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​日本画家・大和絵師 伊東正次の襖絵・屏風絵


Japanese zelkova "Lord's zelkova"

This zelkova tree, also known as "Lord's zelkova" has a close relationship with Christianity. According to one theory, it was also called “padre's zelkova.” There is a statue of Guanyin at the base of the tree, which in a way looks more like a western statue.
According to historian Akio Ishida, the Christian religion flourished during the period of 1590-1627 while the Gamo family ruled Aizu. Aizu-Wakamatsu City currently has three Former church ruins of that period.

However, suppression by the Kato family wiped out Christians afterward, so only few crypto-Christians remained during Edo period.
What if that Guanyin I mentioned is the Virgin Mary crypto-Christians worshiped? It may be just a daydream considering that it was located inside the outer wall of the castle at that time and located near the Christian chapel.

At the time when I visited this tree, narcissus was in full bloom in front of the zelkova standing on a small hill, and Kerria and camellia were beautifully coloring both sides of it.
This scenery itself suggested me of a natural altar or church.


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