39.2 MB (3.5 MB compressed)
4500 x 3048 pixels
38.1 x 25.9 cm ⏐ 15.0 x 10.2 in (300dpi)
NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Testing of the Pit was a method of torture applied to Christians. Victims were hung upside down with their heads in excrement. Under Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the succeeding Tokugawa shogunate (1600- 1868), Catholic Christianity was repressed and adherents were persecuted. During these times, many Christians were killed in Japan, some by crucifixion, most famously, the twenty-six martyrs of Japan were tortured and crucified on crosses outside Nagasaki to discourage Christianity in 1597. Following a brief respite as Tokugawa Ieyasu rose to power and pursued trade with the Portuguese powers, there were further persecutions and martyrdoms in 1613, 1630, and 1632. By this point, after the Shimabara Rebellion, the remaining Christians had been forced to publicly renounce their faith.
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