7. Yosuke Tetsukawa, "The Japanese Church Pillar Constructor"
Yosuke Tetsukawa was born in a
traditional carpenter's family in Kamigoto, Nagasaki Prefecture in
1879. Until his death in 1976, during a life span of 97 years, he took
part and designed many buildings, including schools, Temples and
Churches, most of them highly praised today.
Basing his work in the traditional Japanese construction style, he
adapted some western style characteristics, becoming a precursor and
model for the modern Japanese architects. Some researchers call him
"The pillar architect".
From the late Meiji period through the beginnings Showa, in particular,
he focused on the Nagasaki prefecture. Yosuke constructed many church
buildings, supported and guided by the missionaries and the believers.
Yosuke received a strong influence from foreign missionaries.
1890s, he constructed church buildings like Sone, Tainoura and Dozaki,
the direction of the French missionary priest Albert Charle Arsene Pelu
In this period he showed his skills as a carpenter and developed many
he used later in church constructions. By this period he had became
constructor" of this kind of building.
He received also influence from the priest missionary Marc De Rotz
(1840-1914), who constructed the Shitsu church (Sotome town) and from
Fr. Pierre-Thèodore Fraineau, (1847-1911), who constructed the Oura
Church, now designated as a National Treasure. The construction of the
Old Bishop Residence in Oura deserves special mention. It is a
co-realization of Yosuke and Fr. Marc De Rotz.
Yosuke Tetsukawa's major church
works (still in existence)
1907: Hiyamizu (Kamigoto Town)
1908: Dozaki (Fukue city), Nokubi (Ojika Town)
1910: Aosagaura (Kamigoto Town) Kusuhara (Kishuku Town)
1912: Yamada (Ikitsuki Town)
1913: Imamura (Fukuoka Prefecture)
1916: Ohzo (Kamigoto Town)
1918: Egami (Naru Town) and Tabira (Tabira Town)
1919: Kashiragashima (Arikawa Town)
1928: Tedori (Kumamoto City)
1929: Himosashi (Hirado City)
1933: Oe (Kumamoto Prefecture)
1935: Sakitsu (Kumamoto Prefecture)
1938: Mizunoura (Kishuku Town)
1959: Oura (Nagasaki City)
Church Buildings Declared
Important Cultural Assets outside the Nagasaki Area
The Resurrection Cathedral
(Nicolai-do) (Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku)
Completed in 1891, it was designed by the Russian Professor, Dr.
M.A.Shchurupov, and directed by the English Dr. Josiah Condor. It is
the biggest Japanese Byzantine building.
Tsurugaoka Catholic Church
(Tsurugaoka City, Yamagata Prefecture)
Built with the donation of the whole property of the French priest
Pierre, Dèsirè, Frèdèric Dalibert (1860-1935). It was built in 1903. It
is well known as an expression of the Meiji Romanesque style.
Saint John Church (Meiji Town,
Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture. It was relocated from Kawaramachi,
Built in Kyoto, in 1907, it is the former Anglican Gojo Church first
located in Kyoto. Designed by the American Gardenier, it is based on
the Romanesque style but constructed with bricks with a Gothic design.
Hakodate Harist Russian Orthodox
Resurrection Church (Hakodate City, Hokkaido)
Built in 1916, it is the design of a Japanese Orthodox Pastor, Izoh
Kawamura. The Russian Byzantine style is unique.
Outside of the Nagasaki Area there are no churches designated as
National Treasures. The Important Cultural Assets are therefore the 4
listed above only.
Some of the churches on the waiting list for Important Cultural Assets:
Matsugamine Catholic Church, Kanda Catholic Church, Sapporo Old
Motouragawa Anglican Church, Kawaguchi Anglican Church.