NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]

Umitsuki Sakitsu Maria Statue Over the Ocean

”Umitsuki” Restaurant loved by Kundo Koyama
”Sakitsu Maria Statue Over the Ocean” Feeling cleansed

Local restaurant loved by local writer Kundo Koyama

Sakitsu, Kawaura-machi, Amakusa-shi. There is a tiny sushi restaurant. Umitsuki, a restaurant where you can enjoy fresh seafood caught in local Sakitsu, in a Showa-style interior of a renovated house.
One of their standard dishes is ”Tako-inari (sushi wrapped in fired tofu).” This is a ”gomoku-style inari sushi” containing a lot of local ingredients such as octopus, burdock root, carrots, and ”shiitake” mushrooms, with a nostalgic and simple taste. The most popular dish ”Takoyaki-style inari-sushi” is the original creation of store manager Miyashita who trained in Osaka. Eel sauce (teriyaki sauce), dried bonito flakes, green dried seaweed, and mayonnaise are put on the ”Tako-inari”. This dish has been covered by the media on numerous occasions. It looks just like ”takoyaki” but for the lack of steam.

Amakusa, a town of underground Christians

Amakusa is often associated with the image of underground Christians. During the mid-sixteenth century, Christianity was transmitted to Amakusa which located in the southwest of Kumamoto prefecture. After Anti-Christian Edicts were issued, traces of underground Christians are can be seen all around this area. Even now, it is said that a cross can be found in some homes when you open a door next to a household Buddhist shrine.

Sakitsu Cathedral and Statue of Mary on the Ocean

Sakitsu Statue of Mary on the Ocean can be seen on the cape close to Sakitsu Cathedral, located at the gateway of Sakitsu fishing port. It was built by local Christian fishermen in the in the 1960s. Since then, it has been quietly watching out for the safety of fishing boats, and for a hefty catch. Fishermen give a prayer to the Statue of Mary before going out to sea, and again when they return.
This Statue of Mary is not that famous in Kumamoto because it was not built for sightseeing. However, the town of Amakusa which has a lot of history around Christianity and the anguish of the underground Christians, and the chalk white Statue of Mary which stands elegantly on the bluff, are both definitely worth a visit.

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Umitsuki
546 Sakitsu, Kawauramachi, Amakusa-shi, Kumamoto