where truth resides



Monument To The Kyoto Martyrs



"Shomen Dori" means "Shomen Street," Shomen referring to the "face" or "front" of the famous Buddhist Temple, Nishi Honganji, a few blocks away and which this street runs past.  The term "Rokujyo" refers to the ancient/traditional name of this street--i.e., the name this street had at the time of Tecla's martyrdom--and literally means "Sixth Street" (with "Gojo" or "Fifth Street" viewable in the distance where one can barely see the legs of a bridge in the adjoining river, called the "Kamogawa.") 


"Seventh Street" would be in the opposite direction, in the direction where you are currently sitting at your computer.  There is also  an Ichijo (First Street), Nijo (Second Street), Sanjo (Third Street), and Shijo (Fourth Street) further in the distance beyond Gojo.  in other words, it is only "Rokujo" which has been changed to a non-number name and instead given a name that is associated with a Buddhist Temple a few blocks away.  


Hmmm, sounds suspicious, as Tecla and the 52 + 1 Martyrs of Kyoto were martyred in front of the Great Kyoto Buddha at a nearby Buddhist Temple (about 100 feet to the right of the Shomen Dori street sign, but which no longer exists, perhaps to the same lightning storm that destroyed the Great Kyoto Buddha), and now the name of the street that marks their location has been changed to point to another Buddhist Temple (about 100 yards to the left of the Shomen Dori street sign).


The "yellow brick road" that runs off in the distance past the martyrs' memorial stone lies between Kawabata Street to the right and the Kamogawa (which means "Gull River") to the left.  The stone is very inconspicuous and might not be noticed by a daily traveller on this path unless it was pointed out to him.  A couple hundred yards down that path near San-jo and to the right looms "Mt. Hiei, the mountain of the Shingon sect of Buddhism which Benedict-Ratzinger has called the "sacred Mt. Hiei." (The ludicrousness of this statement can be seen in the fact that none of the popes, including Benedict himself, would ever think of calling Vatican Hill--on which The Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica are built, thereby making it the Center of Christendom--"sacred Vatican Hill."


To the right of this brick path, around Shijo, and just across Kawabata Street is the famous Gion District--or "geisha district"--which has been made famous in books like Memoirs of a Geisha.  It is the center of Japanese geisha culture.  Just across Kawabata Street from the Gion District, on the eastern banks of the Kamogawa (Tecla's stone is also on the eastern bank) is a statue to the famous "O-Kuni," a famous geisha who invented the art of Kabuki dancing at that very spot in 1603.  Thus, Tecla is right in the heart of Japanese geisha/kabuki culture on a river that is considered the heart of Japan, like the German Rhine, the Egyptian Nile, or the London Thames.  She is at the center of Japanese culture, but is being treated like a footnote. 


As one can read at the bottom of the image to the right, this is the "Monument to the Christian Martyrs of Kyoto Rokujyo Shomen near the site of martyrdom."  The image to the far right shows the small memorial stone commemorating the place of the martyrdom of Tecla and the 52 + 1 Martyrs of Kyoto.  It says, "The Place of the Martyrs, Genna Christian."  "Genna" refers to the era, named for the emperor at the time.  We can barely see this stone in a side view in the image to the left tucked in the bushes just behind the "Shomen Dori" sign.