Chapter 6 - Light and Shadow: Christian History, Resurrected. The fall of the Arima Clan and the crackdown on Christianity

About Chapter 6

With a victory at the Battle of Okitanawate and the subsequent division of territories in Kyushu, Harunobu Arima, awarded the position of daimyo in the Shimabara Peninsula gained stability and reached the peak of its prosperity. After the death of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, however, during the reign of Ieyasu Tokugawa, there was an incident in which Harunobu sank a Portuguese ship at the direction of Ieyasu, causing his relationship with the Society of Jesus to deteriorate.

Ieyasu sang Harunobu’s praises, but when the Daihachi Okamoto Incident (a plot to restore the old fiefdoms) was discovered, Harunobu was exiled to the Kai Province, and later decapitated. After that, Shimabara Peninsula was temporarily governed by Shigemasa Matsukura. He started building Shimabara Castle to replace Hinoe Castle, and this burdened the citizens with a huge amount of tax and labor. There was also an order from the bakufu (Japan’s feudal government or shogunate) to crack down on Christianity, which would lead to subsequent tragedy.