Christian historical materials
At the corner of this trade and propagation times, gorgeous Christian culture and civilization of the early European countries are exhibited. At the end of the age of civil strife, Portuguese came one after another by ship and conveyed new European culture. European medieval culture including Christianity, prospered in the Shimabara district
Then feudal lord, Arima Harunobu, positively pushed forward Western trade and became a Christian daimyo by himself and protected Christianity. Thus the Shimabara district seemed to be a Christian kingdom. Churches were built in various places in the territory, Seminariyo (<P. seminaries=primary theological schools) were opened in Arima, and Colegieo (<P. colleges=advanced theological school) were opened later in Kazusa
In this place four boys including Chijiwa Miguel accomplished a heroic deed that started on a journey to Rome all the way to be honored with an interview with the Pope. A brilliant page 1 in the history of East-West negotiations began from Shimabara. At the corner of the suppression age, many proofs which shows continued faith even in intense suppression are collected and displayed
Although Christianity was prosperous, the situation changed completely by the anti-Christian edicts and the Isolation proclamation of the Edo Shogunate which began from Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s missionary deportation order. Intense Christian suppression started and the citizens of the territory were demanded the severe choice whether to apostatizes or to be robbed of their life
There were people who never abandoned their freedom of faith even in such a severe period. These people were called ‘Hidden Christians’, and they continued their faith, worshipping the Jesus or Mary’s figure in other images so that others might not find them out as Christians. This castle is famous for its extensive and valuable collection of documents nationwide
At the Shimabara Uprising corner in the building, histrical data which tell the situation of the riot that shook the whole country are collected. To replace Lord Arima, Matsukura Shigemasa came to this province as a new feudal lord for the castle. The new lord built Shimabara Castle and promoted the reign of the Shimabara district powerfully. However, in the next reign of Katsuie (Shigetsugu), Shigemasa’s son, atrocity to the citizens of territory continued and Shimabara Uprising broke out
The picture of Amakusa Shiro who led the riot with 30,000 farmers, the picture depicting intense fighting over four months, a handmade spear, a handmade artillery shell that were used in those days, etc. Although the farmers who held the castle were annihilated, the crosses made from gold for which they might have probably continued praying are witnesses of the tragedy.
After the revolt, the whole southern part of Shimabara territory became like a desert, but gradually it revived. However, severe Christianity control was performed afterwards. An allegiance test and a forbidden notice board, the record of people’s sects and denominations show this.