DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     August 12, 1999     vol. 10, no. 151

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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OLDEST WOODEN ROSARY FOUND IN JAPAN

        OSAKA (CWNews.com) - Japanese archeologists announced on Wednesday that they had found the oldest rosary beads ever discovered in the country in a wooden coffin unearthed last year.

        The rosary found at Takatsuki Castle in Osaka predates the anti-Christian edicts issued by warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) in 1587. The castle was the seat of Takayama Ukon (around 1552-1615), a Christian daimyo, or lord, in the late 16th century. The archeologists said the beads will be of assistance in studying the history of Christian missionary work in Japan, which began with the arrival of St. Francis Xavier in 1549.

        All other rosaries previously uncovered were believed to date from the era of "Kakure Kirishitan" -- Christians who practiced the outlawed faith in secret -- during the Edo period (1603-1868), the researchers said.

        Ukon was Japan's best-known Christian daimyo. Noted for his deeply held Christian faith, Ukon was baptized at age 12. Known by his Christian name Dom Justo, he propagated his faith among local residents after becoming lord of Takatsuki, opening his doors to missionaries and building 20 churches in his domain. Ukon was banished in 1614 with 147 other Christian nobles from Japan, dying the following year in Manila, the Philippines.


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August 12, 1999       volume 10, no. 151
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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