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Hiroshima, Nagasaki Mayors Invited to Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony (News)

Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Nov. 15 (Jiji Press)—Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi and Nagasaki Mayor Taue Tomihisa have been invited to attend the award ceremony for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, it was learned Wednesday. The Hiroshima city government is planning to accept the invitation, while the Nagasaki city government is making necessary arrangements, informed sources said. The two Japanese cities were…

Nagasaki Mayor Calls for End to Reliance on Nuclear Weapons (News)

Nagasaki, Aug. 9 (Jiji Press)—Nagasaki Mayor Taue Tomihisa called for an end to countries' reliance on nuclear weapons as a means to protect themselves, as the southwestern Japan city marked the 72nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing on Wednesday. In his annual Nagasaki Peace Declaration, Taue stressed the significance of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, adopted at the United Nations in July…

Siebold: A German Naturalist in Nineteenth-Century Nagasaki

One of the most beloved figures in the history of nineteenth-century Japan was not a Japanese at all but a German: the Bavarian-born doctor and biologist Philipp Franz von Siebold. During his years as a doctor at the Dutch trading post in Nagasaki, Siebold built up a huge collection of Japanese animals, plants, artworks, and maps. These allowed him to write some of the most influential early modern works on Japan—and led to his deportation from Japan on suspicion of spying.

Scorsese’s “Silence” Grapples With Questions of Faith in Seventeenth-Century Japan

Director Martin Scorsese first learned of the novel Silence in 1988. Deeply moved by its exploration of faith among “hidden Christians” in seventeenth-century Japan, he resolved to film the work. More than a quarter of a century later, this passion project is complete.

Japan to Recommend Southern Isles, Christian Sites as World Heritage (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government on Thursday decided to recommend that islands in the southern prefectures of Kagoshima and Okinawa be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list for natural assets. At a meeting of related ministries and agencies, the government also decided to recommend the addition of Christian sites in the southwestern prefectures of Nagasaki and Kumamoto to t…

Director of Double A-Bomb Survivor Movie Gets Letter from Obama (News)

Nagasaki, Dec. 9 (Jiji Press)—A filmmaker who created a documentary about a man who survived both US atomic bomb strikes on Japan said Friday he has received a thank-you letter from President Barack Obama after sending him the movie. Movie director Inazuka Hidetaka, 66, and Yamasaki Toshiko, at 68 the eldest daughter of the late double bombing survivor Yamaguchi Tsutomu, held a press conference…

Hiroshima, Nagasaki Visits by Foreign Dignitaries on Rise (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 6 (Jiji Press)—The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were devastated by US atomic bombings in 1945, are receiving successive visits by foreign dignitaries. Four high-ranking officials have visited or plan to travel to either of the two cities this month, including Valentina Matviyenko, chair of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia's parliament, and Kazakh Presid…

Thomas Glover: The Scotsman Who Helped Meiji Japan ModernizeHarano Jōji

In July 2015, UNESCO newly inscribed 23 facilities symbolizing Japan’s industrial modernization during the Meiji era (1868–1912) as World Cultural Heritage sites. Scattered across eight prefectures, the historical sites include Gunkanjima, or “Battleship Island” (the Hashima Coal Mine), and the Takashima Coal Mine in Nagasaki Prefecture and the Imperial Steel Works in Fukuoka Prefecture. All are c…

Timeline for August 2015

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II with his formal statement, the first nuclear plant restarts since all plants shut down nearly two years ago, and the largest demonstration to date against new security legislation takes place outside the National Diet in Tokyo. These are the top Japanese news stories for August 2015.

Saint Francis Xavier and the Roots of Christianity in Japan

Arriving in Japan in 1549, Jesuit priest Francis Xavier played a key role in the early spread of Christianity in the country. His missionary work included preaching in Hirado in the northwest of present-day Nagasaki Prefecture, where Christianity took root most firmly and “hidden Christians” preserved the faith during centuries of prohibition. Today Hirado is home to numerous historic churches, testifying to the enduring influence of Spanish and Portuguese missionaries.

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