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Reinier Herman Hesselink
University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0001)
The Rise and Fall of Christian Nagasaki, 1560-1640

This is a project requesting support for research in Portuguese archives on the early history of the city of Nagasaki. Nagasaki is the only Japanese city to have been founded, in 1571, by Jesuit missionaries, who aimed at utilizing the trade brought by the Portuguese in order to strengthen and expand their missionary work. At the time, Nagasaki was unique in Japan, because it was the country's only completely Christian city, where every permanent resident belonged to one of its churches. For a short time, Nagasaki also became one of East Asia's most international cities and Japan's only contemporary example of a truly multi-cultural environment, but the history of its formative years between 1560 and 1640 has never been written. My study aims to place Nagasaki in the context of the unification of Japan in the late 16th century, the anti-Christian persecutions by Japan's military leaders that followed, as well as the history of European expansion into Asia.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
East Asian History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 5/31/2009