When Jesuit missionaries traveled to Japan in the 1540s, they had hopes of introducing their faith to new, enthusiastic followers of Christ. They asked for permission to preach in Japan and were granted access by warlords looking to establish trade contacts with the West. Initially, only Jesuits were entering the Asian country, but they were later joined by Spanish Franciscans. At first, their conversion efforts were quite successful and Christian beliefs spread quickly throughout the small Asian country. However, within 50 years of the arrival of missionaries, the early progress of Christianity in Japan would be washed away with the blood of persecuted and martyred Christians.
The Christian monotheistic belief system wasn't something easily understood in a land of people who believed in Shintoism and Buddha's path to Enlightenment. Similarly, Christianity was quickly seen as an extension of imperialism and the Japanese government became increasingly distrustful of Christians. The Japanese government began to persecute Christians, eventually outlawing the faith and harshly eliminating its followers.
Christian martyrs in Japan represent a violent chapter in the history of religion in Japan. The first and most famous martyrs of Japan include 26 men who were crucified in 1597. The killing and violence continued well into the mid-nineteenth century. Christians were tortured, forced to recant their beliefs, and killed when they refused to do so. This list explores the various gruesome practices that the Japanese used to punish those professing Christianity. Read at your own caution, as the details can be quite graphic.
Japan First Drew Blood By Killing 26 Martyrs In 1597
Crucifixion Was An Ironically Appropriate Death
Torture Escalated And Included Reverse Crucifixions, Where An Individual Would Be Lowered Into A Hole Of Excrement
Torture Methods Included Burning People Alive And Slowly Slicing Them With Bamboo Saws
Christians Were Burned And Boiled To Death At The Unzen Hot Springs
Snake Pit Torture Served Several Purposes