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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings
  • Kyushu
  • Oita
  • Oita Christian Martyrs Memorial Park

Nature

Oita Christian Martyrs Memorial Park キリシタン殉教記念公園

A stunning park dedicated to the memory of people who died for their faith

A fascinating memorial park dedicated to unwavering faith and religious loyalty. The Oita Christian Martyrs Memorial Park is a naturally stunning site remembering those who died as Christian martyrs during the 17th century purge of Christianity.

Don't miss

  • Visit the memorial to remember those who died in the name of their faith
  • Soak up the serenity of the park at sunset
  • The historical monuments dotted across the grounds

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to the park from Oita Station is by taxi. If you have a car, parking is available on site.

Oita Station is served by the JR Kyudai, Hohi and Nippo Main Lines, offering access to much of the wider Kyushu area.

The history

In the 16th century, during the rule of the feudal lord Sorin Otomo, Christian beliefs and culture flourished in modern-day Oita and many people became ardent believers.

However, with the prohibition of Christianity in the early 17th century, thousands of believers were arrested and executed for refusing to denounce their Christian beliefs. This memorial park was established to remember some 200 local people who died as martyrs to Christianity.

The introduction of Christianity

Otomo was one of the feudal lords at that time to have converted to Roman Catholicism. He engaged in trade with the Portuguese ships that landed in modern-day Oita and the city became a major point of contact between Japan and the west.

The arrival of Saint Francis

Sorin met Saint Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary and one of the first Europeans to arrive in Japan. Saint Francis' arrival in Japan in 1549 sparked the country's first real foray into the world of Christianity, Saint Francis spent over two years and three months in Japan preaching the word of Christianity.

The purge

Following the prohibition of Christianity in the 17th century suspected believers were forced to trample on holy images to prove they were not Christians. Others became ‘hidden Christians,' practicing their religion in secret to escape persecution or by blending it with Japan's religions of Shintoism and Buddhism.

The Martyrs of Oita

Still others refused to give up Christianity, even when faced with death. In modern-day Oita, too, there were many martyrs. In the village of Katsuragi, where this Memorial Park is located, some 200 martyrs of all ages defiantly chose to die rather than denounce their religious beliefs.

Watch the sun set across the park

Visit the park to explore the story behind this period of religious conflict and pay tribute to the unwavering faith of the martyrs of Oita. Signposted with memorial monuments, the stunning park is awash with a powerful feeling of serenity and peace during the evening sunset.

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