Samstag, 24. März 2012

Ein Museum - Das Museum der Sechsundzwanzig Märtyrer in Nagasaki

Denkmal, Kirche und Museum. Ein christlicher Gedächtnisort Mitten in Japan

The story of the 26 martyrs begins in the 16th century. Although he had tolerated Christianity even after the ban issued in 1587, Toyotomi Hideyoshi became suspicious of missionaries as possible agents for European intervention in Japan. Twenty-six Christians, including six foreign missionaries and three children, were arrested in Kyoto and Osaka and forced to walk through the snow to Nagasaki. After an 800km journey, they were crucified on Nishizaka hill on February 5, 1597. This was to serve as a warning to the large Christian population of Nagasaki.
In 1862, these 26 martyrs were canonized by Pope Pius IX. On the centennial of their canonization, a church, a museum and bronze monument were constructed at the site of the martyrdom. The museum displays documents and items related to the activities and struggles of the persecuted Christians. 

Edict of prohibition of Christianity in Japan and offering of reward to people who give information about Priests, Brothers, Catechists, or returnees to the Christian faith. Dated 1682.
This unique image of Our Lady of the Snows is one of the few Western-Japanese (Namban Art) religious art pieces that survived the long persecution period in Japanese.
Even if we don't have precise data, all points to think it was made in Nagasaki by some of the Christian painters of the famous "Kano" school, between 1600 and 1614.

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