January 2018

Kirishitan Sites in Tokyo: The Grave site of Cristovao Ferreira

If you have stumbled on this article from a web search, you may want to read the article Kirishitan Sites in Tokyo that lead to the creation of this one.

Cristovao Ferreira died in Nagasaki on November 4th or 5th, 1650 His remains were brought to Edo (Tokyo) and buried on the grounds of Motoyama Jiunzanzuirin Temple in the family plot of his son in law Sugimoto Chukei. Sugimoto had married one of Ferreira's daughters and moved to Edo where he was a personal physician of the Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune. Ferreira's Japanese name Chuan can be clearly seen engraved on the stone even today.

It is a bit difficult to find the temple, and nearly impossible to find this particular stone among the hundreds of grave stones surrounding the temple. When I enterd the cemetery, I prayed for divine help to locate the stone and I stumbled upon it within a minute, to my surprise. I have made created this article to make it easier for any viewer who wants to find this stone in the future.

1 The temple is located not far from Sendagi Station on the Chiyoda Line (subway) in Tokyo. Take exit 1, and cross the street. You will enter the street facing you, and you will be walking up hill. Walk on the right side.

map to ferreira grave site

To make sure you are walking in the right place, look for an interesting shop on the left that has a round sign on the roof. I forgot to take a photo but here is a sketch of the shop I made a few years ago.

odd shop

2 Turn right at the third traffic light.

3 Walk along the right side of the street until you see this sign on a utility pole on your left side. It has the name of the temple in Kanji with an arrow pointing down the street on your right. Turn right and go down that street.

map to ferreira grave site

4 Soon you will see the temple gate on your right, when you can't go straight any further.

map to ferreira grave site

Instructions for after you have entered the temple grounds:

Here is a bird's eye view of the temple grounds.

map to ferreira grave site

1 Enter the gate.

2 Look for the big bell on your left. When you have passed it, turn left and and go straight into the cemetery on the small stone path.

ferreira grave site

3 You will see a big stone (the one in the photo). Turn right at the stone. You can actually see the Ferreira grave stone from that spot.

ferreira grave site

4 The Sugimoto family plot will be on your right and the Ferreira stone will be on the right of the family plot.

ferreira grave site

The inscription will be on the other side of the stone.

ferreira grave site

Ferreira's Japanese name Chuan with the title "Joko Sensei" can be clearly seen. I have added Roman characters to the photo to identify the kanji.