Miracle born of "Kizuna" between Xavier and Ouchi
Cathedral of music and light
We hold the Christmas City Ceremony and the Yamaguchi KOTANSAI Festival under the slogan,
"Yamaguchi City will become a Christmas City in December."
to honor the historical fact that Japan's first Christmas was celebrated here
in Yamaguchi and to carry on the spirit of Francis Xavier and Ouchi Yoshitaka.
We hope you enjoy Christmas in Yamaguchi themed on the bond
between Xavier and Ouchi and ties with your precious family and friends.
Two heroes of the 16th century and their spirit
Both Ouchi Yoshitaka and Xavier were born in about the same year, met by fate,
and died unexpectedly in their forties with their ambitions unfulfilled.
We are proud to live in the town of Yamaguchi, where Xavier once felt "the greatest spiritual satisfaction as ever"
and the Ouchi culture is still alive.
We will inherit the spirit of these two men who passionately created a new culture,
fuse with the new, and create an era in which everyone can enjoy a peaceful life together.
Ouchi Yoshitaka (1507-1551)
He was a feudal lord who played an active role in the Muromachi period when Yamaguchi was at its most prosperous as the "Kyoto of the West".
He is said to have been open-minded since he promoted regional development using the wealth from trade with Korea and China and allowed Christianity to be propagated in Yamaguchi. He committed suicide at the age of 44 with his family after a rebellion by his vassal Sue Harukata.
St.Francis Xavier (1507-1551)
He was a priest who founded the Jesuits and the first missionary to bring Christianity to Japan. His letter shows that he was fully committed to his mission with respect to the Japanese culture and its national character although his missionary work in Japan wasn't easy. After about two years in Japan, he went to Shangchuan island to pursue a mission in China, but he died of an illness at the age of 46.
It has been about 500 years since Ouchi and Xavier met.
The path has now revived as a story of light.
SCENE 1 出会いENCOUNTER
Xavier visited Yamaguchi and was granted several audiences with Ouchi, who was regarded as the best feudal lord in the west. This encounter was the beginning of the miracle of Christmas in Japan.
SCENE 2 贈り物GIFTS
On his second audience, Xavier presented thirteen fine gifts such as a mechanical clock, a fabric, a beautiful crystal glass, a mirror, glasses, along with letters from the first Bishop and the Viceroy of India.
SCENE 3 繁栄PROSPERITY
Ouchi graciously allowed Xavier to conduct missionary work in Yamaguchi, where Japan's first Nativity was celebrated the following year. Their meeting brought about a fusion of Japanese and Western cultures and opened up a new chapter in the opulent Ouchi culture. The people of Yamaguchi always loved the Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Cathedral as a symbol of the city's history and culture.
SCENE 4 絆BOND
In 1991, the Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Cathedral was destroyed by fire. However, the bonds between the people who loved the cathedral changed the disappointment into a passion for its reconstruction.
SCENE 5 奇跡MIRACLE
This passion united the hearts of those who loved the city and made a miracle happen.On April 29, 1998, the Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Cathedral was rebuilt.
Today we honor the birth of Christmas in Japan as a treasure of the city and carry on the spirit of generosity and cherishing bonds with people. A variety of historical and cultural events are held under the slogan, "Yamaguchi City will become a Christmas City in December." Please join us at Christmas in Yamaguchi featuring the bond between Xavier and Ouchi and ties with your loved ones.