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Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," are descendants of those who preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. The unique faith blends Buddhist, Christian and Shinto practices, and its ritual chants combine Latin, Portuguese and Japanese. But their religion may be on the verge of extinction as youth leave rural areas, where the faith has persisted.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXL
November 14, 2019
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendent of 'Hidden Christians', crosses himself as he chants 'orasho' in...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendent of 'Hidden Christians', crosses himself as he chants 'orasho' in front of an altar adorned with a statue of the Virgin Mary during a ceremony to mark the eve of the birth of the Virgin Mary at his home on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I worry that what my ancestors worked hard to preserve will disappear, but that is the trend of the times," said Kawasaki. "I have a son but I don't expect him to carry on," he added. "To think this will disappear is sad, without a doubt." REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXO
November 14, 2019
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendent of 'Hidden Christians', chants 'orasho' in front of an altar adorned...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendent of 'Hidden Christians', chants 'orasho' in front of an altar adorned with a statue of the Virgin Mary at his home on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 4, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I worry that what my ancestors worked hard to preserve will disappear, but that is the trend of the times," said Kawasaki. "I have a son but I don't expect him to carry on," he added. "To think this will disappear is sad, without a doubt." REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXH
November 14, 2019
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians', eats breakfast with his fellow fishermen...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians', eats breakfast with his fellow fishermen at a port on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I worry that what my ancestors worked hard to preserve will disappear, but that is the trend of the times," said Kawasaki. "I have a son but I don't expect him to carry on," he added. "To think this will disappear is sad, without a doubt." REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXY
November 14, 2019
An old cross and clothes belongings to 'Hidden Christians', who preserved their faith in secret during...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
An old cross and clothes belongings to 'Hidden Christians', who preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution, are displayed at Hirado City Ikitsuki Museum on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXX
November 14, 2019
The 'orasho' book is seen as Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians' chants at his...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
The 'orasho' book is seen as Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians' chants at his home on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXR
November 14, 2019
Shigenori Murakami, 69, the seventh-generation head of a group of 'Hidden Christians' chants 'orasho'...
Nagasaki, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Shigenori Murakami, 69, the seventh-generation head of a group of 'Hidden Christians' chants 'orasho' in front of an altar adorned with a statue of the Virgin Mary and photos of deceased relatives at his home in Nagasaki, southern Japan, November 3, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I have not picked a successor yet, but I have confidence I can keep going myself and I will surely pass this on," said Murakami. "I cannot let my generation be the ones who destroy what my ancestors protected with their lives." REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WY1
November 14, 2019
A cross on a peak where Gaspar Nishi, a local official and Japanese Catholic, was executed with his wife...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
A cross on a peak where Gaspar Nishi, a local official and Japanese Catholic, was executed with his wife and son in 1609, is seen on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WY5
November 14, 2019
Shigenori Murakami, 69, the seventh-generation head of a group of 'Hidden Christians', shows a crumbling...
Nagasaki, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Shigenori Murakami, 69, the seventh-generation head of a group of 'Hidden Christians', shows a crumbling 18th century scrolls, written 'orasho' chants, at his home in Nagasaki, southern Japan, November 3, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I have not picked a successor yet, but I have confidence I can keep going myself and I will surely pass this on," said Murakami. "I cannot let my generation be the ones who destroy what my ancestors protected with their lives." Murakami spent three years learning the orasho from books based on crumbling 18th century scrolls that he still owns. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WY3
November 14, 2019
Participants offer prayers at Karematsu Shrine during an ecumenical service in Nagasaki, southern Japan,...
