It was the case that in 1543, a storm threw a Chinese junk onto the shore of the Japanese island of Tanegashima, carrying two Portuguese. So the Japanese for the first time personally saw the "southern barbarians", met with their firearms weapons and ... with the Christian religion. Very soon the Portuguese - Jesuits came to the land of Japan. People are active and practical, they started by learning Japanese, sticking to the confidence of several daimyo and starting a propaganda of faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, it was not a very grateful thing. From birth, the Japanese were staunch Shintoists, that is, they believed in Kami - the spirits of nature.
Shimabara Castle. Modern look.
Then Buddhist beliefs were superimposed on this Shintoism, which differed from monastery to monastery and from sect to sect. Moreover, some of these sects claimed that to be saved — and the idea of after-the-minute salvation is the most important thing in any religion, it was possible without much difficulty. For example, it was enough for the members of the Pure Land sect to proclaim a prayerful appeal to Buddha Amida, as they were guaranteed salvation! That is, the amidist cult practice was very simple - repeat the magic Nambuza “Shamu Amida Butsu” (Glory to Buddha Amida) and that’s all, all sins are washed away from you. You could not even say anything, but simply roll the prayer drum with this inscription! But different sects turned to different social strata, but only the Christian idea turned out to be the most universal. Of course, a samurai, for example, found it difficult to understand a god who advised, after hitting the right cheek, to also substitute the left one.
The main tower of the castle Shimabara.
But the peasant understood this very well. The number of Christians in Japan began to grow rapidly, and many daimyo became Christians! The attitude of the country's government to Christians has changed. Then they were simply tolerated, and the missionaries were used as translators and intermediaries in trade with China and Europeans, then they began to oppress and even crucify them on crosses. The situation of Christians especially deteriorated after many Christians supported Toyotomi Hideyoshi against Ieyasu Tokugawa. And if Ieyasu himself was a man of broad views and saw favor in the interpenetration of cultures, then his son Hiedatta believed that Christian culture would destroy the age-old culture of Japan and therefore should be banned. Well, after the extermination of the Toyotomi clan in 1615, there was a reason for persecuting Christians - they are rebels, they are “bad Japanese”.
Headed by the rebels statues of Bodhisattva Jizo.
Bakufu Tokugawa in the person of Hidedead, who became shogun, immediately called on all daimyo to oppress Christians, although many daimyo sympathized with them. For example, Matsukura Shigemasa, an active participant in the campaign against Osaka, was at first disposed towards Christians, but when the third shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu reproached him with a lack of official zeal, he began to persecute them so eagerly, with the result that around 10 thousands were executed.
Shogun’s troops scramble to the wall of Hara Castle.
Daimyo Kyushu Arima Harunobu supported and defended Christians. But after Sekigarakh, his son Naotsumi was transferred from Shimabar to Hyuga, although many of his subjects remained in their former places. After the battle of Sekiharadaimo, Konishi Yukinaga, a Christian, was executed by order of Ieyasu, and this also displeased his samurai, who wished to take revenge on Tokugawa. All these people took refuge near the Shimabara castle.
One of the flags of the rebels with Christian symbolism, miraculously preserved to our time.
Well, Matsukura continued to demonstrate his loyalty to Tokugawa and offered ... to attack Luzon (Philippines) and crush the base of Spanish missionaries, from where they sailed to Japan. Bakufu said “yes”, he borrowed money from merchants from Sakai, Hira and Nagasaki and bought weapons. But then bakuf thought again that, supposedly, the time for the overseas wars had not yet come and banned this enterprise. And then Matsukura Siegemas died, and his son Katsuie had to pay the debts. He had no money, and he sharply raised taxes on the peasants and began collecting them in the most ruthless way, which caused widespread discontent. The situation in Shimabara sharply worsened, and it is clear that among the Christian peasants, rumors immediately came that the apostle was about to come and save them.
Japanese peasants - arrows from the arquebus.
Masida Dzinbey, one of the companions of Konishi Yukinaga, who was a devout Christian, together with Arima Harunobu decided that the time was right for an uprising against the clan Matsukura and ... began to actively spread rumors about the soon coming of the Savior. Meanwhile, in the spring of 1637, such a bad harvest was expected that the threat of famine became a reality. And then there 16 peasants Arima were taken into custody for the prayers offered to Christ, that is, suffered for their faith. Then they were executed, and ... that was precisely the reason for the general uprising. A mob of angry peasants attacked a bakufu official and killed him, and then the peasants went against the government and rich Buddhist temples. The rioters killed the Buddhist priests, and then went to the castle of Shimabara, defiantly putting the heads of the defeated enemies on the poles. An uprising also began on Amakusa Island, and there the insurgents completely destroyed the government detachment sent to suppress them.
