Studies on the Jesuit Japan Mission
(9,140 words)

Mayu Fujikawa

Last modified:  March 2017

Many scholarly investigations into the early history of Christianity in Japan focus on the Society of Jesus. Since Francis Xavier’s (1506–52) introduction of Christianity to Japan in 1549, the Jesuits had served as the sole progenitors of Christian missions on the islands until the Franciscans began preaching in 1593, followed by the Dominicans and Augustinians.1 Subsequently, the Edo government (1603–1867), which banned Christianity in 1613, expelled the missionaries and proceeded to persecute Christians, resulting in the demise of the mission. Yet the subject of Jesuit studies is perhaps too specialized for Japanese readers, most of whom are non-Christians. Hence, these studies are often buried within kirishitan or nanban research. Derived from the Portuguese word cristão, kirishitan refers to anything related to Japanese Catholics from the introduction of Christianity until the early years of the Meiji period (1868–1912). Meanwhile nanban literally means “southern barbarian” and denotes influences brought over by Europeans—especially Portuguese merchants and missionaries—during the age of explorations. The term is not considered derogatory in modern Japan; rather it indicates a foreign, exotic, and mysterious presence. In this essay, I survey some of the more valuable discussions on the topic of the Jesuits’ Japan mission, while tracing the development of research in economics, literature, the sciences, musicology, the visual arts, archaeology, and global studies.


Historiographical Overview: Early Histories to Post-1960 Studies

European writers provide the major early histories of the Jesuit Japan mission. Already in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Giovanni Pietro Maffei (1536–1603), Luis de Guzmán (1543–1605), and Daniello Bartoli (1608–85), all Jesuits, published their religious order’s “official” histories of the Japan mission.2 While the first two described the mission’s initial decades, Bartoli, writing much later, gave an account up to the 1640s. In spite of some errors, he made use of the Society’s unpublished documents in Rome and thus made available valuable material. Although these writers never visited Japan, the Jesuit Luís Fróis (1532–97) lived there for approximately thirty years. As requested by his superiors, he compiled the História de Japam (begun 1583), which contained abundant details of local politics and society.3 Fróis’s manuscript, however, remained in Macao and was never published until modern times.

Other influential texts were the extensive narratives by the Jesuits Jean Crasset (1618–92) and Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix (1682–1761).4 Originally written in French, the work of the former was translated into several languages, including Japanese in 1878.5 Translated under the Meiji government’s initiatives, Crasset’s text helped Japanese scholars to gain knowledge of the history of Christianity in Japan, a history that had been largely lost following nearly 250 years of seclusion. The shogunate had imposed the closure, although trading with the Dutch and the Chinese continued throughout this period.

By the time Léon Pagès (1814–86), a former French diplomat to China, and Louis Delplace, S.J. (1843–1928) wrote their books, Japan was already opened to the West.6 Pagès, unlike his predecessors, did not focus on the early history of the mission but described its difficult later period of martyrdom. He was inspired by the papacy’s decision to canonize in 1862 the Twenty-Six Martyrs (who had been put to death in Nagasaki in 1597) and to beatify 205 others in 1867. Meanwhile in 1865, Bernard Petitjean (1829–84), a missionary from the Missions Étrangères de Paris (hereafter MEP), “discovered” some kakure kirishitan (hidden Christians) who had secretly kept their faith for generations particularly in Kyushu. Since the Japanese government persecuted these Christians, Pagès wrote his book to increase European awareness and discourage such acts. Pagès and Delplace made more critical use of historical documents than Crasset and Charlevoix, whose texts few scholars today regard as relevant sources.7

On the other hand in Japan, Buddhist and Confucian scholars wrote anti-Christian texts during the Edo and early Meiji periods. The purpose of these writings was not to chronicle the mission’s history but to condemn Christianity in order to sustain social order and loyalty to the sovereign.8 Such texts sometimes refer to the Jesuits, albeit in passing and often erroneously. An anonymous writer’s Kirishitan monogatari (Tale of the Kirishitan, 1639 and 1665) is a fantastical narrative aimed at a popular audience, featuring the Italian Jesuit Organtino Gnecchi Soldo (1533–1609) as “a long-nosed goblin” with claws.9 As seen in the Samidare shō (1784) by the philosopher Miura Baien (1723–89), some texts repeatedly mention the defeat of the Japanese Jesuit Fukansai Habian (1565–1621) in a theological dispute and advance beliefs that the missionaries enticed the populace with money and magic to subjugate Japan.10

More objective studies emerged in modern Japan after the new Meiji government, succumbing to pressure from Western states, finally allowed Christianity to be practiced in 1873. The government endeavored to modernize Japan in order to be on equal terms with the Western states. One of the Japanese pioneers in the field during this period was Murakami Naojirō (1868–1966), who discovered a number of archival documents on the Tenshō and Keichō embassies, among others, during his trip to Europe between 1899 and 1902.11 The Tenshō delegation (1582–90), conceived by Alessandro Valignano (1539–1606), consisted of four young Japanese converts who traveled to Europe with their Jesuit chaperons; the Keichō embassy was a Franciscan enterprise.12 Murakami’s research was part of a larger political ambition of the Meiji government, which assiduously sent abroad Japanese elites and recruited foreign professionals in order to modernize the country. Among such foreigners was Ludwig Riess (1861–1928), Murakami’s mentor at Tokyo Imperial University (later The University of Tokyo). Riess introduced an empirical approach to historical documents, a method practiced by the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886).

From the beginning of the twentieth century, the German source-based methodology ignited further archival discoveries and critical studies supported by documentary evidence. Georg Schurhammer, S.J. (1882–1971), who worked at the Jesuit Historical Institute in Rome, published Francis Xavier’s letters and monumental biography.13 In regards to the mission, Schurhammer’s influential studies during the 1920s discussed the Jesuits’ views of Shinto, as well as Francis Xavier and his followers’ decision to employ “Deus” and other European words for proselytization.14 Particularly, Schurhammer made a paramount discovery—part of a copy of Fróis’s História de Japam; the original was lost during a fire in 1835.15 Dorotheus Schilling, OFM (1886–1950) found other parts of Fróis’s text in the early 1930s.16 Schilling also established a firm foundation for several areas of study, such as the Jesuits’ seminary administration, book productions, and reports on the Ainu of Hokkaido.17

Another prominent German scholar was Josef Franz Schütte, S.J. (1906–81), also a researcher at the Jesuit Historical Institute, who discovered a series of important sources. In 1937, he found the Compendium, a Latin textbook that the Jesuit Pedro Gómez (1535–1600) had completed for seminaries in 1593.18 Fróis’s Tratado, in which the author compared Japanese and European customs, was also Schütte’s finding.19 In addition, his publications on the history and descriptions of the Japan mission’s archival materials, including the Jesuits’ personnel records, provided significant tools for researchers.20 Schütte’s most celebrated contributions are, above all, his document-based analyses of Valignano’s mission policies.21

In Japan, scholars who had begun writing about the history of Japanese Christianity did so based on European studies. These scholars supplemented their work with Japanese sources, which were scarce owing to the long period of persecution. Anesaki Masaharu (1873–1949), in his five critical volumes from the 1920s and 1930s, utilized the studies of Pagès and Charlevoix as well as Schurhammer’s German translation of Fróis’s História de Japam, while integrating Japanese materials on the underground Christians.22 An exception was Okamoto Yoshitomo (1900–72), who consulted original documents in Europe for his study on Luso-Japanese trade, including the Jesuits’ commercial transactions.23

