Episode 425 – The City on the Edge of Forever, Part 4

This week, Hideyoshi’s death seems to suggest an end to the persecution of Nagasaki’s Christians. However, the city quickly finds itself under threat from the new lord of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, as competition from other European merchants and growing suspicion of Christianity erodes the protections that had long kept the city safe.


Hesselink, Reinier. The Dream of Christian Nagasaki: World Trade and the Clash of Cultures, 1560-1640

Oliveira, Costa, and Joao Paolo. “Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Christian Daimyo During the Crisis of 1600.” Bulletin of Portuguese-Japanese Studies 7, (December, 2003).



Konishi Yukinaga as depicted in the mid-Edo Taiheiki Eiyuden. Konishi was a famous Christian daimyo (despite his very un-Christian presentation here) but lost his land after siding against Tokugawa Ieyasu. The residents of his domain, who had been forcibly converted before 1600, largely abandoned the faith.
Smaller ships congregate around Portuguese trading vessels in Nagasaki’s harbor. Though it’s far from realistic, this may give you some idea of the relative scale of the carracks compared to average Japanese vessels.
Notice boards like this one were the primary method of conveying new laws, like the anti-Christian edict. This particular example is from the 1680s, but does contain the anti-Christian laws.
Philip Franz von Siebold’s sketch of Nagasaki bay, from the late Edo period. Though it’s from several centuries later, this should give you some idea of how the city was laid out around the harbor even in the early Tokugawa days.