On February 19, 1865 (Keio 2), Oura Cathedral (大浦天主堂) in Nagasaki City was officially dedicated. The church had been constructed by local builder Hidenoshin Koyama under the supervision of the French priest Bernard Petitjean (1828-1884) and was completed in December 1864 (Keio 1).
The Roman Catholic church, located in Nagasaki’s Oura Foreign Settlemen, was the second Catholic church built in Japan after Japan opened its doors in 1853.
The church became world famous after Kakure Kirishitan (Hidden Christians who survived hundreds of years of persecution) approached French priest Bernard-Thadée Petitjean here on March 17, 1865 (Keio 2), less than a month after its official opening.
The church still exists. Although the current building dates from 1879 (Meiji 12), it is Japan’s oldest existing wooden church.