1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 2 (August 2021)
Journal Details
License
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Journal
First Published
15 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Sacred Disguised: An Instance of the Double Use of Space by Japan’s Hidden Christians

Published Online: 27 Sep 2021
Page range: 214 - 238
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
15 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Christianity arrived on the island of Shikoku, Japan, from the neighboring island of Kyushu in the mid-sixteenth century, an event commemorated by a signboard and gravesite where some of the early converts to the faith were buried. The sancti"ed area exhibits what might be expected of Hidden Christian spatiality: a quasi-Buddhist nature, syncretistic Shinto elements, and o#ertory tools; each of which would be quite out of place in any other “Christian” context. What may the sacrality of this ground have entailed? What signi"cance did its objects contain for those who created them and visited them? Moreover, how “ecumenical” could worship there have been if one half (the Christian) was for political reasons forcibly kept hidden while the other half (Buddhist/Shinto) was open? These are the questions we pursue, although our conclusions can perhaps do no more than indicate a direction.

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