Christian Flat Tombstone


Christian Gravestone in Sukawa, NishiArie-cho

(Pilgrimage to the Shimabara Peninsula)

This semi-cylindrical Christian gravestone was discovered in 1929 in the underground part of a communal cemetery near Sugawa Port in Arie, 4 km from Arima Castle and the town where influential Christians in the Arima domain used to live. A cross with a floral pattern is engraved on the back.
The inscription inRoman letters reads “Firi Sakuemon Diog aged 83 born 1610 October 16 , Keicho 15. ” This is believed to be the oldest epigraph written in Roman letters in Japan.

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