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The Martyrs of Japan(日本の殉教者Nihon no junkyōsha) were Christian missionaries and followers who were persecuted and executed for being more loyal to Jesus than the Shogunate, mostly during the Tokugawa shogunate period in the 17th century.
Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).
Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.
The Tokugawa shogunate, also known as the Tokugawa Bakufu (徳川幕府) and the Edo Bakufu (江戸幕府), was the last feudal Japanese military government, which existed between 1600 and 1868. The head of government was the shogun, and each was a member of the Tokugawa clan. The Tokugawa shogunate ruled from Edo Castle and the years of the shogunate became known as the Edo period. This time is also called the Tokugawa period or pre-modern.
Christian missionaries arrived with Francis Xavier and the Jesuits in the 1540s and briefly flourished, with over 100,000 converts, including many daimyōs in Kyushu. The shogunate and imperial government at first supported the Catholic mission and the missionaries, thinking that they would reduce the power of the Buddhist monks, and help trade with Spain and Portugal. However, the Shogunate was also wary of colonialism, seeing that the Spanish had taken power in the Philippines, after converting the population. It soon met resistance from the highest office holders of Japan. (隠れキリシタンkakure kirishitan), while others lost their lives. Only after the Meiji Restoration, was Christianity re-established in Japan.Emperor Ōgimachi issued edicts to ban Catholicism in 1565 and 1568, but to little effect. Beginning in 1587 with imperial regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi's ban on Jesuit missionaries, Christianity was repressed as a threat to national unity. After the Tokugawa shogunate banned Christianity in 1614, it ceased to exist publicly. Many Catholics went underground, becoming hidden Christians
Francis Xavier, S.J., was a Navarrese Catholic missionary who was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus.
The daimyō were powerful Japanese feudal lords who—until their decline in the early Meiji period—ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings. Subordinate to the shōgun, and nominally to the Emperor and the kuge, daimyō were powerful feudal rulers from the 10th century to the middle 19th century in Japan. In the term, dai (大) means "large", and myō stands for myōden(名田), meaning "private land".
Kyushu is the third largest island of Japan's four main islands. Its alternative ancient names include Kyūkoku(九国, "Nine Countries"), Chinzei(鎮西, "West of the Pacified Area"), and Tsukushi-no-shima(筑紫島, "Island of Tsukushi"). The historical regional name Saikaidō referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands.
The Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan(日本二十六聖人Nihon Nijūroku Seijin) refers to a group of Christians who were executed by crucifixion on February 5, 1597 at Nagasaki.
Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang, perhaps for several days, until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation.
Through the promulgation of decree on martyrdom, these first Martyrs of Japan were beatified on 14 September 1627 by Pope Urban VIII. These saints were canonized saints on 8 June 1862 by Pope Pius IX.
Pope Urban VIII was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 6 August 1623 to his death in 1644. He expanded the papal territory by force of arms and advantageous politicking, and was also a prominent patron of the arts and a reformer of Church missions.
Pope Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, was head of the Catholic Church from 16 June 1846 to his death on 7 February 1878. He was the longest-reigning elected pope in history, serving for over 31 years. During his pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed papal infallibility, but the council was cut short owing to the loss of the Papal States.
Persecution continued sporadically and over a period of 15 years, between 1617 and 1632, 205 missionaries and native Christians were executed for their faith. Christian teaching disintegrated until the arrival of Western missionaries in the nineteenth century.
Through the promulgation of decree on martyrdom, these 205 Martyrs of Japan were venerated on 26 February 1866 and beatified on 7 May 1867, by Pope Pius IX.
Two Spanish Augustinians arrived in Japan in the later half of 1632 from Manila to evangelize the Japanese. Upon arrival, the Japanese authorities were notified by Chinese traders that gave them passage. They fled to mountains, where Dominican missionaries instructed them in the language of the country. As these two priests descended to the city, they were recognized and arrested during November 1632. On 11 December 1632, they were martyred for their faith.
Through the promulgation of decree on martyrdom, these two Augustinian Martyrs of Japan were venerated on 28 November 1988 and beatified on 23 April 1989, by Pope John Paul II.
The martyrdom continued on with a group of missionaries and natives that belonged to the Philippine Province of the Dominican Order, called the Holy Rosary Province.
Through the promulgation of decree on martyrdom, these 16 Martyrs of Japan were venerated on 11 October 1980 and beatified on 18 February 1981, by Pope John Paul II.They were later canonized saints on 18 October 1987, by Pope John Paul II.
These martyrs are additional religious priests and laity murdered for their faith between the years 1603 and 1639.
