Sunday, April 22, 2012

Old Chinese Settlement: Nagasaki City

The Old Chinese Settlement in Nagasaki was home for many Chinese sailors and traders who traded goods with the Japanese from the 15th to 19th centuries.  The Chinese Traders came to Nagasaki because it was the only "open port" to visit Japan at this time.  The Government at the time only allowed Nagasaki to stay open throughout all of Japan and closed off Japan to the rest of world from western foreign powers in order to prevent the spread of Christianity.

Strict rules were placed on these Chinese to never be outside their settlement at night and they were not allowed to live outside of the gates that kept them virtual prisoners inside the gates.  However at least the Chinese Settlement was on the mainland within Nagasaki City.  The Dutch, who were the only other traders allowed to enter Japan at that time because their Religious beliefs were not as severe as others such as the Portuguese, had to live on an artificial island just off the mainland and weren't even allowed to step on the mainland itself, business had to be conducted on the island called Dejima.

Today a  great walking course around the old areas of Nagasaki city exists and it is possible to step back in time and see how the Chinese lived in a limited way all those years ago.  Well worth a stroll around the oldest area of the city and to look at the buildings erected centuries ago.  If the old walls of the Old Chinese Settlement could talk you would be able to play a game of Chinese Whispers?

See the Old Chinese settlement on a map!

Click on the pictures below to enlarge:

Chinese temple
Old Chinese building

Check out the Nagasaki Old Chinese Settlement in the video below:

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