Nagasaki Prefecture

Nagasaki Prefecture
Nagasaki Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 – Japanese 長崎県
 – Rōmaji Nagasaki-ken

Symbol of Nagasaki Prefecture
Country Japan
Region Kyūshū
Island Kyūshū
Capital Nagasaki
 – Governor Hodo Nakamura (since March 2010)
 – Total 4,104.48 km2 (1,584.7 sq mi)
Area rank 37th
Population (2009)
 – Total 1,440,727
 – Rank 26th
 – Density 351/km2 (909.1/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-42
Districts 4
Municipalities 21
Flower Unzentsutsuji (Rhododendron serpyllifolium)
Tree Sawara (Chamaecyparis pisifera)
Bird Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)

Nagasaki Prefecture (長崎県 Nagasaki-ken?) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyūshū.[1] The capital is the city of Nagasaki.[2]



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

Nagasaki Prefecture was created by merging of the western half of the former province of Hizen with the island provinces of Tsushima and Iki.[3] Facing China and Korea, the region around Hirado was a traditional center for both traders and pirates.

During the 16th century, Catholic missionaries and traders from Portugal 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 Dejima 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 Virgin 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 (Jakarta) 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[4] 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 States 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 Prefecture on the east, and is otherwise surrounded by water, including Ariake Bay, the Tsushima Straits, and the East China Sea. It also includes a large number of islands such as Tsushima and Iki. 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 8 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



Tram Car


Expressway and Toll road

  • Nagasaki Expressway
  • West Kyushu Expressway
  • Nagasaki Dejima Road
  • Kawahira Toll Road
  • Kunimi Toll Road
  • Kawahira Toll Road

National Highway

  • Route 34
  • Route 35
  • Route 57
  • Route 202
  • Route 204
  • Route 205
  • Route 206
  • Route 207
  • Route 251
  • Route 324
  • Route 382
  • Route 383
  • Route 384
  • Route 389
  • Route 444
  • Route 498
  • Route 499


  • Nagasaki Port
  • Sasebo Port
  • Matsuura Port
  • Hirado Port
  • Shimabara Port
  • Fukue Port
  • Izuhara Port of Tsushima
  • Gonoura Port of Iki Island



  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Nagasaki prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 683 at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Nagasaki" in p. 683 at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780 at Google Books.
  4. ^ ようこそ 長崎新地中華街へ


External links

Coordinates: 32°58′N 129°48′E / 32.967°N 129.8°E / 32.967; 129.8

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