Nagasaki Port was established in 1571 to accommodate Portuguese merchants who were active trade intermediaries between China and Japan. The port’s founding by a Jesuit missionary led to an influx of Catholics. In 1614, Catholicism was banned by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the powerful defacto ruler of Japan. This sparked a period of intense religious persecution and martyrdom. Then, in 1633, the Tokugawa shogunate adopted a closed country policy called kaikin or sakoku. This self-imposed isolationism existed until 1858. Nagasaki was Japan’s only port allowed limited international trade during this time. With the advent of the Meiji period (1868 – 1912), Nagasaki fortunes returned with heavy industry and shipbuilding. The prosperity ended abruptly on August 9, 1945 when the world’s second atomic bomb was dropped. Today, the city of 425,000 people, plus the port and shipbuilding, have fully recovered. The harbor welcomes about fifty cruise ships a year to the Matsugae International Terminal.