Thursday, January 10, 2013

Nishiarie Christian Tombs : Nagasaki Prefecture

The Christian Tombs in Nishiarie are part of  the groups of Nagasaki Churches and Christian related Heritage, which aims to join the World Heritage status to promote and educate the world about the long Christian History in Nagasaki.  The gravestone in context is a semicircular column shape which is the most beautiful shape among Christians’ gravestones and indicates that someone of importance within the community at large died here and was buried with dignity.

The epigraph is the oldest Roman epigraph in Japan.  On the back of the gravestone, a cross shape emblem of flower petals was carved by a seal-engraving knife and the front has slightly dented dual edges.  On the higher part, there is a small wedge cross shape, the axial side is fully carved with Roman epigraph and the other axial side is dually edged and a clover cross shape emblem is carved on the flat part. The epigraph is Portuguese style with Roman letters and deciphered as Philisakuemon Diogo born year 1583 (died) 1610 October 16th.

It's very unique to see a Christian cross smack bang in the middle of a Japanese Cemetery which of course comprises of Buddhist emblems.  The cross and resulting gravestone isn't too difficult to find and one realizes that something special in regards to Christian history occurred in these parts of Japan so many years ago.

Definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in Christian History in general and or just to step back in time and lose yourself in the feelings and emotions of the day.

Check out the Nishiarie Christian Tombs on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge!

Christian Cross

The Tombstone

Centre Stage

Portuguese Writings

Christian Signage

Come and check out the Nishiarie Christian Tombs Nagasaki here on the video below: