Friday, June 3, 2011

Foreign Friday

Broken Pottery Mural
Nagasaki, Japan
April 1980

This mural was made entirely from broken pottery. It was colorful and very beautiful in person. However, when I read the story behind the mural its significance became more poignant than its beauty.

History behind the construction of the mural:
The Shogun in this area of Japan took power around 1600 and decided he did not want anyone to have allegiance to anyone but himself, so he ordered the death of all Christians.

To set an example, his troops captured 26 Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, three of them Japanese. He forced them to march over 400 miles from Kyoto to Nagasaki in the Winter. Once there, they were crucified on a hill overlooking the harbor.

Kenji Imae, an architect from Waseda University retraced the route of the martyrs and collected pottery from every town where they stopped. He used the broken pieces to construct the mural on the wall of the museum in Nagasaki.


  1. Thank you for sharing this! It was so interesting!!

  2. WOW! Amazing what an artist can do with pottery. Thanks for sharing the story behind the mural.


  3. What a great story. The pottery is beautiful.

  4. Indeed the history makes all the difference...broken pottery-broken lives.

  5. Knowing the history behind this mural adds to its beauty. Do you know if it still exists?

  6. The broken pottery makes me think of that movie with Anne Bancroft. The wall in the kitchen was full of broken pottery, can't think of the name of the movie right now.

    You haven't visited in awhile, I'll get a look out for you to guide you in. lol

  7. It was a beautiful mural before the story. And the story makes it even more so!


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