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Thread: Early Japanese Christian scroll discovered

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    Early Japanese Christian scroll discovered

    Source: Japanese Museum Finds Rare Scroll From Country’s Early Christians



    A Christian scroll found in a Japanese museum is believed to be from the earliest days of Christianity in the country, researchers have said.

    The scroll measures about 10.5 feet long and about 9 inches high, and it depicts 15 scenes from the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. The pictures include religious figures wearing traditional Japanese garments, and Latin prayers are spelled out in Japanese phonetic letters throughout the scroll.

    The scroll was discovered at SawadaMiki Kinenkan museum in the town of Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, which collects historical Christian items.

    According to Japanese newspaper The Mainichi, an inscription on the scroll reads: “1,592 years since His Birth,” leading historians to believe that this was the year the scroll was created. Carbon dating has dated the scroll as having been created before the year 1633, the museum said in a news conference.

    If this dating is accurate, the scroll would be from a period of cruel and violent persecution of Christians in Japan.

    Christianity arrived on the islands of Japan when St. Francis Xavier came to the country in 1549, though it is possible that Nestorian Christians had arrived at the islands in the 400s, only to retreat some years later.

    Francis Xavier and his Jesuit missionaries evangelized and baptized many Japanese, sometimes converting whole provinces to Christianity.

    By the 1580s, there were more than 200,000 Christians in Japan, including several influential leaders who had converted. But in 1588, Emperor Cambacundono commanded all Jesuit missionaries to leave the country within six months.

    Many missionaries remained in secret, but a time of intense anti-Christian persecution had begun. Christian converts were tortured by burning or flaying of their skin until they renounced their faith. If they refused to renounce, they were usually put to death by burning, beheading or crucifixion.

    Most Europeans were banned from the island at the time, for fear they would try to convert the Japanese to Christianity. In 1642, five Jesuits landed in Japan, but were soon discovered and killed. The Christian faith was prohibited throughout Japan until 1871, when the Japanese people were granted freedom of religion.

    The scroll discovered at the museum is one of the few Christian artifacts from Japan, as most were destroyed after the faith was banned in 1612.

    Osamu Inoue, head of the Yokohama History Museum and one of the people who studied the artifact, said the pictures were likely created in response to the rapid growth of the Christian faith in Japan after the arrival of St. Francis Xavier.

    “Ordinary people perhaps drew such pictures on papers because the material was inexpensive, and (authentic) religious items were in short supply due to a rapid growth of the follower population,” he told The Mainichi.

    The scroll is now on display at the museum.

    The history of Christianity in Japan has recently received new attention, with the U.N. recognizing several places of Christian importance in Japan as UNESCO World Heritage sites and with the 2017 beatification of Justo Takayama Ukon, a Catholic samurai and martyr.



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    Source: Early Japanese Christian scroll unveiled


    A museum has announced at a press conference here that a picture scroll depicting Christians in Japan in its possession was most likely created during the Azuchi-Momoyama period at the end of the 16th century, right after Christianity was introduced to Japan.

    The SawadaMiki Kinenkan museum in the town of Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture, believes that the picture is valuable to understand how early Japanese Christians practiced their faith at the time.

    The picture scroll, measuring 22 centimeters high by 320 centimeters long, is a painting in Japanese ink. It depicts 15 scenes of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary's lifetime with some of Latin prayers written in Japanese phonetic characters. The pictures contain Japanese elements, such as people wearing hakama, Japanese traditional pants.

    There is also a writing saying "1592 years since His birth," implying that the artwork was created in 1592. A radiocarbon age measurement of the paper used in the scroll indicated that it was created sometime before 1633, said a museum at the press conference at the Hiratsuka Municipal Government.

    "There is no reason to deny that it was created during the Azuchi-Momoyama period," an official at the museum said.

    Only a few of such pictures were thought to remain because of persecution of Christians by Japanese rulers. After Saint Francis Xavier came to Japan to spread the religion in 1549, samurai lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi ordered to expel Christians in 1587 and the Edo shogunate also banned the faith in 1612.

    Osamu Inoue, deputy chief of the Yokohama History Museum who examined the scroll, estimates the artwork is a reflection of a sharp increase in the number of faithful. "Ordinary people perhaps drew such pictures on papers because the material was inexpensive and (authentic) religious items were in short supply due to a rapid growth of the follower population," Inoue said.

    The museum will begin displaying the picture scroll from Nov. 23.



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    A picture of some of the art in the scroll from the second source:






    smiley coolthumb.gif

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  2. Amen mossrose, Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    Extra interesting in context of the recent death of the missionary in India.


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    The Japanese have had so little access to the gospel. It barely started before the persecutions began.

  5. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    The Japanese have had so little access to the gospel. It barely started before the persecutions began.
    It appears to have been fairly well received and spread rapidly. From the first source:

    Christianity arrived on the islands of Japan when St. Francis Xavier came to the country in 1549, though it is possible that Nestorian Christians had arrived at the islands in the 400s, only to retreat some years later.

    Francis Xavier and his Jesuit missionaries evangelized and baptized many Japanese, sometimes converting whole provinces to Christianity.

    By the 1580s, there were more than 200,000 Christians in Japan, including several influential leaders who had converted.