One particular scholar to note is Ebisawa Arimichi (1910–92), who analyzed the subject of Christianity in Japan within its own historical contexts, rather than within the framework of the church’s missionary history. Beginning in the 1950s, Ebisawa explored the continual impact of southern Europeans (hence not necessarily the Dutch) in the modernization of Japan.24 According to Ebisawa, the Jesuits introduced modern sciences to Japan; even during the period of seclusion, advanced knowledge on astronomy and other fields was conveyed via books written by Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) and his followers in China. The importation of such ideas helped the Japanese to cultivate objective, scientific methodologies and eventually to abandon their seclusionist policy. Ebisawa also concluded that the Jesuits’ introduction of Catholicism instigated conflicts within Japanese society and traced the shifting relationship between Christianity and Buddhism, Shintoism, and Confucianism, as their significance in Japan changed over the years.25

Westerners who lived in Japan also contributed to the reconstruction of bygone Christian memories by collecting and investigating early source material. Ernest Mason Satow (1843–1929), a British diplomat who lived in Japan during 1862–83, tracked down some of the texts printed by the Jesuits with a movable type press, which the Tenshō embassy had brought back to Japan in 1590.26 Following in Satow’s footsteps, Johannes Laures, S.J. (1891–1959), a professor of economics who came to Japan in 1928, founded the Kirishitan Bunko Library at Sophia University in Tokyo, where he collected the Jesuits’ early printed materials and other items related to Japanese Christianity.27 His catalogue, with new sources, is now available online. Charles Boxer (1904–2000) worked as a British language officer for the Japanese army in 1930–33 and was later imprisoned by the Japanese in Hong Kong during WWII. In 1951, he published The Christian Century, a seminal survey, which drew on original sources located in the British Museum and the Ajuda Library.28 Hubert Cieslik (1914–98), a German Jesuit who resided in Japan since 1934 (he survived the atomic bombing while in Hiroshima), viewed the development of Japanese Christianity as a consequence of the collaboration and interactions between Europeans and the Japanese. Cieslik uncovered the lives of hitherto forgotten Japanese Jesuits, such as Kibe Kasui (1587–1639), who had visited Jerusalem and Rome. Cieslik also investigated European and Japanese sources to reconstruct the history of Christianity (especially the Jesuit mission) in Hiroshima and Okayama in relation to the local feudal powers.29 Other contributors included José Luis Álvarez-Taladriz (1910–95), Diego Pacheco, S.J. (or Yūki Ryōgo, 1922–2008), and Juan Ruiz de Medina (1927–2000) who researched the history of Christianity in Nagasaki and other important historical documents (I introduce some studies from these scholars later in this essay).

During the 1960s, a new phase emerged in the study of the Jesuits’ Japan mission with the opening of the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (hereafter ARSI) to scholars outside the Society. One of the earliest Japanese scholars who took advantage of this situation was Matsuda Kiichi (1921–97). In 1964, he compiled an updated inventory of historical materials in the archives and libraries of Italy (including ARSI), Portugal, Spain, UK, and Macao.30 From the 1970s, Matsuda, together with Kawasaki Momota and others, translated into Japanese Fróis’s História de Japam as well as the annual letters and other Jesuit correspondences, such as those printed in the Cartas que os padres e irmãos da Companhia de Iesus (Évora, 1598).31 With these monumental translations, Matsuda (also a prolific writer), along with other researchers in the field, contributed to a wider recognition of kirishitan studies among both scholars of Japanese history and the general public. When Matsuda embarked upon his research circa 1940, the subject was regarded as somewhat eccentric in Japan.32

With access to ARSI, researchers took greater notice of the differences in content between the missionaries’ hand-written original letters and their printed versions (not to mention the Jesuits’ official histories), where the editors had removed or revised unflattering descriptions in order to maintain a positive public image of the Society.33 Takase Kōichirō, for example, made extensive use of unpublished documents to reveal the more secular concerns of the mission, such as monetary needs and internal conflicts.34 He investigated the expenditures, debts, and revenues of the Jesuits in Japan and clarified the amount and cost of raw silk, the main product that they imported from Macao. Takase further examined the diverse tasks of the procurador (who took care of the mission’s finances), one of which was the shipment of investors’ silver from Nagasaki to Macao in order to purchase commodities.35 According to Takase, the Jesuits often consigned their commercial transactions to trusted merchants, remaining discreetly behind the scenes of such proceedings. In addition, he documented the discussions on the military alliance with Japan and its potential conquest. Other discussions included the disagreements among the Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish Jesuits due to their national identities and the bitter feelings among members of the India, Japan, and China missions. Takase, moreover, researched the missionaries’ accusations of their superior’s failure to forestall the Tokugawa government’s anti-Christian policy and a suspected love affair (!) of the Jesuit João Rodrigues Tçuzu (c.1561–c.1634).

Gonoi Takashi also explored numerous manuscripts at ARSI to clarify the mission’s political and administrative strategies. According to Gonoi, some Jesuits, despite the opposition of others, sought to arrange military aid for Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s invasions of Korea and hoped they would be protracted so that he would continue to need the armies of Christian daimyō (feudal lords).36 Gonoi examined how the Jesuits subsequently adapted themselves to the Tokugawa shoguns’ shifting policies towards Christians.37 He commented on the requirements made by superiors for the European Jesuits who were allowed to stay in Japan during the time of persecution; they had to be young, fluent in Japanese, and not overweight should they need to flee. Yet those who had actually kept the mission going during the difficult times were Japanese assistants, such as dōjuku and kanbō (they originally helped the European fathers and cleaned the churches). Gonoi explained that the roles of these Japanese increased as the Europeans found themselves unable to evangelize openly in Japan.

Apart from the aforementioned researchers, an institution that greatly contributed to the study of the Japan mission was the Kirishitan Bunka Kenkyūkai (Association for the Study of Christian Culture) at Sophia University, Tokyo. In 1939, Murakami, Anesaki, Yamamoto Shinjirō (1877–1942), and Yanagiya Takeo (1904–90) played a central role in founding the association, which Cieslik administered after 1959. Other participants included Laures, Kōda Shigetomo (1873–1954), Urakawa Wasaburō (1876–1955), Ōta Masao (1885–1945), and Kataoka Yakichi (1908–80). Beginning in 1942, the association published important scholarly articles and books through its Kirishitan Kenkyū and Kirishitan Bunka Kenkyūkai Kaihō series.

