This jpg shows what I think is Latin lettering on a stained glass window at a Japanese wedding chapel:

Japanese chapel stained glass

If it is Latin, I'd appreciate (1) an English translation and (2) the lettering deciphered into legible English letters.

  • Which Church is it? Do you have a link?
    – luchonacho
    Jul 20, 2018 at 7:42
  • Not part of a church. More like a secular wedding hall, dressed up to look Christian. Common place for Japanese newlyweds or couples to hold their wedding party.
    – niconiko
    Jul 21, 2018 at 6:14

1 Answer 1


The different formatting of the final letter on the right (white with back outlining, against a sort of black background) makes me suspect that it's a versal (ornamented initial letter), and that it's therefore actually meant to be the first letter of the text; in other words, I think the photo is backwards. When I flip it on my computer it looks a bit like Ite ad, which would in fact be fact Latin, meaning 'Go to': a command given to a group, but with their destination unexpressed.

Text from the photo, reversed

Perhaps this window meant to form a pair with another (the window next to it, for example), which has text that expresses the destination.

  • 4
    This looks very plausible. My educated guess is that this is a stained glass window dedicated to St. Joseph, since a verse often used for him (referring to the OT Patriarch Joseph) is Gen 41:55: "Ite ad Ioseph."
    – brianpck
    Jul 20, 2018 at 4:52
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    @brianpck, That's great. Thanks for supplying that context. Do you think there should be more text somewhere (another window, another part of the same window not shown in the photo) to supply the missing 'Ioseph,' or would the phrase be well enough known to the faithful that 'Ite ad' by itself could be used as shorthand (the conceit here being that the final word is on the part of the banner that's curled to the back, I suppose)?
    – cnread
    Jul 20, 2018 at 5:31
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    @luchonacho remember that it's glass. The photo could be easily taken from either side
    – Rafael
    Jul 20, 2018 at 7:52
  • 1
    @Rafael Certainly, although my experience with stained glass (vitrales) is that they just look clear from one side. I guess my point is that the OP should state whether the photo reflects the direction in which it is meant to be read in the first place.
    – luchonacho
    Jul 20, 2018 at 7:59
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    @cnread No, I think "Ioseph" is definitely in another part. As for flipping, this could easily happen (e.g. the OP was taking a selfie), and considering that the text goes from unreadable to standard Latin script, I can't imagine another possibility.
    – brianpck
    Jul 20, 2018 at 13:33

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