Martyrs of Japan

The Christian martyrs of Nagasaki. 16-17th-century Japanese painting.


The Martyrs of Japan were Christians who were persecuted for their faith in Japan, mostly during the 17th century.

Christianity in Japan

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 in the Philippines the Spanish had taken power after converting the population. The government increasingly saw Roman Catholicism as a threat, and started persecuting Christians. Christianity was banned and those Japanese who refused to abandon their faith were killed.

On February 5, 1597, twenty-six Christians—six European Franciscan missionaries, three Japanese Jesuits and seventeen Japanese laymen including three young boys—were executed by crucifixion in Nagasaki. These individuals were raised on crosses and then pierced through with spears.

Persecution continued sporadically, breaking out again in 1613 and 1630. On September 10, 1632, 55 Christians were martyred in Nagasaki in what became known as the Great Genna Martyrdom. At this time Roman Catholicism was officially outlawed. The Church remained without clergy and theological teaching disintegrated until the arrival of Western missionaries in the nineteenth century.

While there were many more martyrs, the first martyrs came to be especially revered, the most celebrated of whom was Paulo Miki. The Martyrs of Japan were canonized by the Roman Catholic Church on June 8, 1862 by Blessed Pius IX and are listed on the calendar as Sts. Paul Miki and his Companions, commemorated on February 6. Originally this feast day was listed as Sts. Peter Baptist and Twenty-Five Companions, Martyrs, and commemorated on February 5.

Drawn from the oral histories of Japanese Catholic communities, Shusaku Endo's acclaimed novel Silence provides detailed accounts of the persecution of Christian communities and the suppression of the Church.


The 26 Martyrs of Japan


The Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan refers to a group of Christians who were executed by crucifixion on February 5, 1597 at Nagasaki.

On August 15, 1549, St. Francis Xavier (later canonized by Gregory XV in 1622), Fr. Cosme de Torres, S.J. (a Jesuit priest), and Fr. John Fernandez arrived in Kagoshima, Japan, from Spain with hopes of bringing Catholicism to Japan. On September 29, St. Francis Xavier visited Shimazu Takahisa, the daimyo of Satsuma (containing the city of Kagoshima), asking for permission to build the first Catholic mission in Japan. The daimyo agreed in hopes of creating a trade relationship with Europe. Within a year, however, he reneged on this promise and made it illegal for people to convert.

A promising beginning to those missions—perhaps as many as 300,000 Christians by the end of the sixteenth century—met complications from competition between the missionary groups, political difficulty between Spain and Portugal, and factions within the government of Japan. Christianity was suppressed. By 1630, Christianity was driven underground.

The first Martyrs of Japan were canonized in 1862. They are commemorated on February 5 when, on that date in 1597, twenty-six missionaries and converts were killed by crucifixion. Two hundred and fifty years later, when Christian missionaries returned to Japan, they found a community of Japanese Christians that had survived underground.


  1. Saint Antonio Dainan
  2. Saint Bonaventura of Miyako
  3. Saint Cosme Takeya
  4. Saint Francisco Branco
  5. Saint Francisco of Nagasaki
  6. Saint Francisco of Saint Michael
  7. Saint Gabriel de Duisco
  8. Saint Gaius Francis
  9. Saint Gundisalvus (Gonsalvo) Garcia
  10. Saint James Kisai
  11. Saint Joaquim Saccachibara
  12. Saint Juan Kisaka
  13. Saint Juan Soan de Goto
  14. Saint Leo Karasumaru
  15. Saint Luis Ibaraki – Born in Owari (Nagoya). He was pressed by a samurai for apostasy, but declined it clearly. 12 years old, the youngest.
  16. Saint Martin of the Ascension
  17. Saint Mathias of Miyako
  18. Saint Miguel Kozaki
  19. Saint Paulo Ibaraki
  20. Saint Paul Miki or Saint Paulo Miki – Born in Japan in 1562, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1580 and was the first Japanese member of any Catholic religious order. He died one year before his ordination to the Catholic priesthood. Miki's remaining ashes and bones are now located in Macau, China.
  21. Saint Pablo Suzuki
  22. Saint Pedro Bautista or Saint Peter Baptist – He was a Spanish Franciscan who had worked about ten years in the Philippines before coming to Japan. St. Peter was a companion of St. Paul Miki when Christianity was made illegal.
  23. Saint Pedro Sukejiroo
  24. Saint Philip of Jesus - Born in Mexico in 1572 (at the time "New Spain"). Upon his martyrdom he became the first Mexican saint and patron saint of Mexico City.
  25. Saint Thomas Kozaki
  26. Saint Thomas Xico



205 Martyrs of Japan (1597–1637)

They are also known as Alfonso Navarrete Benito, Pedro of Avila, Carlo Espinola, Ioachim Diaz Hirayama, Lucia de Freitas, and 200 Companion Martyrs of Japan. Among them are:

Beatified on 7 May 1867.

