The Japanese Mission to Europe, 1582-1590: The Journey of Four Samurai Boys through Portugal, Spain and Italy (Hardback)Michael Cooper (author)
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 27/10/2005
- Not available
Following the pioneering work of Francis Xavier in establishing Christianity in Japan, his successor Alessandro Valignano, decided to send a legation to Europe representing the three Christian daimyo of Kyushu, southern Japan. It consisted of two Christian samurai boys who were chosen as legates, together with two teenage companions. The group set sail from Nagasaki in February 1582 and were to be away for eight years. The purpose of the mission was twofold: it would give Europeans the chance of seeing Japanese people at first hand and appreciating their culture, thereby publicising the work of the Catholic Church in Japan and so (it was hoped) increase much-needed financial support; and secondly on their return to Japan the envoys would give eyewitness reports of the splendours of Renaissance Europe, thus moderating Japanese notions about the outside world and foreign barbarians. The boys travelled through Portugal, Spain and Italy and were feted wherever they went. In Venice, the authorities even postponed the annual festival in honour of St Mark, the city's patron, so that the Japanese might view the spectacle. More importantly, the boys met Philip II of Spain several times, as well as Pope Gregory XIII and his successor Sixtus V. This is the first book-length study in English of the mission and provides important new insights into the work of the Jesuits in Japan and the nature of the legation's impact on late-sixteenth-century European perceptions of Japan.
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 581 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 30 mm
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