Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tatsuishi Seashore Geopark: Nagasaki Prefecture

Tatsuishi Seashore Geopark Nagasaki on the Shimabara Peninsular was a volcanic island in a shallow sea.  The shallow sea was covered with sand and mud near the present Tatsuishi coast.  The stratum from that period is called the Kuchinotsu formation and the uneven surface is known as a surface of uncomformity.

The activity of the Unzen volcano began near Obama on the western part of present Shimabara Peninsula.  The first eruption was so intense that the whole magma degassed and the explosions sent volcanic material to the Tatsuishi Seashore Geopark Nagasaki.  The volcanic activity continued but Obama was a considerable distance so not so much volcanic material reached the Tatsuishi Seashore.  
As the mountain grew, the stratum then eroded in the Tatsuishi coast and another ‘surface of uncomformity’ on top of the first one began.  Then a part of the Unzen volcano which continued to grow reached the Tatsuishi coast and again can be seen in the stratum.  It was about 700 000 years ago that the stratum was initially completed.  It was 500,000 years ago that the Unzen volcano started activity. Then, about 300 000 years ago the stratum of the Unzen volcano which built up reached the Tatsuishi shore again.  The beginnings of the Unzen volcano from over 400 000 years ago is recorded on the stratum as well.

All this information doesn't mean much to you and me but to a geologist it is like 1's and 2's, basic data that shows the way the Earth was formed all those years ago and the best thing is that it is really accessible, just metres off the main highway, available 365 days a year and free for anyone who would like to take a look.  So, even if you are not a great geological fan but would like to see nature in its purest form then this is the place for you.

Please check out Tatsuishi Seashore Geopark Nagasaki here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Here is to another million years

Geology Heaven

Nice place to step back in time

That's a lot of time and years

Lots of layers

Where it all began for the Shimabara Peninsular

Please click on the videos below to see the Tatsuishi Seashore Geopark Nagasaki in more detail:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hokobaru Martyrdom Site: Omura City, Nagasaki Prefecture

Hokobaru Martyrdom Site is an interesting place to visit in Omura City.  You will be able to step back in time and learn and understand more about the Christian History of the area and some of the surreal and horrible acts that were committed at the time in order to protect and preserve Japanese Nationalistic ideals of the time.  After Christianity was banned in 1587, it seemed that the Christian religion had vanished forever within the realm of Nagasaki and Japan in general.  However, many Christians continued to practice in secret and are referred as the Hidden Christians.

When the Tokugawa Shogunate took control in 1614 and then closed Japan’s borders to the outside world in 1633, they started a hunt to eliminate all practicing Christians in order to restore only Japanese traditions through the implementation of rebuilding Shrines and Temples and force feeding the public to revert back to the original Buddhist and Shinto Religions.

In 1657, known as the Kori Kuzure (Collapse of Kori) the government found and arrested 603 Christians hiding in the area known as Kori Village within the Omura domain.  Out of this large number, 197 people were either found innocent or imprisoned.  The other 406 people were executed. Due to the number of executions, 275 people were sent to other areas to meet their fate, such as Shimabara, Nagasaki and Saga.  At Hokobaru Martyrdom Site, 131 of those captured were beheaded.

The landmark that stands today at the Hokobaru Martyrdom Site is a sign of respect and a tribute to all those that lost their life during this troubled period in Japan.  The Japanese Christian community within Nagasaki and Japan have done a marvelous job to keep their history alive and to continue to tell the story of what happened all those many years ago for future generations.

Well worth a visit.

Please check out the Hokobaru Martyrdom Site in Nagasaki here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Good information in English too!

Impressive from all angles

Shot down by Angels from above

Powerful images

Interesting to say the least!


Click on the video below to see the Hokobaru Martyrdom Site: