In a land area of 2,276 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Kagoshima prefecture.
In the diocesan territory, the population is 1,432,871 at end of 2016. Most of them are ethnic Japanese. There are also 9,126 non-Japanese people, according to the Immigration Bureau of Japan.
The territory also has many languages/dialects.
On March 18, 1927, Okinawa prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture were separated from the Nagasaki diocese and became the prefecture apostolic of Kagoshima. In accord with the San Francisco Peace Treaty at the end of the Second World War, Okinawa prefecture and the Southern Islands of Kagoshima prefecture came under American military occupation. For this reason, Okinawa and the Southern Islands were separated from the prefecture apostolic of Kagoshima and came directly under the Holy See. They were entrusted to the American Capuchin Friars (New York Province) and became the administration apostolic of the Ryukyus. On Jan. 21, 1949, Father Felix Ley, O.F.M. Cap. was appointed administrator apostolic.
On May 8, 1955, Amamioshima and others of the Southern Islands were returned to Japan and became part of the diocese of Kagoshima.
On June 9, 1968, Monsignor Ley was consecrated bishop and became a member of the bishops' conference until his sudden death on Jan. 23, 1972.
In May 1972, Japan resumed sovereignty over Okinawa and on Dec. 18 that year the administration apostolic of Ryukyus was raised to the status of a diocese, becoming the diocese of Naha. On Feb. 11, 1973, Father Tadamaro Ishigami, O.F.M.Cap., was consecrated and became the first bishop of Naha.
On March 20, 1997, Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Bishop Ishigami, and appointed Father Toshio Oshikawa, to succeed him. He was consecrated bishop of Naha on May 25, 1997.
Airplanes, railways, buses and ships are in use in the diocesan territory.
Throughout Japan, literacy is 99 percent, according to the Central Intelligence Agency, US, report 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
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.
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.
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.
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.
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.