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Japanese church remembers martyrs in Edo

Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD of Tōkyō, other priests, and people after the mass take a procession to the tombs of martyrs. (Photo credit: Arb Kikuchi's Facebook page)

The Japanese church remembered martyrdom in Edo on November 19 with gratitude and faith. 

The Japanese church commemorated the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom in Edo, formerly a jōkamachi (castle town) centered on Edo Castle located in Musashi Province, Japan. 

On November 19, Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD of Tōkyō, conducted a Mass at Takanawa Catholic Church and held a prayer service at the Fuda-no-Tsuji, a former execution ground where several Christians were martyred.

Quite a few members of Takanawa Catholic Church walked in prayer from Takanawa to Fuda-no-Tsuji, three kilometers in distance.

Many martyrs remain named in the Japanese church's history. During the era of the 3rd General Shogi Hikigawa, a disaster at the shrine in Tokyo escalated its severity, resulting in the burning of 50 believers, including missionaries, in a small area on the side of the city, from the side of the bridge along Tokkaido to Shinagawa on December 4, 1623 (9 AD).

“We are now in the milestone year of 400 years since then, living by faith,” said the prelate. 

“A mass commemorating 400 years was offered at the Koenji Church on November 19, and after the mass, the devotees volunteered to walk about three kilometers to the tomb of the town, which is the place of the funeral. And in the afternoon, we prayed at the bridge of darkness,” said Archbishop Kikuchi. 

 The town will erect prayer walls in open spaces maintained like a park with a straight entrance, allowing prayers to be offered, in favor of the current property owners. 


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