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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.



Local documents and treasures
The lords of the castle changed quickly: from Lord Arima, Matsukura and Koriki. But after Lord Matsudaira Tadafusa came to this province, the stable rule continued nearly 200 years. The hearts of the people of a citizen of territory were stable, too, and culture and economy developed

Every Shimabara feudal lord was a lover of learning, and this made it possible to prosper the culture and studying in his domain. The culture related to the feudal lord and Shimabara castle has been exhibited in this hometown-document section

The swords ‘Shinki’, ‘Shinsoku’ were heirlooms in the Matsudaira family, and they were also the defense gods in the castle. The armor, the helmet, and furnishing goods with the family crest of the double fans are the ones used in the palace. Moreover, the license and the book of secrets, etc. including the vassal’s armor and helmet were donated, consigned, and have been exhibited. These can be only some reminiscences of the rich culture of our hometown


Folk-lore data
Besides the second floor where local documents and treasures are displayed, a lot of things used by the ordinary people can be seen. They are all the nostalgic old things so it seems as if time has stopped for a while.
The best thing among all is an anatomical chart. This is the chart recorded by Kaku Sukeyuki, Ichkawa Taiboku, a special doctor at the palace, and others who learned from Siebold. They made use of knowledge of the West science in dissection and recorded it. It shows height of the Shimabara culture.


Castle tower / observatory

You can fully enjoy the historic cityscape of Shimabara 360 degrees.
You can see the mountains of Kumamoto over Shimabara city, Bizan, and the sea.




Tourism Reconstruction Memorial

In the 1st floor video hall with 120 people capacity, the content showing the progress of eruption activity etc. is screened for about 15 minutes on a 200-inch widescreen
2F exhibition hall is an exhibition space such as special exhibition and seasonal event




Exhibit national castle painting etc.
We are exhibiting pictures of castles cast all over Japan drawn on the Japanese towel and various various kokeshi in each prefecture.

Seibo Memorial Hall
This memorial hall was opened to commemorate the eighty-eight-years birthday of Mr. Kitamura Seibo of our hometown who won the Order of Culture. He is a maestro (a great master) of the carvings and sculptures field of our country. It is the facility for unprecedented art of carvings and sculptures in the world that can follow a trace of the long creation activity for about a century. Among his most important ones about 60 points have been exhibited

The original works full of a feeling of power of the young days when he wanted to be a sculptor. The peace pray image which survived the tumultuous time of a great war and exploded the desire to peace. The wish applied peacefully has minced the impression strong against our heart. The creation activity that began again still powerfully, and youthfully even after his 60th birthday, and it shows a new stage. His infinite creative activity is very overwhelming

The great works currently exhibited by the outdoors are wrapped in the coloring of Shimabara Castle every season. They will be attaching a flower to free approach to all of you tracing the walk course

We are exhibiting a number of nostalgia items that can remember the lives of the Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods.

You can enjoy the special products of Shimabara and the taste of the region.
The most popular among them is the elegant sweetness sweet “Kanzarashi”, the noodle dish “Rokube” made with sweet potato powder, and the famous “Somen pasta”。


This post is also available in: Japanese Korean