Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki Region, World Heritage Site
Congratulations on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site registration
Japan’s unique practice of the Christian faith continued even during the ban on Christianity
Hidden Christian Site in Nagasaki Regions bear unique testimony to the tradition of people and
their communities who secretly transmitted their faith in Christianity while surviving in the midst of
the conventional society and its religions during the time of prohibition.
It was built in 1865 under the supervision of the French priest Bernard Petitjean.
On March 17, 1865, a group of peasants from Urakami came to the church and professed their faith to
Father Petitjean, thus revealing that Christianity had survived through the centuries of persecution.
The white marble statue of the Holy Mother at the entrance was built in commemoration of
the dramatic discovery of the “Hidden Christians.
Access: a 10minited walk from Ouratensyudo-shita tram station
The martyrs including four Spaniards, one from Goa, India, one Mexican and 20 Japanese
demonstrated their spiritual unity despite differences in races, ages and professions.
The mission base of de Rotz, who dedicated himself to assisting the needy
When he discovered the underground Christians, Petitjean realized that there were many other
Christians hiding in the Sotome region.
He appointed de Rotz as the parish priest of the Shitsu and Kurosaki districts. On an elevation commanding a view over the Sea of Goto, he established a church at his own expense. The building was extended and renovated again and again. A statue of Mary that he ordered from France is standing in the bell tower.
Access: about One hour from Center of Nagasaki-city by a vehicle
Harajo Castle ruin is located in Minami-Shimabara-city and the Battle field of Shimabara
Rebellion which was a peasant uprising agaist bakufu’s persecution of Christians under the
leadership of Amakusa Shiro in 1637.
Jigoku, means Hell, is the number one attraction of Unzen with a peculiar smell of sulfur emitted from
the springs, and with white smoke rising from the ground over a wide area.
This is a striking reminder that Unzen Volcano is still very much alive.
Unfortunately, this was once put into reality nearly 350 years ago during the time of religious persecution
in Japan. 30 Japanese Christians, failing to renounce their faith met their death here in the scalding
spring of Jigoku.
Access : about two hours from Center of Nagasaki-city by a vehicle