CERAMIC HIBACHI AND PIECE OF CLAY WATER POT

Akaiwa-gun, 1780. A "hibachi" is a pot used for burning. Hibachi were sometimes used during Kakure Kirishtan ceremonies or at nightly meetings. Sometimes to avoid having their loved ones cremated with a Buddhist ceremony, the Kakure Kirishtan would bury the deceased in the mountains with a Kirishtan ceremony, then burn a pig secretly in a hibachi like this one and give these ashes to the temple for a separate ceremony. Large water pots were also used by a designated Kakure Kirishtan "Mizukatta" (one who baptizes) to perform Baptism secretly in a home.

The way this hibachi and water pot were broken suggests they were shattered intentionally. The broken pieces excavated in different locations around a local site also suggests they were purposely carried in different directions a few feet away, then buried in a hurriedly manor. It is therefore presumed these pots were not used for ordinary use in the village. They were also discovered in an area that was once Kirishtan and also known to have Kakure Kirishtan (Hidden Kirishtan). If an unfamiliar person approached a secret gathering where the Kakure Kirishtans (Hidden Kirishtans) were secretly meeting, for fear of being caught, they might have quickly shattered the ceremonial pot being used and each carried away a pieces as they ran in different directions. They might have then buried their individual pieces once they were far enough away from the site, returned to their village, leaving behind no evidence of the purpose of their meeting.


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