boat is as easy as pie for islanders, so some couples have a wedding ceremony in Sasebo lately.