22 May 1617 in Kōri, Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)
        
1. Pedro of the Assumption - priest Franciscan Friars Minor
2. JOÃO BAPTISTA MACHADO DE TÁVOR - priest, Jesuits

                
01 June 1617 in Koguchi, Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)     

3. ALFONSO NAVARRETE BENITO - priest, Dominicans    
4. HERNANDO [or FERNANDO] AYALA (HERNANDO [or FERNANDO] OF 
               SAINT JOSEPH) - priest, Augustinians
      
01 June 1617 in Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)    
    
5. LEO TANAKA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
     
01 October 1617 in Nagasaki (Japan)       

6. GASPAR UEDA HIKOJIRŌ  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki                   
7. ANDREAS YOSHIDA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki

                  
16 August 1618 in Kyoto (a.k.a. Miyako) (Japan)    
   
8. JUAN SANTAMARTA - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor 

     
19 March 1618 in Suzuta, Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)       

9. JUAN MARTÍNEZ CID (JUAN OF SAINT DOMINIC) - priest, Dominicans


18 November 1619 in Nishizaka, Nagasaki (Japan) 
                 
10. LEONARDUS KIMURA  - Jesuits             
11. ANDREAS MURAYAMA TOKUAN - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki                    
12. COSMAS TAKEYA SOZABURŌ -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki      
13. IOANNES YOSHIDA SHŌUN  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki                    
14.  DOMINGOS JORGE  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                                 

27 November 1619 in Nagasaki (Japan)   
            
15. THOMAS KOTEDA KYŪMI   - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki            
16. BARTHOLOMAEUS SEKI      - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki             
17. ANTONIUS KIMURA   - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki              
18. IOANNES IWANAGA   -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki 
19. ALEXIUS NAKAMURA  -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki 
20. LEO NAKANISHI     -   layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki 
21. MICHAËL TAKESHITA    -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki 
22. MATTHIAS KOZASA   -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki 
23. ROMANUS MOTOYAMA MYOTARŌ -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
24. MATTHIAS NAKANO  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki         
25. IOANNES MOTOYAMA   - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki 

                            
07 January 1620 in Suzuta, Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)  
            
26. AMBROSIO FERNANDES -  religious, Jesuits         

       
27 May 1620 in Nagasaki (Japan)   
               
27. MATTHIAS -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki

      
18 August 1620 in Kokura, Fukuoka (Japan)        
       
28. SIMON KIYOTA BOKUSAI - layperson of the diocese of Fukuoka; married        
29. MAGDALENA  - layperson of the diocese of Fukuoka; married
30. THOMAS GENGORŌ - layperson of the diocese of Fukuoka; married
31. MARIA - layperson of the diocese of Fukuoka; married
32. IACOBUS BUNZŌ - layperson of the diocese of Fukuoka

           
10 August 1622 in Ikinoshima, Nagasaki (Japan)

33.  AUGUSTINUS ŌTA -  Jesuits
       

19 August 1622 in Nagasaki (Japan)

34. LUDOVIC FRARIJN [LUIS FLORES] - priest, Dominicans
35. PEDRO DE ZÚÑIGA - priest, Augustinians
36. IOACHIM DÍAZ HIRAYAMA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
37. LEO SUKEEMON - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
38. IOANNES MIYAZAKI SOEMON - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
39. MICHAËL DÍAZ HORI -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
40. ANTONIUS YAMADA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
41. MARCUS TAKENOSHITA SHIN’EMON - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
42. THOMAS KOYANAGI  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
43. IACOBUS MATSUO DENJI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
44. LAURENTIUS IKEGAMI ROKUSUKE  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
45. PAULUS SANKICHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
46. IOANNES YAGŌ - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
48. IOANNES NAGATA MATASHICHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
47. BARTHOLOMAEUS MOHYŌE - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki


10 September 1622 in Nishizaka, Nagasaki (Japan)

49. SEBASTIANUS KIMURA -  professed priest, Jesuits
50. FRANCISCO MORALES SEDEÑO - priest, Dominicans
51. MICHELE ORSUCCI (ANGELO OF SAINT VINCENT FERRER) -priest, Dominicans 
52. ALONSO DE MENA NAVARETTE - priest, Dominicans
53. JOSÉ NEGRO MAROTO - priest, Dominicans
54. PEDRO ORFANELL PRADES (JACINTO) - priest, Dominicans 
55. IOANNES NAGATA MAGOSHICHIRŌ - Dominicans
56. ALEXIUS SANBASHI SABURŌ l- ayperson  Lay Dominicans
57. THOMAS OF THE ROSARY - cleric, Dominicans
58. LAMBERT TROUVEZ  - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor 
59. PEDRO OF ÁVILA - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)
60. VICENTE RAMÍREZ OF SAINT JOSEPH - Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)
61. CARLO SPINOLA - priest, Jesuits
62. GUNDISALVUS FUSAI CHŌZŌ - cleric, Jesuits
63. ANTONIUS KYŪNI - cleric, Jesuits
64. THOMAS AKAHOSHI  - cleric, Jesuits
65. PETRUS SANPŌ - cleric, Jesuits
66. MICHAËL SATŌ SHUNPŌ - cleric, Jesuits
67. LUDOVICUS KAWARA ROKUEMON - cleric, Jesuits
68. IOANNES CHŪGOKU - cleric, Jesuits
69. LEO SATSUMA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Secular Franciscans 
70. LUCIA DE FREITAS - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
71. ANTONIUS SANGA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
72. MAGDALENA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki 
         ( wife of ANTONIUS SANGA)
73. ANTONIUS HAMANOMACHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;
74. MARIA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; 
         (wife of ANTONIUS HAMANOMACHI)
75. IOANNES HAMANOMACHI - A child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
         (son of ANTONIUS HAMANOMACHIANTONIUS HAMANOMACHI and MARIA)
76. PETRUS HAMANOMACHI - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
         (son of ANTONIUS HAMANOMACHIANTONIUS HAMANOMACHI and MARIA)
77. PAULUS NAGAISHI  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki, Lay Dominicans
78. THECLA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; 
         (wife of PAULUS NAGAISHI)
79. PETRUS NAGAISHI - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki 
         (son of  PAULUS NAGAISHI and THECLA)
80. PAULUS TANAKA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay Dominicans 
81. MARIA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay Dominicans 
         (wife of PAULUS TANAKA)
82. DOMINICUS YAMADA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
83. CLARA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
         (wife of DOMINICUS YAMADA )
84. MARIA MURAYAMA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
        (wife of ANDREAS MURAYAMA TOKUAN)
85. AGNES TAKEYA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
        (wife of COSMAS TAKEYA SOZABURŌ)
86. MARIA YOSHIDA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
        (wife of IOANNES YOSHIDA SHŌUN)
87. ISABELLA FERNANDES -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
       (wife of DOMINGOS JORGE)
88. IGNATIUS JORGE-FERNANDES - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
       (son of DOMINGOS JORGE and ISABELLA FERNANDES)
89. DOMINICA OGATA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married
90. MARINA [MARIA] TANAURA  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married
91. APOLLONIA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married
92. CATHARINA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married
93. DOMINICUS NAKANO - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
94. BARTHOLOMAEUS KAWANO SHICHIEMON- layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
95. DAMIANUS TANDA YAICHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
96. MICHAËL TANDA - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
        (son of APOLLONIA)
97. THOMAS SHICHIRŌ - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
98. RUFUS ISHIMOTO -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
99. CLEMENS ONO -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
100. ANTONIUS ONO - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
           (son of MICHAËL TANDA)
       

