Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region


Four sites added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List
Saturday, 30 June 2018

The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, inscribed four cultural sites on the World Heritage List this morning. The inscription of sites will continue through 1 July.

The new World Heritage sites, in order of inscription, are:

Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (India) – Having become a global trading centre, the city of Mumbai implemented an ambitious urban planning project in the second half of the 19th century. It led to the construction of ensembles of public buildings bordering the Oval Maidan open space, first in the Victorian Neo-Gothic style and then, in the early 20th century, in the Art Deco idiom. The Victorian ensemble includes Indian elements suited to the climate, including balconies and verandas. The Art Deco edifices, with their cinemas and residential buildings, blend Indian design with Art Deco imagery, creating a unique style that has been described as Indo-Deco. These two ensembles bear testimony to the phases of modernization that Mumbai has undergone in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region (Islamic Republic of Iran) – Eight archaeological sites situated in three geographical parts in the southeast of Fars Province: Firuzabad, Bishapur and Sarvestan. These fortified structures, palaces, and city plans date back to the earliest and latest times of the Sassanian Empire, which stretched across the region from 224 to 658 CE. Among these sites is the capital built by the founder of the dynasty, Ardashir Papakan, as well as a city and architectural structures of his successor, Shapur I. The archaeologic landscape reflects the optimized utilization of natural topography and bears witness to the influence of Achaemenid and Parthian cultural traditions and of Roman art, which had a significant impact on the architecture and artistic styles of the Islamic era.

Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region (Japan) – Located in the north-western part of Kyushu island, the 12 components of the site consist of ten villages, Hara Castle and a cathedral, built between the 16th and 19th centuries. Together they reflect the earliest activities of Christian missionaries and settlers in Japan – the phase of encounter, followed by times of prohibition and persecution of the Christian faith and the final phase of the revitalization of Christian communities after the lifting of prohibition in 1873. These sites bear unique testimony to a cultural tradition nurtured by hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly transmitted their faith during the period of prohibition from the 17th to the 19th century.

Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea (Republic of Korea) – The Sansa are Buddhist mountain monasteries located throughout the southern provinces of the Korean Peninsula. The spatial arrangement of the seven temples that comprise the site, established from the 7th to 9th centuries, present common characteristics that are specific to Korea – the “madang” (open courtyard) flanked by four buildings (Buddha Hall, pavilion, lecture hall and dormitory). They contain a large number of individually remarkable structures, objects, documents and shrines. These mountain monasteries are sacred places, which have survived as living centres of faith and daily religious practice to the present.

The 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee continues until 4 July.

Live webcast: http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/42COM/
Photo gallery: http://whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties

See also

“Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region” http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=1495
World Heritage Site for World Heritage Travellers “Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region” https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/Hidden+Christian+Sites+in+the+Nagasaki+Region
Christian Today staff writer “Japan's 'hidden Christian' persecution sites recommended for World Heritage status” https://www.christiantoday.com/article/japans-hidden-christian-persecution-sites-recommended-for-world-heritage-status/128957.htm


吉川慧「長崎・天草「潜伏キリシタン」が世界文化遺産に 隠れキリシタンとは違う?」https://www.huffingtonpost.jp/2018/06/30/senpuku_a_23471626/



宗教学者の宮崎賢太郎・長崎純心大学教授は『カクレキリシタン オラショ―魂の通奏低音』の中で、「現在のカクレキリシタンはもはや隠れてもいなければキリシタンでもない。日本の伝統的な宗教風土のなかで長い年月をかけて熟成され、土着の人々の生きた信仰生活のなかに完全に溶け込んだ、典型的な日本の民俗宗教のひとつ」との立場から、隠れキリシタンを信仰する人々を「カクレキリシタン」と片仮名で表記している。現在でも長崎県生月島熊本県天草などで、その教えを信仰する人々がいる。


たしかに、この区別は合理的であると言えるだろう。ただ、この区別が一般化されたのはかなり最近のことなのでは? 遠藤周作が『切支丹の里』*3を書いた頃にはあったのだろうか。また、英語の表現(Hidden Christian)では「潜伏」と「隠れ」の区別はないように思われる。
切支丹の里 (中公文庫)

切支丹の里 (中公文庫)

ところで、江戸時代、薩摩藩は基督教だけではなく一向宗浄土真宗)も禁止していた。一向宗の信者は(切支丹と同様に)〈隠れ念仏〉として信仰を密かに保持した。明治以降も本願寺に復帰することなく〈隠れ念仏〉を持続していた人が少なくとも1960年代まではいたのだった(今もいるかどうかはわからない)(Cf. 橋本峰雄、高取正男『宗教以前』)。潜伏キリシタン」については、

Mark Woods “Hidden Christians: How Japan tried and failed to exterminate Christianity” https://www.christiantoday.com/article/hidden-christians-how-japan-tried-and-failed-to-exterminate-christianity/65127.htm