Takashi Nagai

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was a physician specializing in radiology, a convert to Roman Catholicism, and a survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. His subsequent life of prayer and service earned him the affectionate title "saint of Urakami".


Takashi Nagai is born on 1908, February 3rd (February 2nd according to occidental time) after a difficult birth endangering his own and mother’s life. His family includes doctors. His father, Noboru Nagai, was trained in Western medicine; his paternal grandfather, Fumitaka Nagai, was a practitioner of traditional herbal medicine . His mother, Tsune, was the descendant of an old family of samurai. In Japanese, Takashi means “nobility”.

Nagai was raised in the rural area of Mitoya according to the teachings of Confucius and the Shinto religion. In 1920, he makes the secondary studies and has board and lodging at his cousins’ home, not far from Matsue. Occidental science and materialistic spirit are dominant among his professors. He becomes impregnated with the surrounding atheism.

In April 1928, he joins the Nagasaki Medical College. It was during these studies that he embarked upon the spiritual journey that leeds him from Shintoism to atheism to Catholicism. The university is located 500 meters from the Cathedral but he has faith in man, patriotic values, science and culture. He belongs to a group of poets and the university basketball team (he measures 1.71 m).

In 1930, a letter from his father announces him the...
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