11 September 1622 in Nishizaka, Nagasaki (Japan)

101. GASPAR KOTEDA layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay Dominicans
102. FRANCISCUS TAKEYA  child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of COSMAS TAKEYA SOZABURŌ and AGNES TAKEYA)
103. PETRUS KAWANO  child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of  MARINA )

       
12 September 1622 in Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)
       
104. TOMÁS DE ZUMÁRRAGA LAZCANO (TOMÁS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT)
              - priest, Dominicans
105. MANCIUS SHIBATA (MANCIUS OF SAINT THOMAS) - Dominicans
106. DOMINICUS MAGOSHICHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
107. APOLINAR FRANCO GARCÍA - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor (Observants)
108. FRANCISCUS OF SAINT BONAVENTURE - cleric, Franciscan Friars Minor                                     (Alcantarines)
109. PAULUS OF SAINT CLARE - Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)

      
15 September 1622 in Tabira, Nagasaki (Japan)
       
110. GIOVANNI BATTISTA COSTANZO (CAMILLO) priest, Jesuits

       
02 October 1622 in Nagasaki (Japan)
       
111. LUDOVICUS YAKICHI-  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
112. LUCIA  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (wife of LUDOVICUS YAKICHI)
113. ANDREAS YAKICHI - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of LUDOVICUS YAKICHI)
114.   FRANCISCUS YAKICHI -  child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of LUDOVICUS YAKICHI)

       
01 November 1622 in Shimabara, Nagasaki (Japan)
           
115. PIETRO PAOLO NAVARRO priest, Jesuits 
116. DIONISIUS FUJISHIMA JUBYŌE cleric, Jesuits
117. PETRUS ONIZUKA SADAYŪ cleric, Jesuits
118. CLEMENS KYŪEMON layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki

       
04 December 1623 in Tokyo (a.k.a. Edo) (Japan)

119. FRANCISCO GÁLVEZ IRANZO - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)
120. GIROLAMO DE ANGELIS - priest, Jesuits 
121. SIMON ENPŌ - Jesuits
       

22 February 1624 in Sendai, Miyagi (Japan)

122. DIOGO CARVALHO priest, Jesuits
     

25 August 1624 in Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)
       
123. MIGUEL CARVALHO - -priest, Jesuits
124. PEDRO VÁZQUEZ (PEDRO OF SAINT CATHERINE) - priest, Dominicans 
125. LUIS CABRERA SOTELO - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor 
126. LUDOVICUS SASADA - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor 
127. LUDOVICUS BABA -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
   
       
15 November 1624 in Nagasaki (Japan)
       
128. CAIUS layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki


20 June 1626 in Nagasaki (Japan)
       
129. FRANCISCO PACHECO - priest, Jesuits
130. BALTASAR DE TORRES ARIAS-  priest, Jesuits
131. GIOVANNI BATTISTA ZOLA - priest, Jesuits
132. PETRUS RINSEI -  cleric, Jesuits
133. VINCENTIUS KAŬN - cleric, Jesuits
134. IOANNES KISAKU - cleric, Jesuits
135. PAULUS SHINSUKE - cleric, Jesuits
136. MICHAËL TŌZŌ - cleric, Jesuits
137. GASPAR SADAMATSU - Jesuits

