Yukinoshita Parish Kamakura

3 10 2007

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Kamakura was the capital city around 1300 A.D, and is located less than one hour train ride from Tokyo. Its seaside location and history make it a popular place for mainly Japanese, and a few foreign, sightseers. The church in the photos below (click on them for a bigger version) is located on the main street lined with cherry trees that leads up to a popular Shinto shrine. I find the most remarkable feature to be the baptismal font at the front of the church on the left hand side. The paintings of martyrs surrounding the font are quite impressive and very imposing.  The church`s website is here but its only in Japanese.

The story on the sign at the baptismal font reads as follows.

Martyrdom of Christians in Kamakura

August 1623 (Genna 7) five Christians were arrested in a place believed to to have been the beach in ?urakuji village:

Hilario Magozaemon and his wife who were in charge of a missionary center in Kobukuroya village (the area between present day Kitakamakura and Ofuna.)

Father Francisco Galvez a Franciscan priest who had come from Asakusa (present day Tokyo) to celebrate the sacraments, and

Juan Chozaemon and Pedro Kisaburo catechists and companions of Fr. Galvez.

On December 4, 1623, Father Galvez, Juan, Pedro, Hilario Magozaemon were executed at Shinagawa, Edo with forty-six other Christians. Hilario Magozaemon’s wife was executed on December 24 1623 in a group of thirty seven consisting of relatives of the executed Christians, their wives and children, and people who had given refuge to them. This happened fourteen years before the Shimabara rebellion.

Someone edited the sign to add: the record says it was a fine cold day Dec 4 1623.


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21 10 2008
Thoughts on Martyrdom « Catholic in Japan

[…] really deeply affected me until I went to a church in Kamakura.  My original post on that church here.  The photos below were not taken during mass by the […]

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