Another significant research center for the study of the Japanese Jesuit mission is CHAM (Centro de História d’Aquém e d’Além-Mar) in Lisbon. The organization publishes the Bulletin of Portuguese/Japanese Studies, which contains a number of articles on the mission written in English. Recently, CHAM undertook an international project to explore both texts and visual arts to discern how the Jesuits (mis)understood Japanese Buddhism and their interactions with Buddhists. The team investigated how the Jesuits differentiated between Japanese and Indian subcontinental Buddhism, Zen and other Buddhist sects, and their traditions in Kyoto and Kyushu.38

Main Research Areas: Administration to Archaeology

Discussed below are some of the principle subjects in the study of the Jesuits in Japan. Regarding the well-known accommodation policy of Alessandro Valignano, a key player in the mission, an increasing number of publications complemented Schütte’s seminal volumes, which only cover the years up to 1582.39 Impressive are Valignano’s and other Jesuits’ keen observations of Japanese society and its beliefs, such as Shintoism and Buddhism, as exemplified by the studies of Schurhammer and Michael Cooper, S.J.40 While non-European perspectives are sometimes missing from cross-cultural studies, Hino Hiroshi approached the topic from both cultural sides.41 He provided the Japanese historical contexts behind some peculiar practices regarding names and titles that the European missionaries had been obliged to follow.

Of great interest is the mission’s administration of local religious life. The Kirishitan Bunka Kenkyūkai published several studies on the students, teachers, and curriculum, as well as the locations of seminaries and other educational institutions.42 Okada Akio (1908–82) studied how the Jesuits converted the poor and farmers from the perspective of their daily life.43 Jesús López-Gay, S.J. explored the manner in which the missionaries had introduced Christian feast days and rites, such as baptism, and adjusted the practice of marriage and other moral aspects of life for the Japanese Christians.44 At the same time, it remains challenging for modern scholars to evaluate just how well Japanese Christians actually understood their new religion. Ide Katsumi noticed that the Jesuits only taught the rudimentary basics of religious and philosophical ideas to Japanese seminary students and missionaries.45 Higashibaba Ikuo focused on ordinary lay followers, observing that they incorporated a partial rendition of Christianity within their traditional social practices.46 João Paulo Oliveira e Costa illustrated that the Japanese played an active role within confraternities, whereas in the Portuguese colonies, European authorities monopolized the administration of such lay institutions.47 Kawamura Shinzō investigated the move of such confraternities into underground organizations during the time of persecutions.48

Many biographical studies focused on major figures in the mission, as seen in Michael Cooper’s fundamental work on João Rodrigues Tçuzu.49 On the other hand, more studies into minor missionaries, such as Yūki Ryōgo’s research on Giacomo Antonio Giannone (1577–1633), provide a fuller picture of the mission.50 With regard to the Japanese, ever since the 1904 survey of Christian daimyō by Michael Steichen (1857–1929), a MEP missionary, many works appeared on such elites.51 In particular, Takayama Ukon (c.1552–1615) attracted monographic treatment as an exemplary Christian samurai.52 A recent study has helped to reinterpret the negative image of Konishi Yukinaga (1558–1600), which was established during the anti-Christian centuries.53 The studies on these powerful samurai and Kibe Kasui are often part of their local region’s promotional campaign (in the case of Ukon, to encourage the Church to proceed with beatification, which was finally bestowed in 2016).54 Much research has featured Kibe and other (future) missionaries who traveled abroad, the blind lute player Lorenzo Ryōsai (1526–92), the apostates Fukansai Habian and Tomas Araki (?–1649?), and the wealthy merchant-patron Hibiya Ryōkei (?–?). No less significant are studies on Christian women who pursued their faith in close relationship with the male-only Society, such as Lady Hosokawa Gracia (1563–1600) and Naitō Julia (c.1566–1627), a convent founder in Kyoto.55

Additional missionaries and commoners are to be found in studies of Jesuit and other martyrs, many of which emphasize their glorious deeds. The Jesuits Nicolas Trigault (1577–1628), António Francisco Cardim (1596–1659), and Cornelius Hazart (1617–90) reported, with graphic illustrations, diverse tortures that the martyrs had faced.56 Centuries later, Aimé Villion (1843–1932), another MEP missionary, narrated the forgotten history of martyrdom for Japanese readers and defended Catholicism as true Christianity against the Protestants who began proselytizing in Japan.57 In modern Japan, Kataoka Yakichi’s publication is a classic for its thoroughness and depth of research.58 Juan Ruiz de Medina compiled archival documents on the martyrs.59

One important genre is the linguistic and literary study of the mission press’ texts, which became popular in Japan after Satow’s publication. While printing in Japanese, the Jesuits employed either rōmaji (Latin script) or Japanese characters (hiragana, katakana, kanji), depending on types of readership: e.g., European missionaries learning Japanese or the native converts and prospective candidates. While in London from 1908, Shinmura Izuru (1876–1967), a renowned compiler of the Kōjien (one of the most authoritative Japanese dictionaries), hand-copied and transliterated the Isopo monogatari (Amakusa, 1593), a rōmaji edition of Aesop’s Fables.60 Shinmura’s many publications on this and other texts encouraged further studies in the field. Following Satow and Basil Hall Chamberlain (1850–1935), who was a philology professor at Tokyo Imperial University, Hashimoto Shinkichi (1882–1945) studied the mission’s transliteration system during the 1920s.61 He used the romanization of Japanese words to analyze their medieval pronunciations and explained some words that are no longer used or have different meanings and forms today.62 Hence the kirishitan texts are valuable sources for the history of the Japanese language. Doi Tadao (1900–95) investigated and translated the mission press’ publications of dictionaries and literary works to clarify the Jesuits’ systematization of the Japanese grammar and their effort to study the language.63 Tominaga Makita (1903–96) and others analyzed the papers, fonts (i.e. italics), and typography that the Jesuits used—for example, ligature, the balancing of kanji and kana characters, and the insertion of a small space between two glyphs.64

Especially since the 1980s, scholars extensively compared the European originals with their Japanese editions.65 Translators sometimes had to change the format and contents of a text and add more explanations to make it accessible to Japanese readers, not to mention choosing the most appropriate words. How should the Jesuits translate “to kiss” (as Judas did to Christ) when the Japanese had no tradition of kissing as a form of salutation? Of course, the Jesuits avoided any improper expression.66

Although not as popular as the mission press’ publications, another important topic of research in literature is the haiyasho (anti-Christian texts). Especially the pro- and anti-Christian writings of Fukansai Habian attracted scholars’ attention. When Habian was still a Jesuit, he composed the Myōtei mondō (Myōtei dialogue, 1605) to defend Christianity. But he denounced it in the Ha daiusu (Deus destroyed, 1620) after reverting to Buddhism. Ebisawa, George Elison, Kiri Paramore, and others analyzed the ideas of Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism, and Confucianism in these texts and the relationship between them.67

Recently, more studies have appeared in the sciences. In the field of medicine, a classic study is Ebisawa’s survey of the Jesuits’ establishment of hospitals in Japan.68 Meanwhile Koga Jūjirō (1879–1954), a prominent scholar of Nagasaki history, examined the influence of European medicine within the city’s intellectual communities. Koga noted that Christovão Ferreira’s (1580–1650) students and their apprentices became renowned physicians in Nagasaki, some of them serving the Tokugawa government.69 Ferreira, a Portuguese Jesuit who committed apostasy after five hours of torture by suspension in a pit, was cognizant of Western medicine. In cosmology, the two most important Jesuit texts are the De sphaera in Gómez’s tripartite Compendium and the Kenkon bensetsu (Critical treatise on heavens and earth,c.1650). The latter is a commentary by the Confucianist physician Mukai Genshō (1609–77), which, according to his preface, was based on Ferreira’s translation of a European book. In these writings, Hiraoka Ryūji detected ideas of the astronomer Christopher Clavius (1538–1612) and the natural philosopher Francisco Titelmans (1502–37).70  Yoshida Tadashi and José Miguel Pinto dos Santos identified the ideas that Genshō accepted as well as those he rejected in Western cosmology.71

