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Nagasaki Prefect Office, Meiji Period
Lighthouse at Osezaki in Gotō
Map of Nagasaki Prefecture
Castle in Shimabara
Sōfuku-ji Ōbaku Zen temple in Nagasaki

 is a prefecture of Japanmarker located on the island of Kyūshūmarker. The capital is the city of Nagasaki.


Nagasaki Prefecture, a unification of the western half of the former province of Hizen, with the former island provinces of Tsushima, and Iki, has had close ties with foreign civilization for centuries. Facing Chinamarker and Koreamarker, the region around Hirado was a traditional center for both traders and pirates.

During the 16th century, Catholic missionaries and traders from Portugalmarker arrived and became active in Hirado and Nagasaki, which became a major center for foreign trade. After being given free rein in Oda Nobunaga's period, the missionaries were forced out little by little, until finally, in the Tokugawa era, Christianity was banned under the Sakoku national isolation policy, during which time, Japanese foreign trade was restricted to Chinese and Dutch traders based at Dejimamarker in Nagasaki; however, Kirishitan (Japanese Christian) worship continued underground. These Kakure Kirishitan (hidden Christians) were tried at every step, forced to step on fumi-e ("trample pictures", images of the Holy Mother Mary and saints) to prove that they were non-Christian. With the banishment of all Catholic missionaries, traders from Catholic countries were also forced out of the country. Along with them, their children, half Japanese and half European, were also forced to leave the country. The majority was sent to Jagatara (Jakartamarker) and are still remembered by the locals as the people who wrote the poignant letters which were smuggled across the sea to their homeland. Today, Nagasaki has a prominent Chinatown and Catholic churches.

During the Meiji Restoration, Nagasaki and Sasebo became major ports for foreign trade, and eventually major military bases and shipbuilding centers for the Imperial Japanese Navy up to World War II. On August 9, 1945, the United Statesmarker dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, which completely destroyed all buildings in a one mile radius from the point of impact and extensively damaged other parts of the city. 70,000 people died and over 70,000 more were injured in the attack.


Nagasaki borders Saga Prefecturemarker on the east, and is otherwise surrounded by water, including Ariake Bay, the Tsushima Straits, and the East China Seamarker. It also includes a large number of islands such as Tsushimamarker and Ikimarker. Most of the prefecture is near the coast and there are a number of ports such as Nagasaki and a United States Navy base at Sasebo.


Nagasaki Prefecture currently has 13 cities, 4 districts, and 10 towns. There are currently no municipalities with the designation of village within Nagasaki Prefecture.



Mergers and dissolutions

The following municipalities have been dissolved during the last seven years.




Nagasaki is the most Christianized area in Japan with Roman Catholic missions having been established there as early as the 16th century. See Shusaku Endo's novel "Silence" which draws from the oral history of the local Christian ( Kirishitan ) communities, both Kakure Kirishitan and Hanare Kirishitan.

As of 2002, there are 68,617 Catholics in Nagasaki Prefecture, accounting for 4.52 percent of the total population of the prefecture.


The Nagasaki Saints of the Shikoku-Kyūshū Island League make Nagasaki Prefecture their home.


Kujū-ku Islands in Sasebo


  1. ようこそ 長崎新地中華街へ

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