Episode 423 – The City on the Edge of Forever, Part 2

This week, Christian Nagasaki survives its early trials and tribulations to become a Jesuit fortress-town, and a centerpiece of some cutthroat religious diplomacy. But the same approaches that will make Nagasaki crucial to the regional economy will also make it the target of jealous neighboring warlords–and invite the scrutiny of Japan’s most powerful leader.


Hesselink, Reinier. The Dream of Christian Nagasaki: World Trade and the Clash of Cultures, 1550-1640

Strathern, Alan. “Immanent Power and Empirical Religiosity: Conversion of the Daimyo of Kyushu, 1560-1580.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 47, No 2 (2020).

Elison, George. Deus Destroyed: The Image of Christianity in Early Modern Japan.



A screen detail showing Portuguese traders unloading goods in Nagasaki.
Ryuzoji Takanobu, who threatened the city in the early 1580s. Dealing with him required the help of the Shimazu, which came with a high price. And dealing with the Shimazu required reaching out to Hideyoshi.
Gaspar Coelho’s tomb. Fortunately he had the good sense to die before it became clear just how much damage his power politics would do to the Christian community in Japan.