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The “Casa Blanca”, cultural property in Japan

February 20, 2017

The Provincial Superior of Indian Pacific, Thelma Barbarona, tells in your Circular Letter 23 that last November 18 the building of Hayama which was our first convent, better known as “Casa Blanca” was registered as a tangible cultural property by the National Council for Cultural Affairs. The building, constructed sometime in 1914 used to be the villa of Prince Higashi-Fushimi-Miya Yorihito (1867-1922). After World War II, it was given to the congregation by the Yokohama Diocese who had bought it, and it served as a key base of the congregation when the sisters just started in Japan. It is also now one of the ‘One Hundred Buildings of Kanagawa Prefecture’.
With it being now a national cultural property, persons and groups have come to Hayama to see the place for its cultural value.  A very interesting write-up of its history, which touches our own history as well as Hijas de Jesus in Japan, can be found here. This is a translation of Mr. John Kawakami from the article found in the December 25 issue of Catholic Weekly, the national newspaper of the Catholic Church in Japan. It was also featured as a television documentary shown nationwide in January of this year.