Former Tainora Church

The belltower standing above the entrance uses bricks from former Urakami Church, which was destroyed by the nuclear bomb.

Area
Goto
Category
History&Culture
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The settlement here was established by the descendents of Shitsu in the Sotome region, faced by the oppression of the "Goto Kuzure" crackdown on practicing Christianity. In 1880, Father Bourelle moved to Kamigoto to serve as the church's priest. In 1903, the former church had become dilapidated. In 1979, a new church was erected below the former church where a daycare once stood. Toward the end of the Second World War, the navy quartered in this church. Afterwards, the space became too cramped to accomodate demobilized troops, and was expanded in 1949. This was when the brick belltower was added to the front, which uses bricks from the Urakami Cathedral, a church destroyed by the nuclear blast in Nagasaki.

The church has since been repurposed as an archive of hidden Christian history. It contains artifacts preserved from the era of Christian oppression during the Edo period, such as fumi-e, which were flat, engraved pieces of stone depicting holy figures such as Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary that suspected Christians would be forced to step on to prove their lack of faith. Various portraits of former priests of the church line the walls, and the statues outside depict several people who were integral to protecting and leading the hidden Christians of the Goto Islands, including Domingo Matsujiro, who led the Christian community on Kashiragashima Island.

Information

Address 853-3321 長崎県南松浦郡新上五島町鯛之浦郷326
TEL 0959-42-0964(新上五島町観光物産協会)
FAX 0959-42-0967
Hours of Operation 9 AM - 5 PM (Entry may be prohibited during mass or ceremonial proceedings. Doors may be locked on occasion.)
Parking Available
Access 10 minutes by car from Arikawa Port

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