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Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region

Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region
Located in the north-western part of Kyushu island, the 12 components of the site consist of ten villages, Hara Castle and a cathedral, built between the 16th and 19th centuries. Together they reflect the earliest activities of Christian missionaries and settlers in Japan – the phase of encounter, followed by times of prohibition and persecution of the Christian faith and the final phase of the revitalization of Christian communities after the lifting of prohibition in 1873. These sites bear unique testimony to a cultural tradition nurtured by hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly transmitted their faith during the period of prohibition from the 17th to the 19th century.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Sites chrétiens cachés de la région de Nagasaki

Situés dans la partie nord-ouest de l’île de Kyushu, les 12 éléments de ce site en série comprennent dix villages, le château Hara et une cathédrale, construits entre les XVIIe et XIXe siècle. L’ensemble reflète les plus anciennes activités des missionnaires et colons chrétiens au Japon : la phase de rencontre, la phase d’interdiction et de persécution de la foi chrétienne et la phase de revitalisation des communautés chrétiennes après la levée de l’interdiction en 1873. Ces sites apportent un témoignage unique sur la tradition culturelle particulière nourrie par les chrétiens cachés de la région de Nagasaki qui transmirent secrètement leur foi chrétienne pendant la période d’interdiction, du XVIIe au XIXe siècle.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

المواقع المسيحية المخفية في منطقة ناغاساكي

يتألف الموقع، الموجود في الجزء الشمالي الغربي من جزيرة كيوشو، من 12 عنصراً مختلفاً تشمل عشر قرى، وقلعة هارا، وكاتدرائية كانت قد بُنيت بين القرنين السابع عشر والتاسع عشر. وتجسّد هذه المواقع أقدم الأنشطة التي كان يمارسها المبشرون والمستوطنون المسيحيون في اليابان وذلك خلال مرحلة اللقاء ومرحلة حظر واضطهاد الإيمان المسيحي ومرحلة إحياء المجتمعات المسيحية بعد رفع الحظر في عام 1873. وتقدّم هذه المواقع شهادة فريدة على التقاليد الثقافية المميزة التي نشرها المسيحيون المتخفيون في منطقة ناغاساكي إذ كانوا ينقلون إيمانهم المسيحي خلال فترة الحظر من القرن السابع عشر حتى القرن التاسع عشر. 

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

长崎地区隐藏的基督教遗址

该遗产地位于九州岛西北部,其12个组成部分包括建于16-19世纪之间的10个村庄、奥哈拉城堡和大教堂。它们共同反映了基督教传入初期传教士和定居者在日本的活动,即“相遇阶段“,其后的对基督教信仰的禁止和迫害, 以及1873年禁令取消后基督教社区的复兴。17-19世纪基督教被禁时期,长崎地区隐藏基督徒的秘密传教培育了独特的文化,这些遗址是这些文化传统的独特证明。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Скрытые христианские объекты в регионе Нагасаки

Расположенные в северо-западной части острова Кюсю, 12 системных элементов этого объекта включают десять деревень, замок Хара и кафедральный собор, построенные между XVII и XIX веками. Ансамбль является отражением самой ранней деятельности христианских миссионеров и поселенцев в Японии: во времена возникновения, запрета и гонений на представителей христианской веры и в фазе возрождения христианских общин после снятия запрета в 1873 году. Эти объекты являются уникальным свидетельством особой культурной традиции, подпитываемой тайными христианскими общинами региона Нагасаки, которые тайно передавали свою христианскую веру из поколения в поколение в период гонений с XVII по XIX века.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Sitios de los cristianos ocultos en la región de Nagasaki

Situados al noroeste de la isla de Kyushu, los 12 elementos constitutivos de este sitio serial están integrados por diez pueblos, el castillo Hara y una catedral, construidos entre los siglos XVII y XIX. Todos estos lugares son testigos de las más antiguas actividades de los misioneros y colonos cristianos en el momento de su encuentro con el Japón, de la prolongada etapa ulterior de proscripción del cristianismo y persecución de sus adeptos, y de la fase de revitalización de las comunidades cristianas tras el fin de la prohibición en 1873. Este sitio constituye un testimonio único en su género de la tradición cultural específica surgida de la vida clandestina de los cristianos de la región de Nagasaki, que desde el siglo XVII hasta el XIX transmitieron en secreto su fe durante todo el periodo de proscripción del cristianismo en el Japón.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

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Hisaka Island © Nagasaki Préfecture
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Located in the Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures in the northwestern part of Kyushu Island of the Japanese Archipelago, the ‘Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region’ is a serial property comprising 12 components, made up of ten villages, one castle remains, and one cathedral dating from between the 17th and 19th centuries. They reflect the era of prohibition of the Christian faith, as well as the revitalization of Christian communities after the official lifting of the prohibition in 1873. Hidden Christians survived as communities that formed small villages sited along the seacoast or on remote islands to which Hidden Christians migrated during the ban on Christianity. Hidden Christians gave rise to a distinctive religious tradition that was seemingly vernacular yet which maintained the essence of Christianity, and they survived continuing their faith over the ensuing two centuries.

Criterion (iii): The Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region bear unique testimony to a distinctive religious tradition nurtured by Hidden Christians who secretly transmitted their faith in Christianity during the time of prohibition spanning more than two centuries in Japan, from the 17th to the 19th century.

Integrity

The 12 components not only include all of the elements necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of the property but are also of an adequate size and in a good state of conservation. Thorough and complete protection measures have been taken for each of the components in accordance with all relevant national laws and regulations – including the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties. Within the buffer zones of the property, appropriate protection is provided not only by the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties but also by the Landscape Act and other relevant laws and regulations. Therefore, the property does not suffer from any adverse effects of development or neglect, and it has been effectively conserved together with its surrounding landscape.

Authenticity

Each component of the property maintains a high degree of authenticity based on the attributes selected according to its nature. The villages possess a high degree of authenticity based on their attributes of ‘form and design’, ‘use and function’, ‘traditions, techniques and management systems’, ‘location and setting’, and ‘spirit and feeling’. The component, ‘Remains of Hara Castle’, has lost its authenticity related to ‘use and function’, as it is an archaeological site, but it retains a high degree of authenticity in regard to the other attributes. Oura Cathedral and the Egami Church in Egami Village on Naru Island possess a high degree of authenticity in terms of ‘materials and substance’ in addition to the other attributes as they are architectural works.

Protection and management requirements

The property and its buffer zones are properly conserved under various laws and regulations including the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties. Furthermore, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kumamoto Prefecture and relevant municipalities have formulated a robust Comprehensive Preservation and Management Plan from the perspective of safeguarding the Outstanding Universal Value of the property as a whole. The framework for implementing this plan comprises a World Heritage Preservation and Utilisation Council which works in cooperation with the owners of the components and other stakeholders. The Council is operated for the appropriate protection, enhancement and utilisation of the property. The Council receives guidance from, and consults with, experts comprising an academic committee (the Nagasaki World Heritage Academic Committee), as well as the Agency for Cultural Affairs, which is the principal agency in charge of protection of Japan’s cultural properties.