In music and drama, Ebisawa, beginning in the 1940s, and more extensively in a later publication, narrated how the Jesuits introduced liturgical chants and mystery plays in Japan.72 Between Ebisawa’s two studies was López-Gay’s detailed archival research, which related the missionaries’ use of music in Goa and Japan to the Society’s official dictums in Rome.73 On the other hand, Minagawa Tatsuo reconstructed and recorded audio of kirishitan musical pieces, such as funerary and other liturgical chants that the Jesuits had included in their Manuale ad sacramenta ecclesiae ministranda (Manual for administering church sacraments; Nagasaki, 1605).74 It is the only surviving text that contains kirishitan scores from Japan’s so-called Christian Century. Minagawa also suggested that Japanese followers of the Society had used the Yasokyō shakyō, a booklet that records Marian chant lyrics.75

In terms of architecture and the visual arts, Okamoto Yoshitomo explained the Japanese characteristics of the Jesuit churches and residences and, like many others, discussed the teaching of Western-style painting by the Italian Jesuit Giovanni Cola (or Niccolò, 1560–1626) at the Jesuit seminary.76 More recently, Gauvin Alexander Bailey explained various artistic activities of the school to a wider English readership and attributed many works to Cola’s followers.77 Bailey’s influential book stimulated further art historical studies on the topic. Alexandra Curvelo proposed that copying a European sacred image was a spiritual exercise for the seminary students.78 Wakakuwa Midori related the Madonna and Child paintings with images of Francis Xavier and Ignatius of Loyola (c.1491–1556) to the religious exercise of meditation as explained in one of the Jesuit press publications.79 Her research also included their hitherto understudied print illustrations. Kotani Noriko discussed Jesuit art in Japan as an independent subject, not traditionally within nanban art.80 Kojima Yukie explored the post-Tridentine significance of the Madonna of the Snows, which is attributed to one of Cola’s Japanese students.81 In such studies, a typical methodology involves looking for European prototypes of the Japanese productions. The studies of Grace Vlam, Rose Marie San Juan, and Mia Mochizuki situated the images within the global circulations of art objects by the Portuguese and Jesuits as they traveled between Europe and Japan.82 Despite such worthy research, more work is needed, especially careful investigations into archival documents, such as inventories, not to mention fieldwork in extant collections regarding lacquerware and other objects that the Jesuits produced and exported to Europe.83 Their designs, as well as functions and use in social contexts (i.e. gift exchanges) should be clarified.

Complementing the textual and visual studies are the increasing archaeological discoveries. These findings are collectively identified as kirishitan remains, but some of them are related to the Jesuit mission. In 1973, archaeologists discovered what appears to be a foundation stone of the Jesuits’ church in Kyoto and an ink stone inscribed with images of two figures who appear to be missionaries.84 In 1985, Matsuda Kiichi linked an unearthed wooden plate, which contained the inscription “Pe. seruso sama,” to the Italian Jesuit Confalonieri Celso (?–1627).85 From the area where was once located the Takatsuki Castle of Takayama Ukon and his Catholic father, researchers in 1998 found corpses and rosary beads inside coffins (one of them was marked with a special form of the cross).86 In 2001, excavators working in Ōita City unearthed Christians’ tombs from a district where the Jesuits had built their church and hospital. In the same city, archaeologists found some medai (medals) among the soil strata that were dated to the 1570s–87, which is to say, the period before the arrival of other religious orders in Japan.87


Future Suggestions: Transcriptions to Translations

The scholarly effort to transcribe and analyze archival materials that are scattered across the world remains a vital project. During the 1980s, Takase Kōichirō translated into Japanese a number of the Jesuits’ unpublished papers and, more recently, the documents related to Japan and its mission in the Livros das Monções (Books of the Monsoons).88 Matsuda Kiichi and his collaborators reproduced and translated the Jesuit letters and reports in the collection of the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies.89 Between 1990 and 1995, Juan Ruiz de Medina published Francis Xavier and other missionaries’ correspondences dated 1547–62.90 One may, moreover, consult the aforementioned publications by Schütte and Matsuda, Joseph Wicki’s multi-volume works, and Obrara Satoru’s inventory of ARSI’s Jap.Sin. collection.91 Conveniently, the reproductions of the collection’s documents are preserved in the Kirishitan Bunko Library and the Ricci Institute at the University of San Francisco. The Tōkyo Daigaku Hensajo (The Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo), which also published selected manuscripts on the Jesuit mission, contains microfilms of kirishitan documents in Europe and elsewhere.92

A fresh reassessment is needed on the degree to which the Jesuits’ transmission of information influenced Japanese society. Since the Japan mission was short-lived, it is commonly believed that the impact of the Jesuits was evanescent. Some studies, however, indicate that Jesuit influence continued throughout the Edo period and beyond. Newly found copies of the Nigi ryakusetsu (a revision of Gómez’s De sphaera), Kenkon bensetsu, and other Japanese texts about European cosmology reveal that knowledge of this field, if not freely available, was more widely circulated during that period than previously considered.93 Similarly, some intellectuals managed to read and copy the Seiyō kibun (c.1715) by Arai Hakuseki (1657–1725), a renowned Confucianist, which was not meant for general dissemination.94 The text included an account of Luso-Spanish royal succession, which Hakuseki obtained from the writings of Giuseppe Chiara (1602–85), an Italian ex-Jesuit apostate. Moreover, Edo Japan produced several editions of Aesop’s Fables, which the mission press had originally introduced to the country.95 The literature survived, owing to it being unrelated to Christian teachings.

The persistence of Jesuit teachings among the underground Christians remains a fascinating topic. During the Meiji period, it became known that they had been secretly keeping copies of the Konchirisan no ryaku, which the Jesuits had originally printed in 1603.96 In addition, the crypto-Christians on the Ikitsuki Island had been traditionally singing orasho (oration or prayer) pieces that contained a number of phrases from the mission press’ publications.97 What is more, certain iconographical traces of the Salus populi Romani are still observable in the hanging scroll images of the Madonna and Child on the island.98 Other than these examples, scholars have searched for Jesuit impact on mathematics99 and music,100 as well as architectural and garden designs.101 Though at times the results are inconclusive or lack credible evidence, they offer salient directions for reconsideration of the mission’s enduring effects.