Through the promulgation of decree on martyrdom, these 188 Martyrs of Japan were venerated on 1 June 2007 and beatified on 24 November 2008, by Pope Benedict XVI.
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the list of recognized saints, called the "canon". Originally, a person was recognized as a saint without any formal process. Later, different processes were developed, such as those used today in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification.
The process of beatification and canonization has undergone various reforms in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. For current practice, as well as a discussion of similar processes in other churches, see the article on canonization. This article describes the process as it was before the promulgation of the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983.
Blessed IustusTakayama Ukon (高山右近) or Dom Justo Takayama was a Japanese Roman Catholic kirishitan daimyō and samurai who lived during the Sengoku period that witnessed anti-religious sentiment. Takayama had been baptized into the faith in 1564 when he was twelve, though over time neglected his faith due to his actions as a samurai. He would eventually rekindle his faith just after his coming-of-age ritual near the age of 20. He abandoned his status to devote himself to his faith and was exiled to Manila, where he lived a life of holiness until his death two months later.
The Japanese term Kirishitan, from Portuguese cristão, referred to Roman Catholic Christians in Japanese and is used in Japanese texts as a historiographic term for Roman Catholics in Japan in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Saint Pedro Calungsod, also known as Peter Calungsod and Pedro Calonsor, was a Catholic Filipino migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist who, along with the Spanish Jesuit missionary Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672.
The Catholic Church in Japan is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the pope in Rome. In 2005, there were approximately 509,000 Catholics in Japan—just under 0.5% of the total population, and by 2014, there were around 440,000 Japanese Catholics. There are 16 dioceses, including three archdioceses, with 1589 priests and 848 parishes in the country. The bishops of the dioceses form the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, the episcopal conference of the nation.
The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan were a group of Catholics who were executed by crucifixion on February 5, 1597, at Nagasaki. Their martyrdom is especially significant in the history of the Catholic Church in Japan.
Saint Philip of Jesus was a Novohispanic Catholic missionary who became one of the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan, the first Mexican saint and patron saint of Mexico City.
Saint Magdalene of Nagasaki was a Japanese Christian born in 1611 as the daughter of a Christian couple martyred about 1620. With the arrival of the Augustinian Order, Magdalene served as an Augustinian lay sister or tertiary, interpreter and catechist for Fathers Francis of Jesus Terrero and Vincent of Saint Anthony Simoens.
The Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument were built on Nishizaka Hill in Nagasaki, Japan in June 1962 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the canonization by the Roman Catholic Church of the Christians executed on the site on February 5, 1597. The 26 people, a mixture of 20 native Japanese Christians and six foreign priests had been arrested in Kyoto and Osaka on the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the national ruler, for preaching Christianity. They were imprisoned, then later marched through the snow to Nagasaki, so that their execution might serve as a deterrent to Nagasaki's large Christian population. Hung up on 26 crosses with chains and ropes, the Christians were lanced to death in front of a large crowd on Nishizaka Hill. St Paul Miki is said to have preached to the crowd from his cross.
Saint Fr. Jacobo Kyushei Gorobioye Tomonaga de Santa María was a Japanese Dominican priest. He composed one of the first modern Japanese dictionaries.
Christian missionaries arrived with Francis Xavier and the Jesuits in the 1540s and briefly flourished, with over 100,000 converts, including many daimyōs in Kyushu. It soon met resistance from the highest office holders of Japan. Emperor Ogimachi issued edicts to ban Catholicism in 1565 and 1568, but to little effect. Beginning in 1587 with imperial regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi's ban on Jesuit missionaries, Christianity was repressed as a threat to national unity. After the Tokugawa shogunate banned Christianity in 1620 it ceased to exist publicly. Many Catholics went underground, becoming hidden Christians, while others lost their lives. Only after the Meiji Restoration was Christianity re-established in Japan.
Miguel de Carvalho. also known as Michael Carvalho, was a Roman Catholic missionary from Portugal. He was beatified in July 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
Ludovicus Baba, also known as Louis Baba or ルイス馬場, was a Roman Catholic Franciscan Tertiary from Japan. He was beatified in July 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
The Martyrs of Japan were Christian missionaries and followers who were persecuted and executed for their faith in Japan, mostly during the Tokugawa shogunate period in the 17th century.
The Martyrs of Japan were Christians who were persecuted for their faith in Japan, mostly during the 17th century.
Martín Lumbreras y Peralta, also known as Martín de San Nicolás, was a Roman Catholic missionary from Spain. He was beatified in April 1989 by Pope John Paul II.
Francisco Blanco was a Spanish Roman Catholic Franciscan missionary and martyr, one of the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan. He is revered as a saint by the Catholic and other Christian churches, particularly in Japan.