       
08 July 1626 in Shimabara, Nagasaki (Japan)

           
138.  MANCIUS ARAKI KYŪZABURŌ -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki

      
12 July 1626 in Nagasaki (Japan)
       
139. MATTHIAS ARAKI HYŌZAEMON - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
140. PETRUS ARAKI CHOBYŌE - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married 
141. SUSANNA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married
                        (wife of PETRUS ARAKI CHOBYŌE )
142. IOANNES TANAKA  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married  
143. CATHARINA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married 
                        (wife of IOANNES TANAKA)
144. IOANNES ONIZUKA NAIZEN - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married 
145. MONICA -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married 
                        (wife of  IOANNES ONIZUKA NAIZEN)
146. LUDOVICUS ONIZUKA  - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of IOANNES ONIZUKA NAIZEN and MONICA)


29 July 1627 in Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)

147. LUIS EXARCH (LUIS BERTRÁN) - priest, Dominicans
148. MANCIUS OF THE CROSS - Dominicans
149. PETRUS OF SAINT MARY - Dominicans

      
01 August 1627 in Nagasaki (Japan)
           
150. MARTINUS GÓMEZ TŌZAEMON layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki


16 August 1627 in Nagasaki (Japan)
          
151. FRANCISCO OF SAINT MARY - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)
152. BARTOLOMÉ DÍAZ LAUREL  - Franciscan Friars Minor 
153. ANTONIUS OF SAINT FRANCIS - Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)
154. TSUJI SHŌBYŌE [GASPAR VAZ] - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married
155. MARIA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married
             (wife of TSUJI SHŌBYŌE)
156. MAGDALENA KIYOTA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married;  Lay                              Dominicans
157. CAIUS AKASHI JIEMON  -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;Lay Dominicans
158. FRANCISCA [PINZOKERE] - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay                                         Dominicans
159. LEO [FRANCISCUS] KURŌBYŌE NAKAMURA - layperson of the archdiocese of                                    Nagasaki;Lay Dominicans
160. FRANCISCUS KUHYŌE - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Secular                                            Franciscans
161. LUDOVICUS MATSUO SOYEMON -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Secular                        Franciscans
162. THOMAS SATŌ SHIN’EMON [OU JINYEMON] - layperson of the archdiocese of                                  Nagasaki;Secular Franciscans
163. LUCAS TSUJI KYŪEMON  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;Secular                                         Franciscans
164. MICHAËL KOGA KIZAYEMON  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;, Secular                             Franciscans
   

07 September 1627 in Nagasaki (Japan)
           
165. THOMAS TSŪJI - priest, Jesuits
166. LUDOVICUS MAKI SOETSU  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married;
                    Secular Franciscans
167. IOANNES MAKI JIZAEMON -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
      

08 September 1628 in Nagasaki (Japan)
           
168. FRANCISCO CASTELLET VINALE (DOMINGO) - priest, Dominicans
169. THOMAS OF SAINT HYACINTH - Dominicans
170. ANTONIO OF SAINT DOMINIC  - Dominicans
171. ANTONIO OF SAINT BONAVENTURE - priest, Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)
172. DOMINICUS OF SAINT FRANCIS - Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)Lay                             Dominicans and Secular Franciscans
174. IOANNES TOMACHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married;Lay                                 Dominicans and Secular Franciscans
175. DOMINICUS TOMACHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of IOANNES TOMACHI)
176. MICHAËL TOMACHI - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of IOANNES TOMACHI)
177. THOMAS TOMACHI - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of IOANNES TOMACHI)
178. PAULUS TOMACHI - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of IOANNES TOMACHI)
179. IOANNES IMAMURA - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay Dominicans
180. PAULUS AIBARA SANDAYŪ layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay                                            Dominicans
181. ROMANUS AIBARA  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay Dominicans and                            Secular Franciscans
                        (son of PAULUS AIBARA SANDAYŪ)
182.   LEO AIBARAlayperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;
                        member, Lay Dominicans
                        (son of PAULUS AIBARA SANDAYŪ)
183. MATTHAEUS ALVAREZ ANJIN - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;Lay                                   Dominicans and Secular Franciscans
184. MICHAËL YAMADA KASAHASHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married;
                        Lay Dominicans and Secular Franciscans
185. LAURENTIUS YAMADA - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of MICHAËL YAMADA KASAHASHI)
186. LUDOVICUS NIHACHI - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; married;Lay                                        Dominicans and Secular Franciscans;
187. FRANCISCUS NIHACHI - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son ofLUDOVICUS NIHACHI)
 188. DOMINICUS NIHACHI - child of the archdiocese of Nagasaki
                        (son of LUDOVICUS NIHACHI)
  
  
10 September 1628 in Nagasaki (Japan)
          
189. IACOBUS HAYASHIDA -  layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;Lay Dominicans
   

16 September 1628 in Nishizaka, Nagasaki (Japan)
          
190. DOMINICUS SHOBYŌYE- - Lay Dominicans
191. MICHAËL HIMONOYA  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay Dominicans
192. PAULUS HIMONOYA  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;Lay Dominicans
                        (son of MICHAËL HIMONOYA )
     

25 December 1628 in Unzen, Nagasaki (Japan)

193. MICHAËL NAKASHIMA SABURŌEMON - Jesuits

       
28 October 1630 in  Ōmura, Nagasaki (Japan)

194. IOANNES MUKUNŌ CHŌZABURŌ - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;Lay                          Augustinians; married
195. MANCIUS YUKIMOTO ICHIZAEMON - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki Lay                    Augustinians
196. MICHAËL ICHINOSE SUKEZAEMON  - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki;Lay                      Augustinians
197. LAURENTIUS KAIDA HACHIZŌ - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay                              Augustinians
198. PETRUS SAWAGUCHI KUHYŌE - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay                              Augustinians
199. THOMAS TERAI KAHYŌE - layperson of the archdiocese of Nagasaki; Lay                                          Augustinians