In turn, it is necessary to clarify how Jesuit information shaped Europe’s perception of Japan and how its image shifted over the time. Ana Fernandes Pinto studied the Jesuits’ descriptions of Japanese society and customs in the Cartas.102 Peter Kapitza and João Paulo Oliveira e Costa provided the vast quantity of Jesuit and other texts on Japan, which scholars may productively use to analyze its imagery and reception.103 How did Europeans consume the Jesuit letters and other writings on Japan? What was filtered, repeated, or added during such a process?104 It is well understood that the Jesuits’ information contributed to updating cartographic and geographic studies.105 Increasingly popular (though still understudied) are Japan-themed theatrical plays that the Jesuits performed at their schools and elsewhere even after the demise of the mission.106

An examination of the mission within East and South Asian contexts (not necessarily Eurocentric) is also much needed. Oka Mihoko’s analysis concluded that many Jesuits and merchants in Asia were conversos (Jewish converts and their descendants) who financially supported the mission.107 In fact, the Japan mission was not solely about evangelism within the country. One critical study is Takase Kōichirō’s archival research on the finances and administration of St. Paul’s College in Macao, which Valignano established in 1594 as part of the Japan mission.108 Takase studied how the college, despite its original goal to train both Japanese and European missionaries to preach in Japan and China, gradually placed less emphasis and value on developing Japanese clergy. Since the Japanese students, according to Takase, did not show much progress in their study to become priests, the Jesuits focused their educational efforts on Europeans instead. He also investigated the history of the short-lived Jesuit seminary in Macao for Japanese students who had fled their homeland to avoid persecutions. Recently, Liam Brockey described the concerns of Visitor André Palmeiro (1569–1635), who remained in Macao, over sending money and other support to his clandestine colleagues in Japan.109 More studies are particularly desirable on the mission’s ventures into South Asian locales—such as Tonkin, Cochin, Cambodia, and Siam—after the expulsion of missionaries from Japan.110

Further research that situates the Jesuits’ Japan mission within their global network of information and material exchange would also be welcome. Noteworthy are the interactions on both sides of the Pacific Ocean and beyond. The Jesuits in Japan were not only involved in the silk trade with Macao; superintended by Valignano, they also acquired commodities in India with the silver of Spanish merchants from Peru.111 In addition, Father Diego de Mesquita in Nagasaki (who had accompanied the Tenshō embassy to Europe) collected botanical specimens from Portugal, Manila, and the Americas.112 One may also note that while José de Acosta (1539–1600), who had preached in Peru and Mexico, collected information through Jesuit letters from Japan; Valignano used Acosta’s writing to defend the Society’s evangelization policy.113 The seventeenth-century Jesuits to New France were, moreover, aware of the earlier Japanese mission and called their Amerindian lay assistants dogiques after the word dōjuku; the term dojicos was also used in the Vietnamese mission.114 Thus a comprehensive investigation that focuses on the Japan mission’s connectedness to various parts of the world is desirable.

Global studies enable us to understand the Japan mission’s characteristics from broader perspectives (though such studies should not undermine the value of microhistory). Researchers have discussed the mission within Iberian overseas expansions or compared it with other missions around the world.115 Among the Japanese, such a geographically extensive approach became prominent especially following the publications of the Daikōkai Jidai Sōsho (the age of exploration series) from the publisher Iwanami Shoten between the 1960s and 1990s, which included European explorers and writers’ accounts of Japan and other parts of the world.116 As for the future, it would be beneficial if researchers could trace the interconnections and differences among the Jesuit seminaries and colleges in Japan, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Perhaps what should be encouraged is an international collaboration, which goes beyond just the publication of an anthology with separate studies. Discussions of the shared knowledge of each specialized field will advance Jesuit studies beyond their more parochial neighborhood.

Since effective cross-cultural studies are contingent upon multilingual reading skills, the challenges of working with primary and secondary texts written in diverse languages merits our attention. As Japan is often said to be “honyaku tengoku (translation heaven),” a number of letters and other writings by the Jesuits have been translated from European languages into Japanese, often with extensive annotations. In contrast, relatively few texts have been translated into English, though recently some publications have been added to the short list.117 Although the significance of consulting the original texts should not be understated, the scholarly community would benefit if many more writings, especially Fróis’s História de Japam, were available in English.118 While Hino Hiroshi recently published his Portuguese translation of selective studies by Takase Kōichirō, a number of critical analyses in Japanese still remain inaccessible to readers who lack the relevant language skills.119 Within the restricted space of this essay, I have endeavored to introduce as many Japanese-written studies as possible as references for further research into the rich and complex history of the Jesuits’ activity and influence in Japan.


For more bibliographical information, consult Boston College Jesuit Bibliography: The New Sommervogel Online (NSO).



^ Back to text1. I extend my gratitude to Alexandra Curvelo, Hino Hiroshi, Kawaguchi Atsuko, Kume Junko, Christina H. Lee, and Mia M. Mochizuki. For the Japanese, I have maintained the usual protocol of placing family names first. For English introductions to the history of the Jesuits’ Japan mission, see M. Antoni J. Üçerler, “The Jesuit Enterprise in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Japan,” in The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits, ed. Thomas Worcester (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 15368; Mark R. Mullins, ed., Critical Readings on Christianity in Japan, vol. 1, Christianity in Early Modern Japan (Leiden: Brill, 2015). Indispensable are Donald F. Lach’s volumes of Asia in the Making of Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 196593).

^ Back to text2. Giovanni Pietro Maffei, Le istorie delle Indie orientali (Florence, 1589); Luis de Guzmán, Historia de las missiones que han hecho los religiosos de la Compañia de Iesus (Alcalá, 1601); Daniello Bartoli’s volumes of l’Asia and il Giappone in Dell’historia della Compagnia di Giesu (Rome, 1653–60).

^ Back to text3. Luís Fróis, História de Japam, ed. Josef Wicki, 5 vols. (Lisbon: Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa, 1976–84).

^ Back to text4. Jean Crasset, Histoire de l’Eglise du Japon, 2 vols. (Paris, 1689); Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix, Histoire de l’établissement, des progrès, et de la décadence du Christianisme dans l’empire du Japon, 3 vols. (Rouen, 1715).

^ Back to text5. Jean Crasset, Nihon saikyōshi 日本西教史, trans. Dajōkan Translation Department 太政官翻訳係, 2 vols. (Tokyo, 1878).

^ Back to text6. Léon Pagès, Histoire de la religion chrétienne au Japon depuis 1598 jusqu’à 1651, comprenant les faits relatifs aux deux cent cinq martyrs béatifiés le 7 juillet 1867, 2 vols. (Paris, 1869–70); Louis Delplace, Le catholicisme au Japon, 2 vols. (Bruxelles: Libr. A. Dewit, 1909–10).

^ Back to text7. See, for example, Hubert Cieslik, Geibi kirishitan shiryō 芸備キリシタン史料  (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan 吉川弘文館, 1968), 273–74.

^ Back to text8. Kiri Paramore, Anti-Christian Discourse and Statist Ideology in Japan 1600–1900 (London: Routledge, 2008).

^ Back to text9. Translated in George Elison, Deus Destroyed, 3rd ed. (1973; repr., Cambridge: The Council on East Asian Studies at Harvard University, 1991), 321.

^ Back to text10. Miura Baien 三浦梅園, Samidare shō 五月雨抄, in Baien zenshū 梅園全集  (Tokyo: Kōdōkan 弘道館, 1912), 1: 977–1012. On the reiteration of certain details in anti-Christian texts, see Kyō Tokujirō 京篤二郎, ed., Yaso shūmon kongenki 耶蘇宗門根元記 (Nagoya: Nagoya Kirishitan Bunka Kenkūkai 名古屋キリシタン文化研究会, 1994).

