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Sunday, July 13, 2008

back to Kyoto

I met a very interesting Jesuit priest in nagasaki, who was able to fill me in with in depth knowledge re the Christians who were called Kakure and Senpuku in Nagasaki. He is the director of the 26 martyrs monument, which is going to be added to by the beatification of 187 Japanese martyrs later this year, recognising the suffering that Japanese Christians have experienced. Still today in Nagasaki, Catholic Christians make up 5% of the population, in comparison to 0.5% in the rest of Japan. We also saw some of the icons which the Christians made to keep faith, whilst pretending that they were Buddhist type symbols... Such as the one above. Also, we found Oranda street!! There is a whole area called the Orandazaka - meaning the Dutch slopes as well.

G and I went to mass this morning at the Nakamachi Cathedral and I could vouch for this - a full church, with singing children up the front, and quite a moving liturgy. (G found it a little harder to make the distance, having little Japanese and after a late night the night before, taken out by the `Australia-Nagasaki friendship association`! I was quizzed on John Howard, whaling, Nagasaki vs Hiroshima, etc, etc!)

G has continued to enjoy the shinkansen and we got up to Kyoto late today... it is just so different to Nagasaki - crowded, full of foreign tourists, but similarly hot! He loved the escalators leading up 12 floors unidirectionally, kind of up into the sky, to the top of the Kyoto station building.

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