Kakure Khirisitan Essay

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The complete devastation of Christianity in Japan led few whom have survived the harsh persecution go underground and establish a hidden Christian community. Starting from late 1630's, these hidden Christian community, also known as Kakure Khirisitan FT , usually disguised themselves as Buddhists, or Shintoists, and worshipped Jesus and Mary in the place where the eyes of surveillance would not reach. They camouflaged most of their rituals and hid or transformed all equipments necessary for proper worships. For Kakure Khirisitan, This was the only method to continue their faith and pass on the teachings of Christianity FT, but the consequences of changing the religious practices & teachings by themselves without any support from religious authorities, such as foreign priests, was immense. In here might lie the roots or fundamentals for Japanese response to Christianity today. Kakure Khirisitan only passed on their religious practices and rituals orally, because they were not able to translate nor write down any Portuguese or Spanish documents, and holy words. Oratio FT was also passed on mouth by mouth, with little bit of modifications performed each time. Because of this, Oratio and other prayers became a hybrid of Portuguese and Japanese. They worshipped the statues of Ji-bo- Kan-on and Si-An-Kan-on as Mary and Jesus Christ, when Christianity forbid the worship of statues FT. They burned the wooden crucifixes, and created paper crucifixes which enabled them to hide them in case of emergencies FT. Faces of Jesus Christ, GOD, or Mary were drawn in Kakejiku as a symbol, in which the faces became more like a Japanese person as time passed. These slight 'modifications' caused Kakure Khirisitan to dramatically digress from the original teachings and practices of Christianity, and later becomes a trigger for further hatred Kakure Khirisitan holds against missionaries in

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