^ Back to text11. Murakami Naojirō 村上直次郎, “Gaikō shiryō saihō roku 外交史料採訪録,” Kirishitan Kenkyū キリシタン研究 12 (1967): 45101.

^ Back to text12. The studies on the Tenshō and Keichō embassies will be reviewed in my forthcoming book on their visual representations.

^ Back to text13. Epistolae S. Francisci Xaverii aliaque eius scripta, ed. Georg Schurhammer and Josef Wicki, 2 vols. (1944–45; repr., Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1996); Schurhammer, Franz Xaver: Sein Leben und seine Zeit, 4 vols. (Freiburg: Herder, 1955–73). For English translations, see Francis Xavier: His Life, His Times, trans. M. Joseph Costelloe, 4 vols. (Rome, Jesuit Historical Institute, 1973–82); The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier, trans. Costelloe (St. Louis: The Institute for Jesuit Sources, 1992).

^ Back to text14. Georg Schurhammer, Shin-tō, der Weg der Götter in Japan (Bonn: K. Schroeder, 1923); Schurhammer, Das kirchliche Sprachproblem in der japanischen Jesuitenmission des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts (Tokyo: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens, 1928).

^ Back to text15. Luís Fróis, Die Geschichte Japans, 1549–1578, ed. and trans. Georg Schurhammer and Ernst Arthur Voretzsch (Leipzig: Verlag der Asia Major, 1926).

^ Back to text16. Dorotheus Schilling, “Neue Funde zur História de Japão von P. Luis Froes, S.J.,” Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft 23 (1933): 337–43.

^ Back to text17. Dorotheus Schilling, Das Schulwesen der Jesuiten in Japan (1551–1614) (Münster: Regensbergdchen Buchdruckerei, 1931); Schilling, “Christliche Druckerein in Japan, 1590–1614,” Gutenberg Jahrbuch 15 (1940): 356–95; Schilling, “Il contributo dei missionari cattolici nei secoli XVI e XVIII alla conoscenza dell’isola di Ezo e degli Ainu,” in Le missioni cattoliche e la cultura dell’Oriente, ed. C. Costantini et al. (Rome: Cuore di Maria, 1943), 139–214.

^ Back to text18. Pedro Gómez, Compendium catholicae veritatis, ed. Kirishitan Bunko Library, Sophia University 上智大学キリシタン文庫, 3 vols. (Tokyo: Ōzorasha 大空社, 1997).

^ Back to text19. Josef Franz Schütte, Kulturgegensätze Europa-Japan (1585) (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1955).

^ Back to text20. Josef Franz Schütte, Documentos sobre el Japón conservados en la Colección “Cortes” de la Real Academia de la Historia (Madrid: Maestre, 1961); Schütte, El “Archivo del Japón”; Vicisitudes del archivo jesuítico del Extremo Oriente y descripción del fondo existente en la Real Academia de la Historia de Madrid (Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia, 1964); Schütte, Introductio ad historiam Societatis Jesu in Japonia, 1549–1650 (Rome: Institum Historicum Societatis Jesu, 1968); Schütte, Monumenta historica Japoniae (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1975).

^ Back to text21. Josef Franz Schütte, Valignanos Missionsgrundsätze für Japan, 2 vols. (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1951–58); for English translation, see Valignano’s Mission Principles for Japan, trans. John J. Coyne, 2 vols. (Saint Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1985).

^ Back to text22. Anesaki Masaharu 姉崎正治, Kirishitan shūmon no hakugai to senpuku 切支丹宗門の迫害と潜伏 (1925), Kirishitan kinsei no shūmatsu 切支丹禁制の終末 (1926), Kirishitan dendō no kōhai 切支丹傳道の興廢 (1930), Kirishitan hakugaishichū no jinbutsu jiseki 切支丹迫害史中の人物事蹟 (1930), Kirishitan shūkyō bungaku 切支丹宗敎文学 (1932), all published by Dōbunkan 同文館, Tokyo. On Anesaki’s sources, see C. R. Boxer, The Christian Century in Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1951), viii; Miyazaki Kentarō 宮崎賢太郎, “Saikin no kirishitan kenkyū dōko 最近のキリシタン研究動向,” Tōkyō Daigaku Shūkyōgaku Nenpō 東京大学宗教学年報 2 (1985): 86–87.

^ Back to text23. Okamoto Yoshitomo 岡本良知, Jūrokuseiki nichi-ō kōtsūshi no kenkyū 十六世紀日歐交通史の研究 (Tokyo: Kōbunsō 弘文荘, 1936).

^ Back to text24. Ebisawa Arimichi 海老沢有道, Nanban gakutō no kenkyū 南蛮学統の研究, rev. ed. (1958; repr., Tokyo: Sōbunsha 創文社, 1978).

^ Back to text25. Ebisawa Arimichi 海老沢有道, Nihon kirishitanshi 日本キリシタン史 (Tokyo: Hanawa Shobō 塙書房, 1966).

^ Back to text26. Ernest Mason Satow, The Jesuit Mission Press in Japan, 1591–1610 (Tokyo: privately printed, 1888).

^ Back to text27. Johannes Laures, Kirishitan Bunko 吉利支丹文庫, 3rd ed. (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1957).

^ Back to text28. Boxer, Christian Century, vii.

^ Back to text29. Hubert Cieslik, Kirishitan jinbutsu no kenkyū: Hōjin shisai no maki キリシタン人物の研究: 邦人司祭の卷 (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan 吉川弘文館, 1963); Cieslik, Geibi kirishitan.

^ Back to text30. Matsuda Kiichi 松田毅一, Zai nan’ō nihon kankei monjo saihōroku 在南欧日本関係文書採訪錄 (Tenri: Yōtokusha 養德社, 1964).

^ Back to text31. Luís Fróis, Furoisu nihonshi フロイス日本史, trans. Matsuda Kiichi 松田毅一 and Kawasaki Momota 川崎桃太, 12 vols. (Tokyo: Chūō Kōronsha 中央公論社, 1977–80); Matsuda, ed., Jūroku-shichiseiki iezusukai nihon hōkokushū 十六・七世紀イエズス会日本報告集, 15 vols. (Tokyo: Dōhōsha 同朋舎, 1987–97).

^ Back to text32. Ide Katsumi 井手勝美, “Matsuda Kiichi sensei wo shinobite 松田毅一先生を偲びて,” in Nanbangaku no hakken: Matsuda Kiichi sensei no tsuitō to sokuseki 南蛮学の発見: 松田毅一先生の追悼と足跡 (Kyoto: Shibunkaku 思文閣, 1997), 47–48.

^ Back to text33. Miyazaki, “Saikin no kirishitan kenkyū,” 86–89; Gonoi Takashi 五野井隆史, Nihon kirishitanshi no kenkyū 日本キリシタン史の研究 (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan 吉川弘文館, 2002), 1–2, 7.

^ Back to text34. Takase Kōichirō 高瀬弘一, Kirishitan jidai no kenkyū キリシタン時代の研究 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten 岩波書店, 1977); Takase, Kirishitan jidai taigai kankei no kenkyū キリシタン時代対外関係の研究 (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan 吉川弘文館, 1994); Takase, Kirishitan jidai no bōeki to gaikō キリシタン時代の貿易と外交 (Tokyo: Yagi Shoten 八木書店, 2002).

