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Christianity and the Tokugawa Period of Medieval Japan
Transcript of Christianity and the Tokugawa Period of Medieval Japan
The "Kakure Kirishitan" and
The introduction of Christianity in Japan had a great impact on the Tokugawa Period.
The "Kakure Kirishitan" left behind a legacy that will forever impact Japan's religious identity
Nanban Art offered a cultural window to the international world outside of Japan
The Shimabara Rebellion and the 26 Martyrs of Japan were some of the only examples of hostility during the period
All factors led to Japan's complete exclusion from the world
An Introduction to Christianity and the Tokugawa Period
The "Sakoku" policy of Medieval Japan isolated the nation from foreign religions for centuries
The Levantine religion of Christianity reached Japan in the 1500s
Saint Francis Xavier converted thousands of Japanese to Christianity in the 16th century
Soon after, the Tokugawa Shogunate outlawed the religion
This led to the rise of the 'Kakure Kirishitan', sparked the Shimabara Rebellion and led to the persecution of Christians
A Roman Delo Production
A Brief History of Christianity in Japan
Portuguese ships arrived in Kyushu, in Japan's south, in the mid-sixteenth century
Francis Xavier was granted the right to preach the religion in 1549
Many Catholic churches in Nagasaki were built
Thousands of Japanese (including some daimyos) were baptised
Christianity was tolerated by the Shogunate in its early days
Over time,Toyotomi Hideyoshi saw Christianity as a major threat
The religion was finally outlawed in the 17th century
Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered the crucifixion of 26 Christians in 1597.
Saint Francis Xavier is considered to be the father of Roman Catholicism in Japan
The open practice of Christianity was banned in Japan for centuries
Many Japanese practiced Christianity in secret to escape torture, death and persecution
These Christians were called the "Kakure Kirishitan", or 'Hidden Christians'
Statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary were disguised as Buddhist gods and goddesses
Christian teachings were passed down verbally through generations
To this day, small communities of Kakure Kirishitan remain in Japan's south
These images are of Kakure Kirishitan statues. As you can see, the statues are of the Virgin Mary, but are disguised as Kannon, a Buddhist goddess of mercy.
Nanban Art is a Medieval art form influenced by the "Nanban"
The "Nanban" were Iberian merchants and missionaries that travelled to Japan
The art forms provided an artistic window into the art of foreign nations
During this period, Christian icons affected much of Japan's art
The art the Japanese produced as a result of the influence were typically screens that depicted everyday life
This is a 2008 documentary on the "Kakure Kirishitan communities of southern Japan.
This is a Japanese coffer decorated in the "Nanban" style, and held at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art in New York City
This case, also held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is made of a dark wood, and features flowers in the "Nanban" art style, developed from European iconography.
This screen depicts the "southern barbarians" disembarking their merchant ship in Nagasaki. The Portuguese in the red represent the merchant foreigners, whilst those clad in black represent Jesuit priests.
The Shimabara Rebellion
The Shimabara Peninsula is located east of Nagasaki
The Shimabara Rebellion took place in a castle on this Peninsula in 1637
The Rebellion lasted 3 - 4 months and was led by Japanese peasants
Increasing taxes and Christian persecution were the main causes of the revolt
Thousands died after the Tokugawa Shogunate claimed victory over the peasantry
The 26 Martyrs of Japan
The 26 Martyrs of Japan were 26 Christians that were crucified in 1597
4 Spaniards, a Mexican, an Indian, and 20 Japanese were crucified
They continued to preach Christianity as they were being crucified
A monument stands in Nishizaka Hill to commemorate the Martyrs
The Martyrs were canonised in Rome in 1862 by Pope Pius IX
The Shimabara Rebellion and the 26 Martyrs of Japan
This is a map of the Shimabara Peninsula in relation to the rest of Japan. This Peninsula is where a peasant revolt took place in 1637.
Above are 2 documentaries that provide information on the Shimabara Rebellion
Above: This monument, situated at the location where the crucifixions took place, commemorates the 26 Martyrs of Japan in Nagasaki.
Below: Toyotomi Hideyoshi was the man ordered the crucifixion of the 26 Martyrs of Japan.
Left: Approximately 1 to 2 million Japanese are now of the Christian faith.
Right: A Japanese illustration of the Virgin Mary.
japan-guide.com 2013, Christianity in Japan, japan-guide.com, viewed 20 October 2013, http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2298.html.
1DayJapan 2013, Interactive Timeline: Christianity in Japan - 1Day Japan -, Interactive Timeline, 1DayJapan, Munakata, Japan, viewed 20 October 2013, http://1dayjapan.com/timeline/.
Grassley, T 1997, Nanban Art, viewed 19 October 2013, http://www.euronet.nl/users/artnv/nanban.html.
Web Documents (No Publication Date):
Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, n.d., AN OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN JAPAN 1543 - 1944, Timeline, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, Tokyo, Japan, viewed 19 October 2013, http://www.cbcj.catholic.jp/eng/ehistory/table01.htm.
OMF International, n.d., Christianity in Japan - OMF, OMF International, Singapore, viewed 20 October 2013, http://www.omf.org/omf/japan/about_japan/christianity_in_japan.
Trosper, T n.d., Christianity - Japanese Religions, Munice, United States of America, viewed 19 October 2013, http://jpnreligions.weebly.com/christianity.html.
Kentaro, M n.d., WISHES, viewed 20 October 2013, http://www.uwosh.edu/home_pages/faculty_staff/earns/miyazaki.html.
Encyclopaedia Entries (Online):
'Christianity in Japan' 2013, New World Encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.
'Japan' (Catholicism) 2009, The Catholic Encyclopaedia.
'Kirishitan' 2013, Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc..
'Shimabara Rebellion' 2013, Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc..