Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nagasaki Prefecture, formerly the provinces of Hizen, Tsushima, and Iki, has had close ties with foreign civilization for centuries. Facing China and Korea, the region around Hirado was a traditional center for traders and pirates.
During the 16th century, Catholic missionaries and traders from Portugal arrived and became active in Hirado and Nagasaki, which became a major center for foregin traders. The Christian belief in equality between men, however, did not comply with the political structure of Japan, and after being given free reign in Oda Nobunaga's period, the missionaries were forced out little by little, until、finally, somewhere in the Tokugawa era, Christianity was banned. After the prohibition of Christianity in the Edo period, foreign trade was restricted to Chinese and Dutch traders in Nagasaki, Dejima, but Christianity continued underground. These 'Kakure Kirishitan'-hidden Christians- were tried at every step, forced to step on 'fumi-e'(stepping portraits-portraits of the Holy Mother Mary and saints) to prove that they were non-Christian. And with the banishment of all [Catholic] missionaries, traders from Catholic countries were also forced out of the country. Along with them, their children -half Japanese and half European, were also forced to leave the country. The majority was sent to Jagatara [the current Jakarta] and are still remembered by the locals as the people who wrote the poignant letters which were smuggled across the sea to their homeland. Today, Nagasaki has a prominent Chinatown and Catholic churches.
During the Meiji Restoration, Nagasaki and Sasebo became major ports for foreign trade, and eventually major naval bases and shipbuilding centers up to World War II. On August 9, 1945, a United States bomber dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, which was reconstructed after the war.
Nagasaki borders Saga Prefecture on the east, and is otherwise surrounded by water, including Ariake Bay , the Tsushima Straits, and the East China Sea. It also includes a large number of islands such as Tsushima and Iki. Most of the prefecture is near the coast and there are a number of ports such as Nagasaki and the United States naval base at Sasebo.
Nagoya was located in the prefecture before.
Towns and Villages
Mergers and changes of municipalities
The Towns of Wakamatsu , Kamigoto , Shin'uonome , Arikawa and Narao were merged to form the Town of Shinkamigoto .
Nagasaki is the most christianized area in Japan. As of 2002, there are 68,617 Catholics in Nagasaki Prefecture, accounting for 4.52 percent of the total population of the prefecture.
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