^ Back to text35. On the roles of the procurador during the time of persecution, see Oka Mihoko 岡美穂子, Shōnin to senkyōshi 商人と宣教師 (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai 東京大学出版会, 2010), 241–79.

^ Back to text36. Gonoi, Nihon kirishitanshi, 194–210.

^ Back to text37. Gonoi Takashi 五野井隆史, Tokugawa shoki kirishitan shi kenkyū 徳川初期キリシタン史研究, rev. ed. (1983; repr., Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan 吉川弘文館, 1992). On the institution of dōjuku, see also Jesús López-Gay, S.J., “Las organizaciones de laicos en el apostolado de la primitiva misión del Japón,” Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu 36 (1967): 3–31.

^ Back to text38. Research findings will be available in an online database and a forthcoming book.

^ Back to text39. Alessandro Valignano, Sumario de las cosas de Japón (1583), Adiciones del Sumario de Japón (1592), ed. José Luis Álvarez-Taladriz (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1954); Matsuda Kiichi 松田毅一, Varinyāno to kirishitan shūmon ヴァリニャーノとキリシタン宗門 (Tokyo: Chōbunsha 朝文社, 1992); Joseph F. Moran, The Japanese and the Jesuits: Alessandro Valignano in Sixteenth-Century Japan (London: Routledge, 1993); Valignano, Apología de la Compañía de Jesús de Japón y China (1598), ed. Álvarez-Taladriz (Osaka: Eikodō, 1998); Pedro Lage Reis Correia, A concepção de missionação na Apologia de Valignano: Estudo sobre a presença jesuíta e franciscana no Japão (1587–1597) (Lisbon: Centro Científico e Cultural de Macau, 2008); Adolfo Tamburello, Murat Antoni J. Üçerler, and Marisa dDi Russo, eds., Alessandro Valignano S.I.: Uomo del Rinascimento, ponte tra Oriente e Occidente (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 2008).

^ Back to text40. Michael Cooper, “The Early Jesuits in Japan and Buddhism,” Portuguese Voyages to Asia and Japan in the Renaissance Period (n.p.: Instituto Cultural de Macau, [1994]), 146–61.

^ Back to text41. Hino Hiroshi, “Respectful Avoidance of ‘Iitmio’ or ‘Nanori’ and Father Joao Rodrigues Tcuzu’s Arte Breve da Lingoa Iapoa,” Bulletin of Portuguese/Japanese Studies 6 (2003): 945.

^ Back to text42. See various articles in Kirishitan Kenkyū キリシタン研究 10 (1965), 11 (1966), 18 (1978), 21 (1981), 27 (1987); Kataoka Chizuko 片岡千鶴子, Hachirao no seminariyo 八良尾のセミナリヨ (Tokyo: Kirishitan Bunka Kenkyukai キリシタン文化研究会, 1970).

^ Back to text43. Okada Akio 岡田章雄, Kirishitan fūzoku to nanban bunka キリシタン風俗と南蛮文化 (Kyoto: Shibunkaku 思文, 1983).

^ Back to text44. Jesús López-Gay, “Un documento inédito del P.G. Vázquez (1549–1604) sobre los problemas morales del Japón,” Monumenta Nipponica 16 (1960): 118–60; López-Gay, La liturgia en la misión del Japón del siglo XVI (Rome: Libreria dell’Università Gregoriana, 1970).

^ Back to text45. Ide Katsumi 井手勝美, Kirishitan shisōshi kenkyū josetsu: Nihonjin no kirisutokyō juyō キリシタン思想史研究序説: 日本人のキリスト教受容 (Tokyo: Perikansha ぺりかん社, 1995).

^ Back to text46. Ikuo Higashibaba, “Historiographical Issues in the Studies of the ‘Christian Century’ in Japan,” in Mullins, Critical Readings, 71–92; Higashibaba, Christianity in Early Modern Japan: Kirishitan Belief and Practice (Leiden: Brill, 2001).

^ Back to text47. João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, “The Misericórdias among Japanese Christian Communities in the 16th and 17th Centuries,” Bulletin of Portuguese/Japanese Studies 5 (2002): 67–79.

^ Back to text48. Kawamura Shinzō 川村信三, Kirishitan shinto soshiki no tanjō to hen’yō キリシタン信徒組織の誕生と変容 (Tokyo: Kyōbunkan 教文館, 2003).

^ Back to text49. Michael Cooper, Rodrigues the Interpreter: An Early Jesuit in Japan and China (New York: Weatherhill, 1974).

^ Back to text50. Yūki Ryōgo 結城了悟, “Padre Giacomo Antonio Gianone S.J. (15771633) Takaki kyōkai (Arima) no akashibito パードレ・ジアコモ・アントニオ・ジアノネS.J. ( 15771633年) 高来教会 (有馬) の証し人,” trans. Sakuma Tadashi 佐久間正, Kiristhian Kenkyū キリシタン研究26 (1986): 1–45.

^ Back to text51. Michael Steichen, Les Daimyô chrétiens ou un siècle de l’histoire religieuse et politique du Japon 15491650 (Hong Kong: Société des Missions Étrangères, 1904).

^ Back to text52. See Katayama Yakichi, Johannes Laures, and Ebisawa Arimichi’s monographs on Ukon; most recently, Nakanishi Yūki 中西裕樹, ed., Takayama Ukon: Kirishitan daimyō e no shinshiten 高山右近: キリシタン大名への新視点 (Kyoto: Miyaobi 宮帯, 2014).

^ Back to text53. Torizu Ryōji 鳥津亮二, Konishi Yukinaga: “Massatsu” sareta kirishitan daimyō no jitsuzō 小西行長: 「抹殺」されたキリシタン大名の実像 (Tokyo: Yagi Shoten 八木書店, 2010).

^ Back to text54. Takayama Ukon kenkyū 高山右近研究 (Nishinomiya: Katayama Ukon Reppuku Undō Honbu 高山右近列福運動本部, 1965); Gonoi Takashi 五野井隆史, Petoro Kibe Kasui ペトロ岐部カスイ, ed. Hubert Cieslik (Oita: Ōita-ken Kyōiku Iinkai 大分県教育委員会, 1997).

^ Back to text55. Kataoka Rumiko 片岡瑠美子, Kirishitan jidai no joshi shūdōkai キリシタン時代の女子修道会 (Tokyo: Kirishitan Bunka Kenkyūkai キリシタン文化研究会, 1976); Haruko Nawata Ward, Women Religious Leaders in Japan’s Christian Century, 1549–1650 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009).

^ Back to text56. Nicolas Trigault, De christianis apvd Iaponios trivmphis (Munich, 1623); António Francisco Cardim, Fasciculus e Iapponicis floribus (Rome, 1646); Cornelius Hazart, vol. 1 of Kerckelycke historie van de gheheele werelt (Antwerp, 1667).

^ Back to text57. Aimé Villion, Yamato hijiri chishio no kakioki 日本聖人鮮血遺書 (Tokyo: Nihon Katorikku Kankōkai 日本カトリツク刊行会, 1926).

^ Back to text58. Kataoka Yakichi 片岡弥吉, Nihon kirishitan junkyōshi 日本キリシタン殉敎史 (Tokyo: Jiji Tsūshinsha 時事通信社, 1979).

