Touching history Visiting Churches

Shitsu Church(Shitsu Village in Sotome)

Nagasaki City, Nagasaki
Advance notice required
Shitsu Church(Shitsu Village in Sotome)

For visitors to Shitsu Church

The Catholic Shitsu Church, located in the component property “Shitsu Village in Sotome,” was designed by Father de Rotz (Marc Marie De Rotz:1840-1914), a French priest of the Paris Foreign Missions Society, and was built in 1882.
The parish has two travelling churches, Ono and Makino. The Shitsu Church is a place where Mass and various religious events are held on a daily basis.
Local believers are stationed and available to visitors. (during Mass and liturgy times, they may not be allowed in the building)

Cultural assets, etc. included in the constituent assets

Designation title as cultural assetsDesignation categoryDesignation year
Landscape with Terraces Retained by Stonework of Sotome in NagasakiImportant Cultural Landscape selected by the national government2012, 2018 (additional selection)
Former Shitsu Aid CentreImportant Cultural Property designated by the national government2003
Shitsu ChurchImportant Cultural Property designated by the national government2011
History of Christianity in the region.

The Jesuit priest Francisco Cabral (1529-1609) visited the area in 1571, and it is said that Christianity gradually spread to the Sotome region after the baptism of the lord Kounoura and his family
In Omura, a persecution of Christians known as the ‘Kori Kuzure’ took place between 1657 and the following year.

Controls were also tightened in the Sotome region, which is part of the Omura territory, but the Christians gradually went into hiding because the Sotome region was far from Omura Castle and parts of Shitu and Kurosaki were mixed with enclaves in the Saga territory, where controls were less strict.

History of Shitsu Church

In 1879, Father de Rotz was assigned as chief priest of the Sotome area, and construction of the Shitsu Church began in 1881.
The church was completed in 1882 and celebrated on 19 March by Father Petitjean. (Bernard Thadee Petitjean:1829-1884)
Earlier, a thatched house was built on the land across the river in 1876 under the leadership of Father Pelu (Albert Charles Arsene Pelu: 1848-1918), which served as a temporary church.

This temporary church was used after Father de Rotz’s assignment until a church was built on the present site across the road.
At the time of its foundation, Shitsu Church was a 30 ft deep building with side entrances on both sides.
Due to the growth of the congregation, the altar direction was extended in 1891 and a small tower crowned with a cross was built.In 1909, the entrance area was further extended, a bell tower was built and a French statue of Mary was placed at the top.
This bell tower is no longer in use and is replaced by an electrically operated bell in the front left front bell tower, built in 1982.
In 2011, it was designated a National Important Cultural Property.

Surroundings and location

It is built on a site cut into the northern slope near the mouth of the Dezu River on the Nishisongi Peninsula.
Due to its location, which is subject to strong winds from the Sea of Gotō, it has frequently been damaged.
To the south of the site, the Former sardine net factory (now the Father de Rotz Memorial), designed by Father de Rotz, and the Former Shitsu Aid and Nursing center provide a view of what was a missionary base in the area.


Prior noticePrior notice required for both individuals and groups.
Address2633 Nishishitsu-machi, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki
Masses/religious events1st and 3rd Sunday 9:00~10:00
(*Please click here to check the “No Visitors” date and time other than those listed above.)
Visiting Hours9:00~12:00/13:00~17:00(Church attendants are stationed there.)
Parking area①Sotome Museum of History and Folklore/②Municipal Shitsu area free parking
Related dataPriority areas for the prevention of littering【PDF file(Approx. 200 KB)】

*Visits to the Former Shitsu Aid Center and Father de Lo Memorial Hall are not accepted on this site.Please check the official website.

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