History of Kuroshima island and Kuroshima Church
It has been 150 years since some 20 people representing 600 Christians on the island visited Father
Petitjean at Oura to confess their faith on May 19, 1865.
The fact that the people who had passed down the teachings of Christ in secret for 250 years confessed their faith was called a miracle and known throughout the world.
They kept two sacraments, Baptism and Wedding, even during the period they didn’t have fathers or missionaries.
After the hidden Christians’ confession, the missionaries started preparing for ensuring the validity of the sacrament of baptism.
After teaching the baptizer how to baptize correctly and distributing such holy things as catechisms, Christian calendars, crosses and the Virgin Mary’s medals, they gave the sacrament of penance and Communion.
|Anno Domini||Japanese Calendar||Chief Events|
|1587||Tensho 15||The Christianity-banning order was issued.|
|Yamaguchi Jizaemon, a Christian chief retainer of Hirado Clan, moved to Kuroshima via Omura.|
|1857||Ansei 4||Fumie or stepping on holy object to find hidden Christians was abolished.|
|1865 / 5 / 19||The Deguchi family visited Fr. Petitjean and told him Kuroshima has 600 hidden Christians.|
|1872||Meiji 5||Fr. Poirier visited Kuroshima as the first missionary.|
|1873||Meiji 6||The official bulletin board banning Christianity was removed.|
|Fr. Poirier visited Kuroshima 6 times in 1873.
1874-1877, Fr. Poirier visited Kuroshima twice each year.
|1875 ~ 1876||Meiji 8 ~ 9||Fr. Chatron visited Kuroshima twice.|
|1878||Meiji 11 end||Fr. Pelloux built a church in Nakiri district.
Dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus
Kuroshima became Tsuyoshi Village Kuroshima by a new law.
|1880||Meiji 13||The convent ‘Kuroshima Aikukai’ was established by Fr. Pelloux.|
|1880 / 6,8,11||Fr. Sole visited Kuroshima.|
|1880 / 7,8||Fr. Pouteau visited Kuroshima.|
|1880 / 11||Fr. Beaune visited Kuroshima.|
|Moving to Kozaki started.|
|1881 / 9||Meiji 14||Fr. Ferrier visited Kuroshima.|
|1882 / 10||Fr. Cole visited Kuroshima.|
|1882 ~ 1897||Fr. Matara (Fr. Raquet’s assistant) trained missionaries in the Clergy house till 1897.
|Fr. Matara became in charge of the Hirado parish after Fr. Raguet moved out.|
|1883 ~ 1887||Fr. Raguet went the rounds of Kuroshima.|
|1885||Meiji 18||Kuroshima became Kitamatsuura-gun Kuroshima village.|
|1886||Meiji 19||Fr. Raguet purchased a ha of land in Tabira and had two families move there from Kuroshima.|
|1887||Meiji 20||Fr. De Rotz purchased a ha of land in Omura.
Also some moved there from Kuroshima until 1939.
|1889 ~ 1900||Fr. Lemarie went the rounds of Kuroshima.|
|1894 ~ 1895||Fr. Bertrand went the rounds of Kuroshima.|
|1895 ~ 1897||Fr. Ariyasu (Fr. Matara’s assistant), Fr. Iwanaga Shinpei, Fr. Hamasaki, Fr. Iwanaga Shozo, and Fr. Ferrand went the rounds of Kuroshima.|
|1987 ~ 1912||After Fr. Marman, Pastors and Assistants stationed on Kuroshima.|
|1900 / 6||Meiji 33||The old church was demolished.
Site preparation and ground breaking.
|1900 ~ 1909||Fr. Breton stationed as Pastor.
Fr. Marman devoted himself to the church construction.
|1901 / 10||Meiji 34||The construction was stopped before ceiling covering.|
|1902 / 6||Meiji 35||The new church was blessed by Bishop Cousin.
The church is presumed to have been completed this year according to the baptism record.
|1903 ~ 1941||The Angelus church bell was donated by Mr. Fargniers and his son of Dijon City in France to Kuroshima Church.|
|Fr. Cotterell, working with Fr. Marman, participated in the World War I in 1914.|
|1906||Meiji 39||Kurokami Church was registered on the land ledger.|
|1910||Meiji 43||On Aug 14, the superstition incident occurred.
