The desire to communicate

“Kappan” collegio活版是字緒 かっぱん collegio

Sustainable cities and communities
Responsible consumption, production
つくる責任 つかう責任
美術学部 / 美術研究科

Faith made of lead sleeps in the earth. One of the Hidden Christian sites of the Nagasaki region is the remains of Harajō castle. It was the main battlefield of the Shimabara/Amakusa Rebellion in 1637. Excavations here have uncovered many objects of faith alongside human remains. These include lead crosses cast from melted-down matchlock bullets.

Before the Shimabara Rebellion, in 1590 the Tenshō Embassy brought a printing-press and lead type back to Nagasaki from Europe. The press moved around Shimabara and Amakusa, printing in all the “collegio”, or theological schools. Much of what was printed were Christian texts, and when the bakufu began persecuting Christians, it also prohibited use of the printing-press and lead type. Both disappeared. When tiny pieces of lead type are excavated, it serves as evidence revealing the location of one of the collegio where letterpress printing was carried out.

The lead crosses that were sleeping underground, and the lead type that may yet be sleeping there: these are what I based this work on. In thinking about the connection between the SDGs and the letterpress printing that forms the subject of my research, I came across tangible history in the form of the Hidden Christian sites of the Nagasaki region. I realized that art has the power to give form to intangible histories, or to histories for which a tangible form has yet to be discovered.




協力:山西もも(鋳造) 吉野俊太郎(什器制作)

3D virtual art exhibition

Artist Profile

Hikari Sekine

Hikari Sekine graduated with a Masters in design from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2016. In 2021 she obtained a PhD from the University’s Department of Inter-Media Art. Her thesis was entitled “Rediscovery and consideration of flongs in Japanese letterpress printing: an interpretation of fragments of physical type through the lens of visual cultural theory.” Sekine’s piece “Moji no tane” (“The Seeds of Letters”) won the Nomura Art Award, and is part of the Tokyo University of the Arts University Art Museum collection.



List of Projects