Ancient Japanese Religion (Daramalan Assignment) Wiki
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Francis Xavier


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In 1549, a Jesuit priest named Francis Xavier, now known as a saint, arrived in Japan. With him he brought the knowledge and religion that was Christianity. He was very courageous in trying to introduce a religion to a new country, but had converted thousands of people in two years. He employed a rather odd tactic of integrating a little bit of Shinto and Buddhism into his teachings in an effort to convert more people. This tactic seemed to be quite good, but shoguns in the area thought that the religion was being spread so that a European conquest would be easier. A man called Toyotomi Hideyoshi tried to stop Christianity in 1597 by persecuting 26 christians in Nagasaki. The next ruler of Japan also disliked Christianity and attempted to drive it out of Japan. Missionary groups retaliated and as a consequence, 280,000 Christians were persecuted. Finally in 1626, Christianity was banned all together. This did not completely wipe it out, because many people still practised in private. After a Christian uprising led by a young boy named Amakusa Shiro was quelled by the ruler, all of the Christian rebels were killed and their leader Amakusa’s head was sent to Nagasaki for public display. Christianity from then on quietly survived until sometime after, when it was unbanned.

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