11 name incident and reconciliation was a Buddhist in the opportunity is incoming to Catholicism.
Kotoreru baptized than Father.
|1914 ~ 1919||Fr. Breton covered Mawatari Island and Kuroshima Island.|
|1926 / 8 ~ 1926 / 10||Fr. Boncards stationed as Pastor.|
|1926 ~ 1927||Taisho 15 ~ Showa 2||Fr. Vion stationed as Pastor.|
|1927 ~ 1931||Fr. Yamaguchi Takusuke stationed as Assistant.|
|1931 ~ 1947||Fr. Aoki Yoshio stationed as Pastor.|
|1939||Showa 14||Fr. Hatada Zensuke arrived as Assistant.|
|1940 ~ 1942||Fr. Imamura Tomeichi stationed as Assistant.|
|1942 ~ 1945||Fr. Tamaya Fusakichi stationed as Assistant.|
|1946 ~ 1947||Fr. Watanabe Hijiri stationed as Assistant.|
|1947 ~ 1963||Fr. Tagawa Isematsu stationed as Pastor.|
|1952||Showa 27||The Kuroshima Church 50th anniversary eucharistic procession was held with Bishop Yamaguchi.|
|1954 / 4 / 1||Showa 29||Kuroshima was incorporated into Sasebo City and became Kuroshima Cho.|
|1956 / 12 / 25||Showa 31||A memorial was built at the place where the first mass in Kuroshima was held.|
|1963 ~ 1983||Fr. Imamura Etsuo stationed as Pastor.|
|1970||The Clergy house was completed.
It was blessed by Archbishop Satowaki.
|1981 ~ 1983||Showa 56 ~ 58||Fr. Iwamura Tomohiko stationed as Assistant.
Pope John Paul II visited Nagasaki (Feb 25, 1981).
|1982 ~ 1983||Repair works for church.
Such as roof, floor, etc..
|1983 ~||Fr. Tanaka Chiyokichi arrived as Pastor.|
|1987 / 12 / 17||The Parish Hall was completed.
It was blessed by Cardinal Satowaki.
|1987 ~ 1988||The bell tower was damaged by a typhoon in 1987 and its spire and cross were replaced.|
|1988||Showa 63||The church parking lot was completed.|
Hidden Christians’ lives during the suppression
Pretending to be Buddhists, they kept their Christian faith and handed it down secretly.
The missionaries who foresaw the hard time for Christians would come taught their believers how to survive.
Based on the groups which had been formed before the suppression, some secret hidden Christians’ organizations were formed.
These groups were led by three major roles.
Chokata : A man who is initiated into the method of deciding holy days every year. The calendar, called ‘Ocho’ or ‘Hikuri’ , was the foundation for a religious life.
Mizukata (baptizer) :One in each village, the top of the organization and a hereditary post.
Kikiyaku (baptizer’s assistant): Literally means a listener and the role to help the baptizer give a correct prayer during a baptism.
In addition, In Nagasaki, the role was also called ‘Fureyaku’ (messenger) because he or she secretly visited
fellow Christians and informed them of the holy days in the week.
By using these control systems, hidden Christians could hand down their faith for 250 years without fathers.
Underground Religious Rites
Since it was hard to keep the Christian faith undetected even after secret groups had been formed.
Therefore Hidden Christians came up with various ideas.
As they pretended to be Buddhists, they all had to register with temples and follow Buddhist traditions. Funeral services also had to be administered according to Buddhist rites.
However, after a Buddhist priest left, the Christian prayers for the deceased were offered.
In addition, they had to put Buddhist and Shinto altars, Buddhist images and their ancestors’ mortuary tablets at home, but they worshipped them as the images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
Such as Maria Kannon (Kannon) it is, is one of them.
They continued to practice Christianity in secret.
Your production waiting (your's town) ... Christmas Eve
Your birth (Gotanjo) ...... Christmas
Of sadness enters ...... Ash Wednesday
- This day enter into Lent from -
Flowers (flowers) ... branch of the Lord's Day
Up like (up customers) ...... Easter
Forty days like ...... Ascension Day
Day 10-like (Sookame clients) ... Pentecost
We gave (you Sazuke) ...... baptism
Feast (feast) ... Eucharist
Sacred sake (sacred sake) ...... wine
Sashimi (raw fish) ...... bread