Nagasaki, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Participants offer prayers at Karematsu Shrine during an ecumenical service in Nagasaki, southern Japan, November 3, 2019. Catholics, Buddhists and 'Hidden Christians' took part in the service at the shrine which is dedicated to a Portuguese priest who died on the spot in the 17th century. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WY6
November 14, 2019
Images of the Virgin Mary are seen at the home of Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians',...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Images of the Virgin Mary are seen at the home of Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians', on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 4, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXE
November 14, 2019
Rice cakes featuring sun and moon are seen in front of an altar during a ceremony to mark the eve of...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Rice cakes featuring sun and moon are seen in front of an altar during a ceremony to mark the eve of the birth of the Virgin Mary at the house of Masaichi Kawasaki, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians', on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXM
November 14, 2019
A statue of Virgin Mary is seen on a gravestone of descendants of 'Hidden Christians' who preserved their...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
A statue of Virgin Mary is seen on a gravestone of descendants of 'Hidden Christians' who preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution, at a cemetery on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WY4
November 14, 2019
A nun walks to Karematsu Shrine to attend an ecumenical service in Nagasaki, southern Japan, November...
Nagasaki, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
A nun walks to Karematsu Shrine to attend an ecumenical service in Nagasaki, southern Japan, November 3, 2019. Catholics, Buddhists and 'Hidden Christians' took part in the service at the shrine which is dedicated to a Portuguese priest who died on the spot in the 17th century. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXZ
November 14, 2019
A steeple of Saint Francisco Xavier Memorial Church is seen through Buddhist temples on Hirado Island,...
HIRADO, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
A steeple of Saint Francisco Xavier Memorial Church is seen through Buddhist temples on Hirado Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXP
November 14, 2019
An ink brush painting and a stained-glass tableau are displayed at Hirado City Ikitsuki Museum on Ikitsuki...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
An ink brush painting and a stained-glass tableau are displayed at Hirado City Ikitsuki Museum on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXU
November 14, 2019
Shigenori Murakami, 69, the seventh-generation head of a group of 'Hidden Christians', waits for the...
Nagasaki, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Shigenori Murakami, 69, the seventh-generation head of a group of 'Hidden Christians', waits for the participants of an ecumenical ceremony at Karematsu Shrine in Nagasaki, southern Japan, November 3, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I have not picked a successor yet, but I have confidence I can keep going myself and I will surely pass this on," Murakami said after the ceremony of Hidden Christians, Buddhists and Catholics at the shrine, dedicated to a Portuguese priest who died there in the 17th century. "I cannot let my generation be the ones who destroy what my ancestors protected with their lives." REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WX9
November 14, 2019
The uninhabited island of Nakaenoshima, a UNESCO World Heritage site where Japanese Catholics were martyred...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
The uninhabited island of Nakaenoshima, a UNESCO World Heritage site where Japanese Catholics were martyred during the ban on Christianity and which is venerated by 'Hidden Christians', is seen from Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXN
November 14, 2019
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians', stands on a fishing boat at a port on Ikitsuki...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians', stands on a fishing boat at a port on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I worry that what my ancestors worked hard to preserve will disappear, but that is the trend of the times," said Kawasaki. "I have a son but I don't expect him to carry on," he added. "To think this will disappear is sad, without a doubt." REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXV
November 14, 2019
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendent of 'Hidden Christians', works at a port on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendent of 'Hidden Christians', works at a port on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I worry that what my ancestors worked hard to preserve will disappear, but that is the trend of the times," said Kawasaki. "I have a son but I don't expect him to carry on," he added. "To think this will disappear is sad, without a doubt." REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXS
November 14, 2019
Birds fly over a fishing boat at a port on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019....
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Birds fly over a fishing boat at a port on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
POPE-JAPAN/HIDDEN CHRISTIANS
RTX78WXI
November 14, 2019
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians', prepares to board a fishing boat at a port...
IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan
The Wider Image: Japan's 'Hidden Christians' fear for religion's fate
Masaichi Kawasaki, 69, a descendant of 'Hidden Christians', prepares to board a fishing boat at a port on Ikitsuki Island, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, November 5, 2019. Japan's "Kakure Kirishitan," or "Hidden Christians," preserved their faith in secret during centuries of persecution. "I worry that what my ancestors worked hard to preserve will disappear, but that is the trend of the times," said Kawasaki. "I have a son but I don't expect him to carry on," he added. "To think this will disappear is sad, without a doubt." REUTERS/Issei Kato SEARCH "HIDDEN CHRISTIANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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