A historical map of the Goto islands showing green and pink hilly mountains, with a light blue background.

Hidden Christian World
Heritage in the Gotō

The Hidden Christian World Heritage in the Gotō project focuses on UNESCO Hidden Christian World Heritage sites in the Gotō Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture, incorporating five interview transcripts in English and Japanese as well as their associated audio (totalling six participants). This project centers on oral history methodology in Japanese Studies and the preservation of Hidden Christian history and heritage in many forms. The contents include the project introduction, five interview pages containing photographs, the aural record as streamed audio files in the Japanese language, transcripts of the five interviews in Japanese and English, and a teaching guide. 

Two interviews are of Hidden Christian descendants on Naru Island; one is with two Catholic parishioners on Hisaka Island; another with a Catholic priest/Hidden Christian descendant on Fukue Island, and one more Hidden Christian descendant, a tourist guide, on Nakadōri Island in the north. The map below shows the approximate locations of the interviews included as well as the locations of the four UNESCO World Heritage sites that acted as a stimulus for the project. 

Project Interviews

Historical map of Gotō overlaid with icons marking Hidden Christian world heritage sites and circles with photographs and names of the project interviewees.

The project is supported by the Japan Foundation, the University of New England, Anaiwan Country, Australia, the National Library of Australia through a National Library of Australia Fellowship, funded by the Harold S. Williams Trust, and the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities.

Japanese Translation: Gwyn McClelland & Nobuko Sakatani

Header map 肥前五島之二(五島下). Courtesy of Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive, https://rmda.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/item/rb00014994.