World Heritages in Japan Part 3

Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki Region (World Heritage)

Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki Region (World Heritage)

In the wake of Portuguese merchants, the Spanish Jesuit Franz Xaver (1506–52) was the first Christian missionary to reach Japan in 1549. Especially on Kyūshū, the southern main island of the Japanese archipelago, Christianity found benevolent tolerance among regional princes. Interested in good trade relations with the Portuguese, some even converted to Christianity. The center of the Jesuit mission was the small coastal settlement of Nagasaki, which also developed into an important base for Japanese foreign trade. By the end of the 16th century there were over 125,000 Christians on Kyushu, according to surveys.

Fearing that followers of the foreign religion might support the colonial endeavors of European powers, the Tokugawa shogun dynasty, which ruled from 1603, reacted with the persecution, expulsion or execution of missionaries and Japanese Christians. The repression reached its peak after the peasant revolt from Shimabara on Kyushu (1637-38), behind which some suspected a Christian plot. The rebellion was bloodily suppressed, 40,000 people lost their lives and Christianity was banned nationwide. Only underground, in small villages along the coast or on remote islands, did some communities survive until the Christian ban was lifted in 1873. Traces of the specific traditions of the so-called hidden Christians can still be found today in villages, for example in buildings.

Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Area: Facts Show table  Hide table

Official title: Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region
Cultural monument: 12 components: ten villages, the Hara fortress and the Oura Cathedral in Nagasaki. The wooden church was built by the first missionaries after the opening of Japan and the lifting of the ban on Christianity in 1873. Only after the dedication ceremony did a group of the hidden Christians show themselves to the missionaries
Continent: Asia
Country: Japan
Location: in the northwest of the island of Kyushu
Appointment: 2018
Meaning: Unique testimony to the cultural tradition of the Christians of Japan, who kept and passed on their faith in secret for two centuries


According to neovideogames, Osaka, is the third largest city in Japan and an important port city, on the Osaka Bay in the southwest of the island of Honshū, with (2018) 2.72 million residents. The city has several universities and numerous museums. After Tokyo, Ōsaka is Japan’s most important industrial and commercial center. The ports and the international airport make the city an important transport hub.

The cityscape is determined by a modern high-rise skyline. The city, with its many waterways and canals, is also known as the “Venice of the East”. The landmark is the Ōsakaburg, built in the 16th century, which is surrounded by 36 m wide moats.

Osaka, Japan


Nagoya, port city on Honshū, Japan, on Jeza Bay, (2018) 2.32 million residents.

Nagoya is the administrative seat of Aichi Prefecture and a Catholic bishopric. The city has several universities including Universities, technical schools, museums, planetarium, meteorological observatory, zoological garden. Nagoya has developed into one of the leading commercial and industrial centers in Japan since the 1850s. A large part of Japanese porcelain and ceramic goods (dating back to the 13th century) and woolen goods are produced in Nagoya. Nagoya is also a center of Japanese heavy industry with iron and steel mining, shipbuilding, aircraft, automobile, railroad car, engine and mechanical engineering; also electrical and chemical industry, manufacture of clocks, lacquers and paints, musical instruments, toys and paper. The port, opened in 1907, is one of the largest in Japan; Subway.

The castle, expanded 1609–14 at the behest of Tokugawa Ieyasu, reconstructed in 1959 after being destroyed in the war, is now a museum. The imperial Atsuta shrine is located in the port district of Atsuta-ku. To the northeast of the city, the Meiji-Mura open-air museum with buildings, a.o. from the Meij period.

Nagoya, which was laid out in the 16th century, was created using several fortifications in the area. In 1590, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who was born in Nagoya, determined his heir to settle in Nagoya. After the fall of the Toyotomi family and the takeover of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tokugawa Ieyasu appointed one of his sons to be lord of Nagoya. Since then, the city has grown rapidly. In 1907 the port of Atsuta was incorporated. Badly destroyed in World War II.