Nambando-gusoku or namban-gusoku - European-style armor, allegedly belonging to Sakakibar Yasumas. In general, only a breastplate and a helmet were made outside of Japan, and all other parts were locally produced. Tokyo National Museum.
A Savior was needed, and Masuda Jinbey announced their son Siro Tokisad (Christian name - Jerome). They believed him, especially since he was rumored to be miraculous again, but the rebels couldn’t seize the castle of Shimabara, however. But they repaired the fortifications of the castle of Hara, which was empty nearby, where about 35 thousands of people soon came together. The samurai army of 40 rebels led an army, in addition, there were thousands of women and children in the castle 12-13. All the rest were peasants, and many of them could shoot rifles, as Matsukura Siegemas, who was preparing them for the raid on Luzon, had been trained in this! The rebels hung banners with Christian symbols on the walls of the castle, put up Catholic crosses and ... all together decided to die for the faith!
Very funny "modern armor" Katanugi-do ("monk's torso"), which belonged to Kato Kiyemasa, one of Hideyoshi's military leaders during the Korean War. The breastplate is made of Sané plates connected by cords and a chased plate on the right side of the chest. Tokyo National Museum.
The army of Bakufu had a population of about 30 thousand people, and immediately suffered heavy losses when trying to take the castle of Hara by storm. His defenders showed the enemy and courage, and ... amazing accuracy of shooting, killing one of the commanders of their opponents in battle. At this point, the authorities realized that “bad examples are very infectious,” and that the consequences of what is happening can be fatal for her. Therefore, in order to suppress the uprising, daimyo detachments from Kyushu were gathered, and especially many former Christians, who renounced the faith so that they could earn their forgiveness in battle. Now the Bakufu army numbered 120 thousands of warriors armed with cannons and arquebus, and again laid siege to Hara Castle.
In the exposition of the St. Petersburg Museum of Artillery and Engineering Troops there is a samurai armor with a cross on the lapels of the helmet - fukigaeshi.
The rebels continued to defend themselves stubbornly and skillfully, and the Tokugawa soldiers could not destroy the castle. Then bakufu appealed for help to the Dutch and asked them to send a ship from Hirato, shelling the castle with ship guns. In response, the rebels sent a letter to Bakuf, accusing him of cowardice, in which they declared that it was able to fight with them only with the hands of foreigners. And this accusation, and perhaps the fear of “losing face” in the eyes of the people - made Bakuf call off the ship. Instead, they found ninjas who were secretly ordered to get into the castle, but many of them were caught on the approaches to the ditch surrounding the castle, and the rest were captured in the castle, because they did not speak the Simabar dialect and the local Christians simply did not understand.
Suji Kabuto from 62 metal bands. Tokyo National Museum.
Kawari-kabuto - “figured helmet”. The typical helmet of the Edo era, when decorativeness became more important than protective properties. Tokyo National Museum.
By mid-February 1638, the defenders of Hara Castle had used up almost all the ammunition and food. The commander of the troops of bakufu Matsudaira Nobutsuna ordered to open the corpses of the dead defenders of the castle to find out what they eat, but, except for grass and leaves, there was nothing there! Then Matsudaira ordered an assault on 29 in February, but a detachment under the command of Nabeshima climbed the walls of the castle before, so the battle for the castle took place on February 28. The battle went on for two days, after which the castle of Hara fell. Shiro Tokisada died in battle, and the winners killed everyone who was in the castle, including women and children.
Saddle-hen and stirrups-abumi noble rider. Tokyo National Museum.
However, in April 1638, Matsukura’s possessions were confiscated by bakufu, and Katsuie, who took exorbitant taxes from the peasants and subjected them to torture and torture, was executed! After the suppression of the uprising in Shimabara, ten generations of Japanese samurai did not know war! Christianity was forbidden, but secret sects of Christians, although small and disguised as Buddhists, remained in Japan until the middle of the XIX century, when they were finally able to get out of the underground.
In 1962, the uprising in Shimabara in Japan, the movie “Christians Uprising” was made. Shot from the movie.