The Martyrs of Japan (日本の殉教者, Nihon no junkyōsha) were Christians who were persecuted for their faith in Japan, mostly during the 17th century.
|16 Martyrs of Japan|
|Died||1633 - 1637, Nagasaki, Japan|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||18 February 1981, Manila, Philippines, by Pope John Paul II|
|Canonized||18 October 1987, St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Minor Basilica of the National Shrine of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, Manila, Philippines|
Early Christianity in JapanEdit
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. 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 (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.
The first group of martyrs, known as the Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan (1597), were canonized by the Church in 1862 by Pope Pius IX. The same pope beatified the second group, known as the 205 Martyrs of Japan (1598–1632), in 1867.
16 Martyrs of Japan (1633–1637)Edit
Another group of martyrs were investigated by the Vatican Curia's Congregation for the Causes of Saints (CCS) in 1980 and were beatified on 18 February 1981. Pope John Paul II canonized these 16 Martyrs of Japan as saints on 18 October 1987. This group is also known as Lorenzo Ruiz, Dominic Ibáñez de Erquicia Pérez de Lete, Iacobus Tomonaga Gorōbyōe, and 13 companions.
- Dominic Ibáñez de Erquicia Pérez de Lete – 14 August 1633
- Antonio Gonzalez – 24 September 1637
- Jordan Ansalone – 17 November 1634
- Luke of the Holy Spirit Alonso Gorda – 19 October 1633
- Michael de Aozaraza – 29 September 1637
- Guillaume Courtet – 29 September 1637
- Jacobo Kyushei Gorōbyōe Tomonaga de Santa María – 17 August 1633
- Thomas Rokuzayemon – 15 November 1634
- Vincent Shiwozuka – 29 September 1637
Japanese Cooperator BrotherEdit
- Francis Shōyemon – 14 August 1633
- Matthew Kohioye – 19 October 1633
Foreign Missionaries – Confraternity of the Holy RosaryEdit
- Lorenzo Ruiz – 29 September 1637
- Marina of Omura – 11 November 1634. A woman who assisted the missionaries in Japan, she was arrested in 1634 and burned alive.
- Magdalene of Nagasaki – 16 October 1634
- Michael Kurobioye – 17 August 1633
- Lazarus of Kyoto – 29 September 1637
- ^ Brodrick, James (1952). Saint Francis Xavier (1506–1552). London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd. p. 558.
- ^ Jansen, Marius (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347.
- ^ a b Martyrs of Japan (1597–1637) at Hagiography Circle
- ^ USCCB (Office of Media Relations) – Beatifications During Pope John Paul II’s Pontificate
- ^ a b Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations (October 18, 1987). "Lawrence Ruiz, et al". vatican.va. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
- The 26 Martyrs Museum in Nagasaki City, Japan
- Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan: Timeline of the Catholic Church in Japan
- Daughters of St. Paul Convent, Tokyo, Japan: Prohibition of Christian religion by Hideyoshi and the 26 martyrs
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Japanese Martyrs". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- The Japanese Martyrs
- Nagasaki Wiki: Detailed Access Information from Nagasaki Station to 26 Martyrs Monument
- 2008 Beatification of Japanese Martyrs
- Kirish'tan: Heaven's Samurai, a historical novel that includes the story of the Twenty-six Martyrs
- Britto, Francis. All About Francis Xavier
- Litterae Apostolicae Praedicatorum Fratrum