Shimabara Rebellion


Shimabara Rebellion
(1637–38) In Japanese history, last major uprising against Tokugawa rule until the 1860s.

A large contingent of peasants, supported by rōnin (masterless samurai), rebelled in protest of heavy taxation. After initial success, the uprising was crushed, and an estimated 37,000 rebels were killed. Because many of the peasants were converts to Christianity, their rebellion strengthened government determination to isolate Japan from foreign influence and vigorously enforce its proscription of all Christian beliefs and activities.

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▪ Japanese history
      (1637–38), uprising of Japanese Roman Catholics, the failure of which virtually ended the Christian movement in 17th-century Japan and furthered government determination to isolate Japan from foreign influences.

      The revolt began as a result of dissatisfaction with the heavy taxation and abuses of local officials on the Shimabara Peninsula and the Amakusa-rettō Islands. Most of the peasants in the Shimabara vicinity had been converted to Catholicism by Portuguese and Spanish missionaries, and the rebellion soon took on Christian overtones. With the support of large numbers of rōnin, samurai whose lords had been dispossessed, the rebels fought so zealously that an army of 100,000 troops was unable to quell them, and the Japanese government had to call in a Dutch gunboat to blast the rebel stronghold. Following this incident the government vigorously enforced its proscription of all Christian beliefs and activities.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • rebellion — /ri bel yeuhn/, n. 1. open, organized, and armed resistance to one s government or ruler. 2. resistance to or defiance of any authority, control, or tradition. 3. the act of rebelling. [1300 50; ME rebellioun < OF < L rebellion (s. of rebellio),… …   Universalium


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