     
03 September 1632 in Nishizaka, Nagasaki (Japan)
          
200. BARTOLOMÉ GUTIÉRREZ RODRÍGUEZ - priest, Augustinians
201. VICENTE SIMÕES DE CARVALHO - priest, Augustinians
202. FRANCISCO TERRERO DE ORTEGA PÉREZ - priest, Augustinians
203. ANTONIUS ISHIDA KYŪTAKU - priest, Jesuits
204. HIERONYMUS IYO (HIERONYMUS OF THE CROSS) - priest Secular Franciscans
205.   GABRIEL TARAZONA RODRÍGUEZ - Franciscan Friars Minor (Alcantarines)

The Great Martyrdom of Nagasaki (1622)


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After the Shogun decided that Christianity needed to be suppressed, the Christian teachers were ordered to leave the country. They did so, however, a few decided to sneak back in, including the Augustinian Father Pedro de Zuiniga and the Dominican Father Luis Florez. They went on board a ship from Manila captained by a Japanese Christian named Joachim. The vessel, however, was captured and plundered by the Dutch who reported to the Japanese (into whose custody they were given) that there were Catholic priests on board. They were imprisoned in Hirato; however, they (along with a number of other Christians) broke out of prison with the help of another Dominican father from Manila.

All the prisoners were recaptured, and the emperor ordered the governor of Nagasaki to burn alive Captain Joachim with his entire officers and crew, the two priests, and all the other monks in this and other prisons (both foreigners and Japanese), as well as all the wives and children of those who had previously been martyred.

The governor then proceeded to Hirato and examined the prisoners. He questioned them about whether they were Christians, where they were born and when they were baptized. He instructed them to renounce Christianity, and that the Emperor had given him a promise that if they did so, their lives would be spared. They repeatedly refused to renounce the faith. Therefore, the governor ordered the captain and the two priests to be burned alive, and for ten sailors to be beheaded. The three to be burned asked for what reason they were being killed, and when upon being told they were being executed for illegally seeking to spread the Christian faith in Japan, they rejoiced for being able to die for Christ.

They were executed in Nagasaki on August 19, 1622. The sailors were first beheaded, as the three were made ready for burning. Before they were burned, Joachim began preaching to the crowd that had come to watch. He was ordered to stop, but he asked what greater pain they could inflict upon him that than which they were already going to do. The fire was then set and Joachim continued to preach as he was being burned.

The heads of the three were removed and placed upon a board as a public warning. The bodies were left where they were for several days, and large crowds of Japanese Christians arrived, venerating them. The guards beat them. The son of Álvaro Manrique de Zúñiga, marqués de Villamanrique (viceroy of New Spain) obtained a relic of Pedro de Zuniga, to whom he was related.

The governor of Nagasaki then retrieved 52 prisoners from Omura, including 21 monks, some of whom had been imprisoned for many years in very cruel conditions. At the same time, he also summoned an additional 30 prisoners in Nagasaki. The governor ordered all of them to be sentenced to death by beheading. This execution order also included the prisoners' children.

On the day of execution (September 10, 1622), prisoners carried crosses in their hands, while singing hymns praising God and condemning Japanese gods, and many of the crowd that came to watch them included Christians, with reportedly crying and wailing by those who recognized the priests who had converted them. The priests in answer to this, told the crowd that God would give them other teachers and that they needed to keep their faith until death.

There were two groups of executions: one by burning and the other by beheading. Four Japanese lay Christians who had entertained priests in their houses, as well as twenty-five priests and monks (European and Japanese) were issued a stake where he/she was to be burned. Each priest kissed the stake he was given many times, and their example was followed by the Japanese Christians. The twenty-five priests and monks (in their order of execution) were:

  1. Father Charles Spinola, SJ (from Genoa)
  2. Father Fray Angel Ferrer, OP
  3. Father Fray Joseph de S. Jacinto, OP
  4. Father F. Jacinto, OP
  5. Father Sebastian Ouimura, SJ (Japanese from Hirado, a Christian for thirty years and the first Japanese ordained priest in 1602)
  6. Father Fray Pedro de Avila, OFM
  7. Father Fray Richard de Saint-Anne, OFM
  8. Father Fray Alonso de Mena, OP
  9. Father Fray Francisco de Morales, OP
  10. Brother Fray Vicente, OFM
  11. Brother Fray Leon, (Japanese)
  12. Brother Antonio Fugia, SJ
  13. Brother Gonzalo Fusay, SJ
  14. Brother Pedro Zampo, SJ
  15. Brother Miguel, SJ (Japanese)

The next eight are not known, but they were all Japanese and the first four of the eight belonged to the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). The last two were Brother Tome Agascin and Brother Luis Cavarato (Japanese). Insufficient stakes were present, so an additional Jesuit brother named Iuan Chacoco was instead beheaded.

As the preparations for execution were conducted. Father Espinola asked one of the mothers (named Isabel Fernandez) being beheaded where her son was. The mother (whose husband had been a martyr, and therefore she was set for execution) lifted the five year-old child (named Ignacio) in her arms and answered Father Espinola

Father, here is my son. I will offer him to God; he will become a martyr with me.'

