Capital of Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyūshū. Its importance as a port dates from 1571, when it was opened to foreign trade at the request of the Portuguese. During the 200-year-long period of national seclusion, the island of Dejima, constructed in Nagasaki Bay in 1634-36, was the only port opened to foreign trade. In 1855-61, Japan's first modern shipbuilding yard, the Nagasaki Shipyards, was constructed here. On August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Destruction was almost total. The city has recovered since then as a center of shipbuilding and other industries. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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