Christian sites in the Nagasaki region
If you travel to the Far East in the realm of the rising sun, you do not necessarily expect historical Christian sites there. But the region around Nagasaki is rich in them – and they are even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These are ten villages, a castle and a cathedral in the northwest of the island of Kyushu, the third largest of the Japanese main islands. An interesting place for a study trip into the eventful history of the Christians of Japan.
Faith in secret
With the arrival of the Europeans from the middle of the 16th century, the port city of Nagasaki experienced a heyday in an era when Japan was sealed off from the rest of the world. With the Europeans also missionaries came to the country and the first Christian groups formed, which were persecuted in Japan during the Edo period between the 17th and 19th centuries and were only able to practice their faith in secret for more than two centuries. It was only with the opening of the country in the Meiji period from 1868 that the “Kakure Kirishitan” – the hidden Christians, as they were called – were able to publicly profess their faith. And they left traces that still bear witness to their religious struggle today.
The miracle of the Orient
One of the most famous sites to make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage List is Oura Cathedral (Basilica of the Twenty-Six Martyrs) in Nagasaki, built in 1864. It was there in 1865, after centuries of isolation, that the first contact between the secret Christians and French missionaries took place – an event that Pope Pius IX. a little later declared a “miracle of the Orient”. The Nokubi Church on the now deserted island of Nozaki is a reminder of the secret exile of a Christian community during the Edo period, isolated from the rest of the country. The Hara castle ruins were once the scene of an uprising by 20,000 peasants, which, among other things, turned into a religious conflict. Later excavations revealed numerous Christian symbols such as crosses and rosary beads.
Quiet contemporary witnesses
The other sites in and around Nagasaki such as the Catholic graves in the village of Kasuga, the settlements on the island of Hisaka, in which Christians and Buddhists lived peacefully side by side, or the Shinto shrines in the village of Ono, which the “Kakure Kirishitan” for Their religion was secretly misused, testify to the present day of the eventful history of Christianity in Japan.
When the sites were included in the World Heritage List in June 2018, the UNESCO Committee described them as “a unique testimony to the special cultural tradition of the clandestine Christians of Japan” and therefore included them on the World Heritage List.
Digital Art Museum
According to topschoolsintheusa, the Digital Art Museum, designed by TeamLab Borderless, is located on the artificial island of Odaiba in Tokyo. The futuristic museum is frequented by 2.3 million visitors annually and has presented digital art since it opened in 2018. Five worlds are created on the 10,000 square meter exhibition space with 520 computers and 420 projectors. The exhibition rooms can be visited in individual order. The visitors are included in the holograms, interactive light installations and animations. The digital world without borders has arrived in art. Every visit is a unique experience, as the visitor is always part of the exhibition and actively helps to shape it through his or her actions.
The worlds of the Digital Art Museum in Japan
- 1. Borderless World
The digital worlds are constantly in motion and create a total work of art made of crystals, glowing animals and flowers. When you touch a flower, it dissolves into its petals. If the visitor stops in one place, the flowers are concentrated around his location. Colorful butterflies flutter through the air. When touched, these disappear and reappear in another place in the room. In the crystal world, the light from countless LEDs is reflected by the mirrors on the walls and floor.
- 2. Athletic Forrest
The installations invite you to actively participate, 3-D climbing, jumping in the multi-universe in the weightless forest. Balloons react to touch and change their color.
- 3. Future Park
The visitors creatively create their own works of art together. There are many activities for children in this room. In the room of the little people there are objects that can also be conquered by the smallest. Drawings by visitors swim through a colorful aquarium.
- 4. Forest of Lamps
In the most popular room of the Digital Art Museum, countless colorful lamps are reflected on the walls and floors. As soon as the visitor approaches a lamp, it lights up.
- 5. En Tea House
Visitors can order different types of tea here. Colored flowers or tea trees grow out of the surface of the tea and fly apart when touched.
In the corridors between the rooms, animals made of flowers wander, which lose individual petals when touched. You move through the individual rooms and meet the visitors again and again in the exhibition.