An image of a large figure holding a small child-like figure. There are smaller human-like figures on the ground around them.

Join Dr Gwyn McClelland as he presents a lecture on his 2022 National Library Fellowship research that considers one of the four cultural World Heritage sites of ‘Hidden Christianity’ of the Gotō Archipelago region, drawing on an oral history, and the Library's Japanese historical records.

Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential.

The talk will be available to view live online via the Library's Facebook and YouTube pages. You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.

Dr Gwyn McClelland is a 2022 National Library of Australia Fellow for Japan Studies, supported by the Harold S. Williams Trust.

About Dr Gwyn McClelland's Fellowship research

Of four cultural world heritage sites of ‘Hidden Christianity’ found in the Gotō Islands, Japan, the fourth is an exposed northerly island, Nozaki, with no people today, but hundreds of deer. For those who wished to hide their Christianity inherited from an earlier era, it was a necessity to take on Buddhism or Shintoism as cover, and on this island Hidden Christian migrants found an evident Shintoist culture, and a place mostly beyond the reach of the authorities. So what happened when French mission returned to Nagasaki in 19th Century, and the small hybrid Nozaki community felt a call to return to Catholicism?

For this Fellowship, Dr McClelland continues to undertake research to identify how religious communities understand a number of newly listed Gotō Archipelago UNESCO World Heritage sites and nearby locations as spaces through which to negotiate historical trauma. His project will produce and analyse new sources of oral history and examine experiences of historical trauma between 1856 and 1899, which have significant legacies for the people in the region. 

About Dr Gwyn McClelland

Dr Gwyn McClelland is Senior Lecturer and Convenor of Asian Languages at the University of New England and holds a PhD from Monash University. His PhD thesis was awarded the 2019 John Legge prize for best thesis in Asian Studies, by the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA). Gwyn’s monograph, Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki (Routledge) considers the Nagasaki Catholic survivors’ interpretation of the atomic bombing. In sensory studies, Gwyn McClelland recently co-edited the 2023 volume, Aromas of Asia: Exchanges, Histories, Threats (Penn State University Press), and as a 2022 Japan Foundation Fellow he has carried out more than 20 interviews on the Gotō Archipelago, relevant to his current National Library Fellowship.  

About National Library of Australia Fellowships

The National Library of Australia Fellowships program offers researchers an opportunity to undertake a 12-week residency at the Library. This program is supported by generous donors and bequests.

Image credit: Katorikku dai jiten, 1940-60,, photo plate III.

Type Fellowship presentation