    So in a little over 30 years there were "more than 200,000 converts." It's success was likely a principle reason for the resulting persecution.

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  7. Amen DesertBerean amen'd this post.
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    I find it interesting how they and medieval Europeans depicted biblical characters as being from their own culture. I guess because they would have had no way to know how they would have actually looked and dressed.
    Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

  9. Amen Cow Poke, lee_merrill amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Source: Japanese Museum Finds Rare Scroll From Country’s Early Christians



    A Christian scroll found in a Japanese museum is believed to be from the earliest days of Christianity in the country, researchers have said.

    The scroll measures about 10.5 feet long and about 9 inches high, and it depicts 15 scenes from the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. The pictures include religious figures wearing traditional Japanese garments, and Latin prayers are spelled out in Japanese phonetic letters throughout the scroll.

    The scroll was discovered at SawadaMiki Kinenkan museum in the town of Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, which collects historical Christian items.

    According to Japanese newspaper The Mainichi, an inscription on the scroll reads: “1,592 years since His Birth,” leading historians to believe that this was the year the scroll was created. Carbon dating has dated the scroll as having been created before the year 1633, the museum said in a news conference.

    If this dating is accurate, the scroll would be from a period of cruel and violent persecution of Christians in Japan.

    Christianity arrived on the islands of Japan when St. Francis Xavier came to the country in 1549, though it is possible that Nestorian Christians had arrived at the islands in the 400s, only to retreat some years later.

    Francis Xavier and his Jesuit missionaries evangelized and baptized many Japanese, sometimes converting whole provinces to Christianity.

    By the 1580s, there were more than 200,000 Christians in Japan, including several influential leaders who had converted. But in 1588, Emperor Cambacundono commanded all Jesuit missionaries to leave the country within six months.

    Many missionaries remained in secret, but a time of intense anti-Christian persecution had begun. Christian converts were tortured by burning or flaying of their skin until they renounced their faith. If they refused to renounce, they were usually put to death by burning, beheading or crucifixion.

    Most Europeans were banned from the island at the time, for fear they would try to convert the Japanese to Christianity. In 1642, five Jesuits landed in Japan, but were soon discovered and killed. The Christian faith was prohibited throughout Japan until 1871, when the Japanese people were granted freedom of religion.

    The scroll discovered at the museum is one of the few Christian artifacts from Japan, as most were destroyed after the faith was banned in 1612.

    Osamu Inoue, head of the Yokohama History Museum and one of the people who studied the artifact, said the pictures were likely created in response to the rapid growth of the Christian faith in Japan after the arrival of St. Francis Xavier.

    “Ordinary people perhaps drew such pictures on papers because the material was inexpensive, and (authentic) religious items were in short supply due to a rapid growth of the follower population,” he told The Mainichi.

    The scroll is now on display at the museum.

    The history of Christianity in Japan has recently received new attention, with the U.N. recognizing several places of Christian importance in Japan as UNESCO World Heritage sites and with the 2017 beatification of Justo Takayama Ukon, a Catholic samurai and martyr.



    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    Source: Early Japanese Christian scroll unveiled


    A museum has announced at a press conference here that a picture scroll depicting Christians in Japan in its possession was most likely created during the Azuchi-Momoyama period at the end of the 16th century, right after Christianity was introduced to Japan.

    The SawadaMiki Kinenkan museum in the town of Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture, believes that the picture is valuable to understand how early Japanese Christians practiced their faith at the time.

    The picture scroll, measuring 22 centimeters high by 320 centimeters long, is a painting in Japanese ink. It depicts 15 scenes of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary's lifetime with some of Latin prayers written in Japanese phonetic characters. The pictures contain Japanese elements, such as people wearing hakama, Japanese traditional pants.

    There is also a writing saying "1592 years since His birth," implying that the artwork was created in 1592. A radiocarbon age measurement of the paper used in the scroll indicated that it was created sometime before 1633, said a museum at the press conference at the Hiratsuka Municipal Government.

    "There is no reason to deny that it was created during the Azuchi-Momoyama period," an official at the museum said.

    Only a few of such pictures were thought to remain because of persecution of Christians by Japanese rulers. After Saint Francis Xavier came to Japan to spread the religion in 1549, samurai lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi ordered to expel Christians in 1587 and the Edo shogunate also banned the faith in 1612.

    Osamu Inoue, deputy chief of the Yokohama History Museum who examined the scroll, estimates the artwork is a reflection of a sharp increase in the number of faithful. "Ordinary people perhaps drew such pictures on papers because the material was inexpensive and (authentic) religious items were in short supply due to a rapid growth of the follower population," Inoue said.

    The museum will begin displaying the picture scroll from Nov. 23.



    Source

    © Copyright Original Source




    A picture of some of the art in the scroll from the second source:






    smiley coolthumb.gif
    A bit more from the scroll's illustrations:


    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" -- starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaFille View Post
    I find it interesting how they and medieval Europeans depicted biblical characters as being from their own culture. I guess because they would have had no way to know how they would have actually looked and dressed.
    Byzantine iconography tends to be highly stylized as well. The intent is not to be strictly accurate but to convey specific facts/ideas (e.g., bishops are always depicted in the modified Byzantine court dress which has now been used for centuries, even early ones from before the period of standardization in clerical garb).
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