“Firando” appears on European maps from the Age of the Great Navigators:Hirado,destination for ships that set their courses east .A walk through the town reveals a host of singhts from that distant era,bringing the old”capital of the West”back to life.

Where exchange between Holland and Japan began
Dutch Trading House established in Hirado.
The first British ship called at Hirado. English Trade House establishied in Hirado.
Richard Cocks, chief factor of the English Trade House,plants sweet potatoes.
Britain closes the Hirado trading house and withdraws from Japan.
Hirado Dutch Trading House razed,activities transferred to Dejima in Nagasaki.
Francis Xavier(1506-1552)

Xavier began his missionary work after landing in Kagoshima in 1549,traveling to Hirado in 1550.With the permission of Takanobu,the ruling load,he continued his missionary work there,visiting a total of thee times.

Bapzting over one hundred people in Hirado in 1550

The history of the Hirado Christians begins with the missionary work of Francis Xavier.The depth of his belief and sacrifice,and the story of the hidden Cristians,still moves us today.Visitors pray daily at holy sites throughout the region,demonstrating their continuing faith.

Francis Xavier

Xavier Monument Shoten Stone Ushiwaki Forest

St Francis Xavier Memorial Church

Constructed in 1913 as the Hirado Catholic Church,it was relocated to its present site in 1931. The Statue of St.Francis was erected in 1971 to commemorate his visit to Hirado,and the church later given its present name.

St Francis Xavier Memorial Church
Statue of a Jagatara Batavia Girl
Statue of a Jagatara Batavia Girl The turbulent life of a 'mixed blood' girl exiled from Hirado to Batavia

In 1639(Kambun16) the Shogunate exiled all Japanese women married to Dutch or British citizens,and their children,to Batavia(present-day Jakarta) on Dutch ships.The jagatara letters were sent back to Japan by these exiles and are recognized today as cultual treasures.

Hirado originals : They all started right here!



Paint   Western medicine   Tabacco
Beer came to Hirado with the British ship “Clove” in 1613.   The exterior of the Dutch Trading House was painted when it was completed in
  Arashiyama Hoan,who studied Western medicine from foreign visitors in the Age of the Great Navigators,was born to the Handa family of Hirado.   Pietronimus de Castro, a missionary,brought tobacco leaves to Hirado in 1601.
Sweet potatoes   Bread   Origin of Zen and Tea Cultivation
Cultivation began when Miura Anjin presented Richad Cocks,chief factor of the English Trade House,with sweet potato plants.   Bread was the staple food on the Portuguese ship tha called at Hirado in 1550.It later spread to Nagasaki and then throughout Japan.   When Eisai,founder of the Rinzai sect,returned from Song China,his first stop was Hirado.The tea he brought with him was planted at Fushun-en.    
hirado castle hirado castle

The reconstruction of old Hirad Castle is said to have been planned by Shigenobu,29th Lord Matsura,with Yamaga Soko,and was completed in 1718(kyoho 3).the view from the donjon is spectacular,and distant Iki and the Genkai Sea can be seen.

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【Closed】Dec.30 to 31 【Admission】500 yen

hirado castle
samurai armor   Kanto-no-Tachi
samurai armor National important cultural property
Said to have been presented to Lord Matsura Shigenobu by Otomo Sorin,a famoous feudal lord ob Bungo during the Sengoku period.The suit well characterizes the late Muromachi period.
  Kanto-no-Tachi National important cultural property
The sword of an officer dispatched to Korea under the Empress-Consort Jingu.The steel sword has a ring on the pommel,a hand guard of water buffalo horn and a horsehide scabbard.
Oni Yocho kites    
Oni Yocho kites The name means “demon butterfly,” taken from the roaring sound of a cane mounted on the head when the wind lifts the kite. The demon is said to have been killed by the 5ht Lord Matsura, Watanabe-no-Tsuna, at the Rashomon Gate in Kyoto.    
Zheng Chenggong Zheng Chenggong
Zheng Chenggong   Birth Rock of Zheng Chenggong   Mausoleum of Zheng Chenggong
  This rock.at the southern end of Senrigahama,is said to be where Zheng Chenggong
was born in the year 1624.
  Zheng Chenggong,born in Kawachi,is worshipped as a god in Tainan.Taiwan for his contributions to that land.He is praised as a hero here in Maruyama as well.and this branch was established tohonor his sprit.