The Evangelization of Japan starts in 1549 with the arrival of St.Francis Xavier, and goes on until 1587, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi issued the edict forbidding Christianity and orders all missionaries to leave Japan.
In the following years of persecution, also in Edo (actual Tokyo) there were cases of martyrdom in 1612 and 1623.
After the “seclusion period”, the first missionaries of the Paris Mission Society arrived in Japan in 1858 and were stationed in the three ports of Nagasaki, Yokohama and Hakodate.
In 1876 the mission of Japan was divided in two Apostolic Vicariates : Southern Japan with center in Nagasaki and Northern Japan with center in Tokyo.
The first Vicar Apostolic of Northern Japan was Mgr. Pierre Marie Osouf.
On April 17, 1891. the Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Japan was divided into the Archdiocese of Tokyo and the Diocese of Hakodate, and Mgr. Osouf was appointed the first Archbishop of Tokyo.
On August 13, 1912, the Archdiocese of Tokyo ceded the prefectures of Toyama, Fukui and Ishikawa to the newly established Prefecture Apostolic of Niigata, and on February 18, 1922, the prefectures of Aichi and Gifu were ceded to the newly established Prefecture Apostolic of Nagoya.
In November 1937, Tokyo was entrusted to the Japanese clergy and confined to Tokyo-to and the prefecture of Chiba. The remaining territory was detached to form the Diocese of Yokohama.
The first Archbishop selected among the Japanese clergy was Archbishop Peter Tatsu Doi.
Most Reverend Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi, S.V.D.
Archbishop’s Residence and Diocesan Office:
Address: 3-16-15 Sekiguchi Bunkyo-ku Tokyo. 112-0014
Area of the Archdiocese: Tokyo-to and Chiba-ken
Total population: 19,936,338
Catholics: 97,656 (0.5%)
Diocesan Clergy: 71 (including 5 Bishops)
Religious: Communities of men: 51
Religious: Communities of women: 138
Religious and Missionary Priests: 258 (Japanese:132 Foreign:126)
Brothers: 54 (Japanese:38 Foreign:16)
Sisters: 1,219 (Japanese: 1,129 Foreign:90)
Other Colleges: 7
High School: 13
Middle School: 13
Elementary School: 13
Hospital and Dispensaries: 5
Nurseries, other Children facilities: 32
Homes for the aged and disabled: 38