The Japanese first beheaded the thirty men and women from Nagasaki, as well as twelve of their children (all of them under 10 years of age). The reason for beheading before lighting the fire, was in order to dishearten those to be burned. For the same purpose, the wood was set up so that there was distance between the wood that was initially lighted and the wood that rested under those tied to the stakes (up to 18 feet), thus giving the martyrs more time to think about their approaching painful deaths.

The burning took place over several hours, and it was claimed that Father Ouimura lasted three hours alive.

After the end of the burning, many local Christians (estimated up to 50,000 in the vicinity of Nagasaki) attempted to gather relics, but they were beaten by the guards. In order to prevent the collection of relics, the guards also destroyed the bodies by burning them to ashes, and the ashes were then taken to sea and scattered into the water.

On the following day (September 11) the Sacristan Gaspar Contengan Doxico, companion of Father Camillo Constancio, was beheaded along with two children of martyrs (one 7 years old, the other 10 years old), as well as a Christian who had been caught by gathering relics at night along with his entire family in Omura.

On September 12, fifteen more Christians were executed in Omura. This included Father Fray Tomas de Sumarrega (OP), Father Fray Apolinar Franco (OFM), a Japanese laywoman caught praying among the bodies, as well as several more Japanese Christians.

Ten more were martyred at Iquinotima, together with Brother Augustin Onda (SJ). Father Camilo Constancio (SJ) was burnt alive on September 15 at Firando, while English and Dutch ships were anchored at harbour.

On September 23, six farmers were executed in Nagasaki. Three of them were burned (father, wife and son) because Iacinto Dominico was found at their house, and three were beheaded.

On October 2, nine more were executed in Nagasaki, including three children. One of them was tortured was seven days in order to get him to denounce the priests. After failing to get his cooperation, the executioners slit his back and poured molten lead into the wound, after which they burned him along with his entire family and scattered the ashes to the sea.

The following year on May 27, two Christians were executed in Hirato. One of them had hosted Father Camilo, and the other had transported him by boat to various places for his missionary work. An old man of 85 years of age on June 2 had heavy rocks tied to his feet and was thrown into the sea. On the following day (June 3), another companion and helper of Father Camilo was executed. Another was executed on June 8 for the same reason. On July 26 two more Christians were executed for refusing to lend their horses to help transport the bodies of those killed. Another was later martyred for this same reason, there was also a martyrdom in a small farmers' village, along with two others charged with assisting those that were martyred.

The last martyr to be recorded in this wave was on November 1. Father Pedro Paulo Navarro (SJ), had preached in Japan for thirty-six years, and he was burnt alive along with his guide, and Brother Dionysio and Brother Pedro Sandayo (both Jesuits).

Jesuit fathers and others who had successfully fled to the Philippines wrote reports which led to a pamphlet that was printed in Madrid in 1624 "A Short Account of the Great and Rigorous Martyrdom, which last year (1622) was suffered in Japan by One Hundred and Eighteen Martyrs'.


16 Martyrs of Japan (1633–1637)

They are also known as Lawrence Ruiz, Dominic Ibáñez de Erquicia, James Kyushei Tomonaga, and 13 companions, Philippines, martyrs in Japan. They are:


  1. St. Lorenzo Ruiz – killed 1637, one of the Thomasian Martyrs
  2. Antonio Gonzalez, one of the Thomasian Martyrs
  3. Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia
  4. Jacobo Kyushei Gorobioye Tomonaga de Santa María
  5. Francis Shoyemon
  6. Jordan Ansalone
  7. Lazarus of Kyoto
  8. Luke Alonso
  9. Marina of Omura
  10. Magdalene of Nagasaki
  11. Matthew Kohiyoye
  12. Michael de Aozaraza
  13. Michael Kurobioye
  14. Thomas Rokuzayemon
  15. Vincent Shiwozuka
  16. William Courtet

Beatified February 18, 1981.Canonized 18 October 1987.


Martyrs of Japan (1632)

These were two Augustinian priests, Martin Lumbreras Peralta and Melchor Sanchez Perez. Beatified 23 April 1989.


Petrus Kibe Kasui and 187 Companion Martyrs of Japan


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Murdered between 1603 and 1639. They include:


