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The city is shaped like an amphitheatre, with its crooked streets and tiered houses clinging to the hillsides that enclose the inner bay.
Reclaimed land at bayside and the Urakami Basin provide some level land. Although the perception is that the city is totally modern and rebuilt sinceactually Nagasaki has a number of areas where old buildings and temples remain. It was the only Japanese port permitted by the Tokugawa shogunate military government between and when all other ports were closed.
Portuguese traders who introduced Roman Catholicism and guns to Japan first arrived there in the midth century. Soon after the introduction of Catholicism, large groups of Japanese converted to the new religion.
Feeling threatened by this new faith, the shogunate began persecuting Christians, including 26 martyrs —6 Franciscan missionaries and 20 Japanese laypeople—who were crucified in Nagasaki in The martyrs were canonized by the Vatican inand the Oura Roman Catholic Churchbuilt in Gothic style, was erected in to commemorate them.
By the s, tensions had risen to such a state that the Portuguese were expelled, along with the Protestant English; trade was then restricted to the Dutch and, to a lesser degree, the Chinese and Koreans.
Over the next years, as the rest of Japan was closed to the West, Nagasaki became a centre for information on Western technology and science.
When Nagasaki was fully reopened to the West in the s, it became a major port for trade. It was a leading East Asian coaling station and served as the winter port of the Russian Asiatic fleet until The bomb was dropped on August 9,and destroyed the innermost portion of Nagasaki; between 60, and 80, persons were killed.
Exact figures are difficult, however, for many records were destroyed by the bomb and the overall devastation of the area made accurate accounting for casualties impossible. Still, estimates indicate that some 40, people were killed immediately with the rest dying within the next few months because of burns, injuries, or radiation exposure.
The terrain and smaller size of Nagasaki reduced the destruction of life and property as compared to that of the atomic bomb explosion over Hiroshimaalthough the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was significantly more powerful. Since World War II, the city has been rebuilt and is significant as a spiritual centre for movements to ban nuclear weapons.
Nagasaki is an important tourist centre; its industry is still based upon its large shipyards, which are grouped along the western and inner parts of the harbour.
The city also contains numerous historic sites. Peace Park, on the Urakami-gawa, was established under the point of detonation of the bomb. The Roman Catholic cathedral of Urakami built in to replace the original cathedral that was destroyed by the bomb overlooks the park.
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Ho Chi Minh, the enemy of the United States in the Vietnam War, was initially a friend.
He worked with U.S. special forces in rescuing downed American airmen and providing intelligence on Japanese movements during the last year of World War II. Nagasaki was Japan’s second oldest port open to foreign trade (after Hirado).It was the only Japanese port permitted by the Tokugawa shogunate (military government) between and when all other ports were closed.
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