Remains of Villages on Nozaki Island
(Ⅲ) Hidden Christians’ endeavours to continue and spread their religious faith
|Here the villages were built on steeply sloping terrain. Hidden Christians continued to practice their faith after migrating to the island regarded as sacred by Shinto believers.|
The remains of the villages on Nozaki Island bear testimony to the efforts of Hidden Christians to maintain their faith in the 19th century through migration to an island considered sacred by Shinto practitioners. Before the migrants arrived, the island’s only inhabitants were the Shinto priests and followers of Okinokojima Shrine, which Shinto communities throughout the Goto Islands venerated, and thereafter the Hidden Christians from Sotome settled and cultivated small plots of land in two locations in the central and southern parts of the island. They affiliated themselves with the Shinto shrine and outwardly behaved as its followers in order to continue their secret faith. The Hidden Christians on Nozaki Island rejoined the Catholic Church after the lifting of the ban on Christianity and constructed new churches in both of the island’s two Christian villages, marking the end of Hidden Christians’ tradition on the island.
|Designation title as cultural assets||Location||Designation category||Year of designation|
|Cultural Landscape of the Ojika Islands||Ojika Town, Kitamatsuura District, Nagasaki Prefecture||Important Cultural Landscape selected by the national government||2011|
＞Nokubi and Funamori settlement sites on Nozaki Island（”Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region” Information Centre）
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