Christianity was a growing religion in the Middle Ages in Japan. However, fearing that the increasing influence of Christian priests might lead to colonialism by European Christian powers, the ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, ordered the execution of all religious officials in Osaka and Kyoto. Twenty Six in total, they travelled to Nagasaki, a 27 day journey, where they were crucified, with spearmen driving their spearheads into the martyrs’ hearts.

Other notable events on February 5th:

In 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks in front of the United Nations Security Council, presenting evidence that Iraq possesses Weapons of Mass Destruction.

In 1869, the biggest gold nugget in history, the “Welcome Stranger” weighing 71.081 kg, is found in Australia.

In 146 BCE, the Third Punic War between Rome and Carthage comes to an end, signifying the demise of Carthage and the beginning Roman hegemony in the Mediterranean.

The crucifixion of the martyrs of Nagasaki. Property of Franciscans of Prague, Czech Republic./ Pavel Vnenk