  • The Martyrs of Yatushiro (+1603-1609)
  • The Martyrs of Yamaguchi (Melchior Kumagai Motonao, a samurai, and Damian, a blind catechist) Leo Saishio Shichiemon, a samurai from Sendai
  • The Martyrs of Ikitsuki (Three members of the Nishi family)
  • The Martyrs of Arima (Eight noble Christians burned alive on October 7, 1613)Adam Arakawa, a catechist from Amakusa
  • The Martyrs of Kyoto (52 Christians burned alive on October 6, 1619)
  • The Martyrs of Kumamoto (Members of the Kagayama and Ogasawara families) John Hara Mondo, a samurai killed in the Great Martyrdom of Edo
  • The Martyrs of Hiroshima (Francis Toyama Jintaro, a samurai; Matthias Shobara Ichizaemon and Joachim Kuroemon, catechists)
  • The Martyrs of Unzen (29 Christians drowned to death in the Shimabara river or scalded to death in the sulphur springs of Unzen)
  • The Martyrs of Yonezawa (55 Christians beheaded on January 12, 1629) Michael Kusuriya, the "Good Samaritan of Nagasaki" who was burned alive in Nishizaka Hill; and Bro. Nicholas Keian Fukunaga, a Jesuit Brother who was the first Christian to suffer the "gallows and the pit", a torture in which the condemned individual is fixed head-down to a wooden beam and lowered to his or her waist into a pit filled with garbage.
  • Fr. Julian Nakaura, a Jesuit priest. One of the four boys who were sent as emissaries to Europe (Tenshō embassy) in Nagasaki on October 21, 1633.
  • Fr. Diego Yuki Ryosetsu, a Japanese priest who suffered the gallows and the pit in Osaka in 1636.
  • Fr. Thomas Jihyoe, one of the Hermits of St. Augustine
  • Fr. Peter Kibe Kasui, a Jesuit Priest who suffered the gallows and the pit in Tokyo in 1639.
1. Ioannes Minami Gorozaemon (layperson; married)
2. Simon Takeda Gohyoe (layperson; married)
3. Ioanna Takeda (mother of Simon)
4. Agnes Takeda (wife of Simon)
5. Magdelena Minami (wife of Ioannes )
6. Ludovicus Minami (adopted son of Ioannes )
7. Melchior Kumagai Motonao (layperson; married)
8. Damianus (layperson; catechist)
9. Ioachim Watanabe Jirozaemon (layperson; married)
10. Leo Saisho Shichiemon (layperson)
11. Ioannes Hattori Jingoro (layperson; married)
12. Michael Mitsuishi Hikoemon (layperson)
13. Thomas Mitsuishi (son of Michael)
14. Petrus Hattori (son of Ioannes)
15. Gaspar Nishi Genka (layperson; married; catechist)
16. Ursula Nishi (wife of Gaspar)
17. Ioannes Nishi Mataishi (young son of Gaspar)
18. Hadrianus Takahashi Mondo (layperson; married)
19. Ioanna Takahashi (wife of Hadrianus)
20. Leo Hayashida Sukeemon (layperson; married)
21. Martha Hayashida (wife of Leo)
22. Magdalena Hayashida (daughter of Leo)
23. Didacus Hayashida (son of Leo)
24. Leo Takedomi Kan’emon (layperson; married)
25. Paulus Takedomi Dan’emon (son of Leo Takedomi)
26. Adam Arakawa (layperson; married; catechist)
27. Ioannes Hashimoto Tahyoe (layperson)
28. Thecla Hashimoto (wife of Ioannes)
29. Catharina Hashimoto (daughter of Ioannes)
30. Thomas Hashimoto (son of Ioannes)
31. Franciscus Hashimoto (son of Ioannes)
32. Petrus Hashimoto (son of Ioannes)
33. Ludovica Hashimoto (son of Ioannes)
34. Thomas Kian (layperson)
35. Thomas Ikegami (layperson)
36. Linus Rihyoe (layperson; married)
37. Maria (wife of Linus)
38. Cosmas (father of Franciscus #76)
39. Antonius Domi (layperson)
40. Ioachim Ogawa (layperson)
41. Ioannes Kyusaku (layperson; married)
42. Magdalena (wife of Ioannes)
43. Regina (daughter of Ioannes)
44. Thomas Kishima Shinshiro (layperson; married)
45. Maria (wife of Thomas)
46. Gabrieal (layperson)
47. Maria (layperson; married)
48. Monica (daughter of Maria)
49. Martha (layperson; married)
50. Benedictus (son of Martha)
51. Maria (layperson; married)
52. Sixtus (son of Maria)
53. Monica (layperson; married)
54. Thomas Toemon (layperson; married)
55. Lucia (wife of Thomas)
56. Rufina (layperson; widow)
57. Martha (daughter of Martha)
58. Monica (layperson; married)
59. Emmanuel Kosaburo (layperson)
60. Anna Kajiya (layperson; widow)
61. Thomas Kajiya Yoemon (son of Anna)
62. Agatha (layperson)
63. Maria Chujo (layperson; married)
64. Hieronimus Soroku (layperson; married)
65. Lucia (wife of Hieronimus)
66. Ioannes Sakurai (layperson; married)
67. Ursula Sakurai (daughter-in-law of Ioannes)
68. Mancius Kyujiro (layperson)
69. Ludovicus Matagoro (layperson)
70. Leo Kyusuke (layperson; married)
71. Martha (wife of Leo)
72. Mencia (layperson; widow)
73. Lucia (daughter of Mencia)
74. Magdalena (layperson)
75. Didacus Tsuzu (layperson)
76. Franciscus Shizaburo (son of Cosmas #38)
77. Franciscus (layperson)
78. Maria (layperson)
79. Didacus Kagayama Haito (layperson; married)
80. Balthasar Kagayama Hanzaemon (layperson; married)
81. Iacobus (son of Balthasar )
82. Ioannes Hara Mondo (layperson)
