Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan Monument


7-8 Nishizaka-machi
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About this sight

This site commemorates the 26 Martyrs of Japan, a group of Roman Catholics who were executed by crucifixion here in 1597. While there were many more martyrs, the first 26 came to be especially revered. The memorial hall behind their life-sized bronze statues introduces the history of Christianity from the arrival of the first missionary until the Meiji period (1868-1912). Among the exhibits are a letter addressed to Portugal's King John III from Saint Francis Xavier, a record of the battle of Shimabara, a Maria Kannon sculpture, and a bronze Pieta from the 16th century, as well as frescoes and Japanese paintings.