During the Edo period, the Tokugawa Shogunate declared Christianity a crime and forbade its practice. This eventually spread to Yonezawa as well. 53 Christians who were practicing their religion in secrecy, including Uesugi clan member Uemon Amakasu, were put to death in 1629. In 1929, 300 years later, the execution ground was developed into a martyrdom site with statues of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and John the Baptist being presented by Germany to honor the martyrs. In 2008, Uemon Amakasu and the other martyrs were beatified by the Vatican.
A Location Close to the Heart of Christians in Japan
- Site Name
- Hokusanbara Christian Martyrdom Site
- 6-chōme-2-5 Kanaike Yonezawa, Yamagata 992-0012