Twenty-Six Martyrs Memorial Museum and St. Philip Church
- Kenji IMAI
- Taisei Corporation
- Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a famous master samurai ruler of Japan in the turbulent late 16C, gave an edict expelling Christian missionaries in 1587, and ultimately, in 1597, he executed 26 Japanese Franciscans. This memorial complex was erected in 1962, on the very site of execution in Nagasaki, with a museum archives on one side and a small church with a building for the clergy on the other side of the street. As Kenji Imai, the architect in-charge, incorporated the mosaic murals such as the Phoenix Mosaic, the numerous religious icons such as a memorial monument in bronze, “Laudate Dominum Omnes Gentes”, by sculptor Yasutake Funakoshi, on the piazza, and iconographic designs based on the Catholic martyrology in the architecture, the entire site is brimming with a sense of religious domain in union, induced by the symphonic cadences, he attempted to create an exultant emotion akin to what the final movement of the Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, “Choral”, and its song, “Ode to joy”, imparts in the hearts of people. Imai received the 1962 Architectural Institute of Japan Award for the design of this complex.