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Vatican trove shows Catholic persecution in samurai-era Japan

DonnieclarkView Profile
Points:231  User group: Acolyte
Post time: 2017-12-20 10:53 pm
A trove of ancient documents unearthed at the Vatican could shed light on the brutal crackdown on Christianity in isolationist Japan under its samurai rulers, scholars say. The hoard contains about 10,000 pieces of paper, collected by an Italian priest who lived in Japan last century, mostly dating from the "Edo" period (1603-1867), when the country shut itself off from the outside world and declared Western religion illegal. The wide-ranging collection, including memos from their curator, Father Mario Marega, who died in 1978, offers a rare opportunity to study details of how people lived through the tense religious persecution of the time, said Professor Kazuo Otomo of the National Institute of Japanese Literature. "This unusually large volume of official records show policing and crackdowns and the deprivation of religious freedom," said Otomo, who will head the six-year project to analyse and catalogue the materials, due to begin in the next 18 months.

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