Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan
Nishizaka Hill in Nagasaki is the place of Martyrdom of 26 Japanese Saints. The 26 Martyrs of
Japan were a group of Catholics who were executed by crucifixion on February 5, 1597.
The Twenty-six Christians, including six foreign missionaries and three young boys, were arrested
in Kyoto and Osaka on the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the National ruler, for preaching Christianity.
They were marched 800 km through the snow to Nagasaki and crucified in front of large crowd on
Nishizaka hill on Feb. 5, 1597.
Their martyrdom is especially significant in the history of the Catholic Church in Japan. In 1950, Pope
Pius XII designated this place as an official pilgrimage site for Catholics. Pope John Paul II visited
here in 1981, and Saint Teresa of Calcutta commonly known as Mother Teresa visited in 1982.
Paulo Miki and 25 others were crucified for their belief in God on order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The martyrs including four Spaniards, one from Goa, India, one Mexican and 20 Japanese
demonstrated their spiritual unity despite differences in races, ages and professions.
Nishizaka hill, the site of
Martyrdom in 1597
The martyrs said that
” All people, bless God ! ”
The 26 Japanese martyrs have
been canonized in 1862
The museum behind the monument is devoted to the memory of the martyrs and to Christianity in
Japan in general. Its interior is reminiscent of a church with stained-glass windows, making for
atmospheric viewing of the exhibits. On display are artifacts related to Christianity in Japan,
including old documents, statues and jewelry.
|Address||7-8 Nishizaka-cho, Nagasaki-city|
|Access||5 minutes walk from JR Nagasaki Station|