Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa Shōgun
Four hundred years ago yesterday—27 January 1614—a writing-brush inscribed the silent death-knell of Christendom in Japan, a sledgehammer-blow mandated by the shadow Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu, pictured above. This Expulsion Edict would order the rounding-up and expulsion of all Christian missionaries throughout Japan and forbid thenceforth the practice of that religion on Japanese soil. The Shogunate would enforce its ban with an increasingly-brutal regimen of executions and torture, finally perfecting a method of slow torture called ana-zurushi which would effect a number of apostasies by Japanese and foreign clergy and lay believers—and produce some of human history’s most glorious examples of heroism, of Christian martyrdom, true martyrdom, as well.
In the days and weeks to come, this blog will chronicle the dark path of the Tokugawa Shogunate’s brutal suppression of that religion of love while focusing on those beacons of superhuman heroism, of true martyrdom, that dazzled all human eyes enshrouded in that inhuman darkness—and, through the printed word, would uplift the hearts and minds of humankind at large.