In a land area of 14,361 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Fukuoka, Saga and Kumamoto prefectures.
In the diocesan territory, the population is 7,725,204 at end of 2016. Most residents are ethnic Japanese. There are also 64,545 non-Japanese people, according to the Immigration Bureau of Japan.
The territory also has many languages and dialects.
The diocese of Fukuoka was established on July 16, 1927, when it was separated from the diocese of Nagasaki and entrusted to the Paris Foreign Mission Society. In the beginning, it consisted of the five prefectures of Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Oita. However, on March 29, 1928, the two prefectures of Miyazaki and Oita were entrusted to the Salesians.
The first bishop was Bishop Fernand Thiry, M.E.P. Bishop Albert Breton then served from 1930, and when he retired in 1941, Monsignor Sen'emon Fukahori became administrator apostolic. He was consecrated bishop on May 28, 1944.
On Dec. 2, 1969, Bishop Fukahori resigned and Bishop Saburo Hirata, who had been bishop of Oita, was appointed to replace him. Bishop Hirata served until 1990.
When Bishop Hirata resigned as of Oct. 6, 1990, Bishop Hisajiro Matsunaga, who had been auxiliary bishop of Nagasaki, was appointed to succeed him. Bishop Matsunaga was installed on Jan. 15 of the following year. He passed away on June 2, 2006, before celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination on Dec. 22, 2006. During the vacancy of the episcopacy for about two years, Father Soichiro Kawakami served as the diocesan administrator.
On March 19, 2008, Bishop Ryoji Miyahara was appointed bishop of Fukuoka and installed on May 18, 2008.
Airplanes, railways, bus and ships are means of transportation in the diocesan territory.
Throughout Japan, literacy is 99 percent, according to the US Central Intelligence Agency in 2010.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.