October 23, 2011
I don’t have a coherent narrative for this post. Just some photographs of Nagasaki landmarks.
This memorial is dedicated to the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan, 6 European missionaries and 20 Japanese Catholics who were crucified here in 1597 on the orders of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who suspected that the missionaries were part of a foreign plot to take over Japan.
Hideyoshi’s attempt to ban Christianity died with him but was later reinstated more effectively by the Tokugawa Shoguns. The 26 Martyrs were canonized in 1862 (about the time that the ban on Christianity was finally lifted.)
At the time I was there the plaza had only a few human visitors but numerous cats.
Next to the plaza is a church dedicated to the Martyrs. The mosaic decorations are typical of Catholic churches in the area.
The Nagasaki Peace Park with its famous sculpture was built on the site of Urakami Prison, which was leveled by the 1945 atomic bomb.
However the actual center of the blast was farther south. The “hypocenter” is marked by black monolith in a small park.
When the park was built the original blasted ground was covered with several meters of dirt. A small section of the original blast area can still be viewed behind glass panels.
Moving on to an entirely different subject…
The Shianbashi area in the south of the city is a center Nagasaki night life.
The old Chinese trading compound was located in the south of the city, so perhaps it is no coincidence that this is one of the best places in Japan to look for Chinese and Chinese-influenced food.