Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday, Apr 15th, Nagasaki, Japan


Our new guide, Miyuki Ogawa, led us to two districts of Nagasaki this morning.  Dejima, was a man-made island (2.2 acres) where first the Portuguese, and then the Dutch, were confined for over two centuries.  In 1634, the Shogun lemitsu implemented his anti-Catholic edicts by ordering that all Portuguese live on the island.  Most left, and six years later, the island was deserted.  In 1641, the Dutch East India Company Trading Post was moved from Hirado to the island.  For the next 213 years, it served as the only port in Japan in which foreign trade could be conducted. 

Leaving Dejima, we took taxis to the top of a local hill to visit Glover Gardens.  Built for Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish merchant on the scale of Andrew Carnegie, who probably had more impact on Japan than anyone other the Mathew Perry.

Glover assisted Japan to come out of its isolation, and helped them build and utilize ships, mine coal, make beer and automobiles.  He went bankrupt once, married into and sired a large Japanese family, and died a very rich man.

The garden, sometimes referred to as "Madame Butterfly Garden" for its statues of Puccini and divas associated with his operas, enjoys a lovely layout of a large variety of flowers, and has spectacular views of the city from its hilltop location.  It is part of an open air museum of residences of former western merchants.

On the way down the hill, we stopped by a large building housing the floats for the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival, held in early October of each year.  If you're thinking of coming to Japan at that time of the year, this would be a festival you would not want to miss.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Sunday, Apr 15th, Nagasaki, Japan.

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