Friday, November 12, 2010

A Field Trip

On Monday I went on a field trip of sorts with Becky, Amber, and Pastor Yuzawa in Kyoto. Carol and Mrs. Yuzawa were planning to join us, but, unfortunately, there was a sudden illness preventing them from joining us.

Since moving to Kyoto Pastor and Mrs. Yuzawa have taken the opportunity to study the history of Christianity in Japan, especially in Kyoto. Monday was our chance to learn more about this topic from them. In the morning we heard a lecture from Pastor Y about Christianity coming to Japan. He started with the silk road and ended with us!

From 1630 until 1853 Japan was closed to the world and Christianity was outlawed. Many people were martyred when they refused to renounce their faith in God. Twenty-six people in Kyoto were arrested, had part of their ear cut off and then were paraded on an 800 km walk from Kyoto to Nagasaki as a warning to others that this is what would happen if people chose Christianity. Then these 26 were crucified.
(A map showing the route the 26 took from Kyoto to Nagasaki, 800 km in one month)

(The ceiling at the restaurant. I like how it looks like there is a heart in the middle as the colors are changing!)

(My delicious tapas lunch!)

After a lovely lunch we went to the Franciscan House where we learned more about the walk from Kyoto to Nagasaki and saw artifacts the 'hidden Christians' used during the 200 year ban on Christianity.
(This is a reflection off of a mirror. In the reflection you can see a crucifix, two kneeling people and the Spirit in the form of a dove.)

(This lantern has a Christian symbol carved in the base which was buried. Christians would gather to worship, pulling back the dirt to reveal the carving. The shape is also unusual, symbolizing a cross.)

We also visited a shrine. Most shrines have a torii, gate, at the entrance. This shrine, which is for silkworms, has a three-legged torii in a small pond (which is drained right now) whose waters are thought to have healing powers. The three-legged torii is thought to be a symbol of the triune God (god?)

There is so much more to learn and understand. Maybe I will be able to explain it more clearly in the future, after a few more lectures and field trips!


McMGrad89 said...

Thanks for taking us on your field trip. I will be sure to send you our permission slips.

Ellie said...

Interesting. I had never heard much of the history of Christianity in Japan. Lots about China, but nothing about Japan.

Carrie said...

That is really cool, what an incredible & interesting history. I love learning about the amazing dedication of believers during times of persecution.