MATERIAL: Hand-Written/Painted
TYPE: Manuscript
DIMENSIONS: 7 X 10 inches (closed)
COMPONENTS: 136 pages; Over 400 signatures and sets of seals.
NOTES: A rare treaty port anti-Christian manuscript. The Seal design itself is also very interesting.
LANGUAGE
Language: Japanese
REFERENCE EXTERNAL LINKS: Genkoji Temple

ITEM ID: 1119
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Christian Renunciation Manuscript (Kobe)

DATE
Year: 1857
Decade: 1850s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)
Notes: Ansei 4

Rare large Christianity renunciation manuscript from Kobe, one of the Treaty ports that was open to foreign trade with the signing of the Harris Treaty in 1855. Since there were foreigners moving into the area, the Japanese were concerned that some residents might become Christian. This manuscript document forces families to renounce any intentions of becoming Christian.

The front cover indicates that this is a list of parishioners of a Pure Land Buddhist temple, so they are reassuring the temple of their continued fealty. These signatories were affiliated with Genkoji, a Jodo shinshu temple in the former Nishisuma mura. It still exists.

According to scholar Andrew Gebert, “So interesting. I guess with the arrival of Perry and the increasing pressure from the west, people sensed that the ban on Christianity would soon be lifted. The front cover indicates that this is a list of parishioners of a Pure Land Buddhist temple, so they are reassuring the temple of their continued fealty.”

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