83. Franciscus Toyama Jintaro (layperson)
84. Matthias Shobara Ichizaemon (layperson)
85. Ioachim Kuroemon (layperson; catechist)
86. Balthasar Uchibori (son of Paulus #89)
87. Antonius Uchibori (son of Paulus #89)
88. Ignatius Uchibori (son of Paulus #89)
89. Paulus Uchibori Sakuemon (layperson; married)
90. Gaspar Kizaemon (layperson)
91. Maria Mine (wife of Ioachim #105)
92. Gaspar Nagai Sohan (layperson; married)
93. Ludivicus Shinzaburo (layperson)
94. Dionisius Saeki Zenka (layperson)
95. Ludovicus Saeki Kizo (son of Dionicius)
96. Damianus Ichiyata (layperson; married)
97. Leo Nakajima Sokan (layperson)
98. Paulus Nakajima (son of Leo)
99. Ioannes Kisaki Kyuhachi (layperson)
100. Ioannes Heisaku (layperson; married)
101. Thomas Uzumi Shingoro (layperson)
102. Alexius Sugi Shohachi (layperson)
103. Thomas Kondo Hyoemon (layperson; married)
104. Ioannes Araki Kanshichi (layperson)
105. Ioachim Mine Sukedayu (husband of Maria #91)
106. Paulus Nishida Kyuhachi (layperson)
107. Maria (layperson; married)
108. Ioannes Matsutake Chozaburo (layperson)
109. Bartholomeus Baba Han’emon (layperson; married)
110. Ludovicus Furue Sukeemon (layperson; married)
111. Paulus Onizuka Magoemon (layperson; married)
112. Ludovicus Hayashida Soka (layperson; married)
113. Magdalena Hayashida (layperson; married)
114. Paulus Hayashida Mohyoe (layperson)
115. Ludovicus Amagasu Iemon (layperson; married)
116. Michael Amagasu Tayemon (layperson; married)
117. Dominica Amagasu (wife of Michael)
118. Iusta Amagasu (daughter Michael)
119. Vincentius Kurogane Ichibiyoe (son of Ludovicus)
120. Thecla Kurogane (wife of Vencentius)
121. Lucia Kurogane (daughter of Vencentius0)
122. Maria Ito (layperson; married)
123. Marina Ito Chobo (daughter of Maria)
124. Petrus Ito Yahyoe (son of Maria)
125. Matthias Ito Hikosuke (son of Maria)
126. Timotheus Obasama Jirobyoe (layperson; married)
127. Lucia Obasama (wife of Timotheus)
128. Ioannes Gorobyoe (layperson; married)
129. Ioachim Saburobyoe (layperson)
130. Ioannes Banzai Kazue (layperson; married)
131. Aurea Banzai (wife of Ioannes)
132. Antonius Banzai Oruso (son of Ioannes)
133. Paulus Sanjuro (son-in-law of Ioannes)
134. Rufina Banzai (wife of Paulus)
135. Paulus (son of Paulus)
136. Martha (daughter of Paulus)
137. Simon Takahashi Seizaemon (layperson; married)
138. Thecla Takahashi (daughter of Simon)
139. Paulus Nishihori Shikibu (layperson; married)
140. Ludovicus Jin’emon (layperson; married)
141. Anna (wife of Ludovicus)
142. Mancius Yoshino Han’emon (layperson; married)
143. Iulia Yoshino (wife of no. Mancius)
144. Antonius Anazawa Han’emon (husband of no. 159)
145. Paulus Anazawa Juzaburo (son of Antonius)
146. Andreas Yamamoto Shichiemon (husband of no. 162)
147. Ignatius Iida Soemon (husband of Lucia #158)
148. Ioannes Arie Kiemon (husband of Magdalena #164)
149. Petrus Arie Jinzo (son of Ioannes)
150. Alexius Sato Seisuke (layperson; married)
151. Lucia Sato (wife of Alexius)
152. Elisabeth Sato (daughter of Alexius)
153. Paulus Sato Matagoro (brother of Alexius)
154. N. Shichizaemon (layperson; married)
155. Magdalena (wife of Shichizaemon 154)
156. A Daughter of Shichizaemon and Magdalena
157. A Daughter of Shichizaemon and Magdalena
158. Lucia Iida (wife of no. 147)
159. Crescentia Anazawa (wife of Antonius #144)
160. Romanus Anazawa Matsujiro (son of Antonius)
161. Michael Anazawa Osamu (son of Antonius)
162. Maria Yamamoto (wife of Andreas #146)
163. Ursula Yamamoto (daughter of Andreas)
164. Magdalena Arie (wife of Ignatius #147)
165. Alexis Choemon (layperson; married)
166. Candidus “Bozu” (brother-in-law of Alexis)
167. Ignatius (nephew of Candidus)
168. Michael Kusuriya (layperson; married)
169. Nicolaus Fukunaga Keian,SJ (religious)
170. Iulianus Nakaura, SJ (priest)
171. Ogasawara Yosaburo Gen’ya (layperson; married)
172. Ogasawara Miya Luisa (wife of Yosaburo)
173. Ogasawara Genpachi (son of Yosaburo and Miya)
174. Ogasawara Mari (daughter of Yosaburo and Miya)
175. Ogasawara Kuri (daughter of Yosaburo and Miya)
176. Ogasawara Sasaemon (son of Yosaburo and Miya)
177. Ogasawara Sayuemon (son of Yosaburo and Miya)
178. Ogasawara Shiro (son of Yosaburo and Miya)
179. Ogasawara Goro (son of Yosaburo and Miya)
180. Ogasawara Tsuchi daughter of Yosaburo and Miya)
181. Ogasawara Gonnosuke (son of Yosaburo and Miya)
182. A Servant of the Ogasawara Family (layperson)
183. A Servant of the Ogasawara Family (layperson)
184. A Servant of the Ogasawara Family (layperson)
185. A Servant of the Ogasawara Family (layperson)
186. Didacus Yuki Ryosetsu, SJ (priest)
187. Thomas of St. Augustine, OSA (priest)
188. Pietro Kibe Kasui, SJ (priest)

They were beatified on 27 November 2008.


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