Rare Christian Painting from Late 16th Century on Display

Society Culture

Yokohama, Nov. 30 (Jiji Press)--A Christian painting kept at a museum in eastern Japan is highly likely to have been created in the late 16th century, when persecution of Christianity had been increasing in the nation, a study by a research institute has shown.

The painting, part of the collection at the museum, Sawada Miki Kinenkan, in the town of Oiso in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, is one of the oldest Christian works of art in Japan, a person familiar with the matter said.

"This is a valuable historical material that shows how early Japanese Christians practiced their beliefs," one expert said.

The scroll painting, created in "sumi" black ink on a piece of "washi" traditional Japanese paper 22 centimeters high and 320 centimeters long, has been on display at the Yokohama History Museum in the Kanagawa capital of Yokohama since Nov. 23.

It depicts 15 scenes from the lives of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, including the Annunciation and the Passion. It also includes descriptions in Japanese of prayers in Latin.

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