is the capital and the largest city
Municipalities of Japan
Japan has three levels of government: national, prefectural, and municipal. The nation is divided into 47 prefectures. Each prefecture consists of numerous municipalities. There are four types of municipalities in Japan: cities, towns, villages and special wards...

 of Nagasaki Prefecture
Nagasaki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyūshū. The capital is the city of Nagasaki.- History :Nagasaki Prefecture was created by merging of the western half of the former province of Hizen with the island provinces of Tsushima and Iki...

 on the island of Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

 in Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. Nagasaki was founded by the Portuguese in the second half of the 16th century on the site of a small fishing village, formerly part of Nishisonogi District
Nishisonogi District, Nagasaki
is a district located in Nagasaki, Japan.As of January 1, 2009, the district has an estimated population of 72,238 and a density of 1460 persons per km²...

. It became a center of Portuguese and other European peoples' influence in the 16th
Nanban trade
The or the in Japanese history extends from the arrival of the first Europeans to Japan in 1543, to their near-total exclusion from the archipelago in 1614, under the promulgation of the "Sakoku" Seclusion Edicts.- Etymology :...

 through 19th centuries, and the Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki
Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki
Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki is a group of twenty-six sites in Nagasaki Prefecture relating to the history of Christianity in Japan. The Nagasaki churches are unique in the sense that each tells a story about the revival of Christianity after long period of official suppression.Proposed...

 have been proposed for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List
World Heritage Sites in Japan
Japan accepted the UNESCO World Heritage Convention on 30 June 1992. As of 27 June 2011, Sixteen properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List: twelve cultural sites and four natural sites...

. Part of Nagasaki was home to a major Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 base during the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

 and Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

 made Nagasaki the second and, to date, last city in the world to experience a nuclear attack.
A small fishing village secluded by harbours, Nagasaki enjoyed little historical significance until contact with European explorers in 1543 — among them, possibly, Fernão Mendes Pinto
Fernão Mendes Pinto
Fernão Mendes Pinto was a Portuguese explorer and writer. His exploits are known through the posthumous publication of his memoir Pilgrimage in 1614, an autobiographical work whose truthfulness is nearly impossible to assess...

 — when a Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 ship landed nearby in Tanegashima
is an island lying to the south of Kyushu, in southern Japan, and is part of Kagoshima Prefecture. The island is the second largest of the Ōsumi Islands....