^ Back to text59. Juan G. Ruiz de Medina, El martirologio del Japón (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 1999).

^ Back to text60. Shinmura’s Bunroku kyūyaku isoho monogatari 文禄旧訳伊曽保物語 (1911) and his other studies on early Japanese Christian literature are reprinted in vol. 7 of Shinmura Izuru zenshū 新村出全集 (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō 筑摩書房, 1973). See also Shinmura and Hiragi Gen’ichi 柊源一, eds., Kirishitan bungakushū 吉利支丹文學集, 2 vols. (1957–60; repr., Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha 朝日新聞社, 1966–70).

^ Back to text61. Basil Hall Chamberlain, “Rodriguez’ System of Transliteration,” Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan 16 (1889): 10–16.

^ Back to text62. Hashimoto Shinkichi 橋本進吉, Kirishitan kyōgi no kenkyū キリシタン敎義の硏究 (1928; repr., Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten 岩波書店, 1961). Other fundamental sources on the Jesuits’ publications are Fukushima Kunimichi 福島邦道, Kirishitan shiryō to kokugo kenkyū キリシタン資料と国語研究 (Tokyo: Kasama Shoin 笠間書院, 1973); Toyoshima Masayuki 豊島正之, ed., Kirishitan to shuppan キリシタンと出版 (Tokyo: Yagi Shoten Kosho Shuppanbu 八木書店古書出版部, 2013). The latter is especially valuable, since many studies on Jesuit literature tend to be overtly meticulous and mechanical for the general reader.

^ Back to text63. Doi Tadao 土井忠生, Kirishitan gogaku no kenkyū 吉利支丹語學の研究 (1942) , Kirishitan bunken kō 吉利支丹文献考 (1963), Kirishitan ronkō 吉利支丹論攷 (1982), all (re)printed by Sanseidō 三省堂; João Rodrigues, Nihon daibunten 日本大文典, ed. and trans. Doi (Tokyo: Sanseidō 三省堂, 1955); Doi, Morita Takeshi 森田武, and Chōnan Minoru 長南実, trans. and eds., Hōyakunippo jisho 邦訳日匍辞書 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten 岩波書店, 1980).

^ Back to text64. Kirishitan-ban no kenkyū きりしたん版の研究 (Tenri: Tenri Toshokan 天理図書館, 1973); Tominaga Makita 富永牧太, Kirishitan-ban mojikō きりしたん版文字攷 (Tenri: Tominaga Makita Sensei Ronbunshū Kankōkai 富永牧太先生論文集刊行会, 1978); Suzuki Hiromitsu 鈴木広光, Nihongo katsuji insatsushi 日本語活字印刷史 (Nagoya: Nagoya Daigaku Shuppankai 名古屋大学出版会, 2015), 68–81.

^ Back to text65. Kamei Takashi 亀井孝, Hubert Cieslik, and Kojima Yukie 小島幸枝, Nihon Iezusukai-ban kirishitan yōri 日本イエズス会版キリシタン要理 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten 岩波書店, 1983); Kojima, Kirishitan-ban “Supiritsuaru shugyō” no kenkyū キリシタン版「スピリツアル修行」の研究 (Tokyo: Kasama Shoin 笠間書院, 1987); Matsuoka Kōji 松岡洸司, Kontemutsusu munji kenkyū: Hon’yaku ni okeru goi no kōsatsu コンテムツス・ムンヂ研究: 飜訳における語彙の考察 (Tokyo: Yumani Shobō ゆまに書房, 1993); William J. Farge, The Japanese Translations of the Jesuit Mission Press, 15901614 (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 2002).

^ Back to text66. Komei Rikiya 米井力也, Kirishitan no bungaku: Ibunka sesshoku no jūjiro キリシタンの文学: 異文化接触の十字路 (Tokyo: Heibonsha 平凡社, 1998).

^ Back to text67. Ebisawa, Nihon kirishitanshi; Ebisawa, Kirishitansho, haiyasho キリシタン書 排耶書 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten 岩波書店, 1970); Elison, Deus Destroyed; Paramore, Anti-Christian Discourse.

^ Back to text68. Ebisawa Arimichi 海老沢有道, Kirishitan no shakai katsudō oyobi nanban igaku 切支丹の社會活動及南蠻醫學 (Tokyo: Fuzanbō 冨山房, 1944).

^ Back to text69. Published posthumously in Koga Jūjirō 古賀十二郎, Nagasaki yōgakushi 長崎洋学史 (Nagasaki: Nagasaki Bunkensha 長崎文献社, 1966), 2:121–61.

^ Back to text70. Hiraoka Ryūji 平岡隆二, “The Transmission of Western Cosmology to 16th- Century Japan,” in The Jesuits, the Padroado, and East Asian Science (1552–1773), ed. Luís Saraiva and Catherine Jami (Singapore: World Scientific, 2008), 84–87; Hiraoka, Nanban-kei uchūron no gententeki kenkyū 南蛮系宇宙論の原典的研究 (Fukuoka: Hana Shoin 花書院, 2013), 59–102. See also Nakayama Shigeru, A History of Japanese Astronomy: Chinese Background and Western Impact (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1969), 79–115.

^ Back to text71. Yoshida Tadashi, “A Japanese Reaction to Aristotelian Cosmology,” History of Mathematical Sciences: Portugal and East Asia II, ed. Luís Saraiva (Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific, 2004), 153–64; José Miguel Pinto dos Santos, “Five Types of Reaction of a Neo-Confucian Scholar to Western Cosmology: The Case of Mukai Gensho (1609–1677),” Empires Éloignés: l’Europe et le Japon XVIe-XXe siècles, ed. Dejanirah Couto and François Lachaud (Paris: École Française d’Extrême-Orient, 2010), 109–17.

^ Back to text72. Ebisawa Arimichi 海老沢有道, Yōgaku engeki kotohajime 洋楽演劇事始 (Tokyo: Taiyō Shuppan 太洋出版, 1947); Ebisawa, Yōgaku denraishi 洋楽伝来史 (Tokyo: Nihon Kirisuto Kyōdan Shuppankyoku 日本基督敎団出版局, 1983).

^ Back to text73. López-Gay, La liturgia, 155–95.

^ Back to text74. Yōgaku kotohajime 洋楽事始, conducted by Minagawa Tatsuo 皆川達夫, recorded March 1976, Tōshiba EMI, 1976, 3313 rpm (now available in CDs).

^ Back to text75. Minagawa Tatsuo 皆川達夫, Yōgaku torai kō 洋楽渡来考 (Tokyo: Nihon Kirisuto Kyōdan Shuppankyoku 日本基督教団出版局, 2004).

^ Back to text76. Okamoto Yoshitomo 岡本良知, Kirishitan yōgashi josetsu 吉利史丹洋畫史序説 (Tokyo: Shōshinsha 昭森社, 1953); Okamoto, Kirishitan no jidai: Sono bunka to bōeki キリシタンの時代: その文化と貿易 (Tokyo: Yagi Shoten 八木書店, 1987), 3–19 (the chapter was originally published in 1955).

^ Back to text77. Gauvin Alexander Bailey, Art on the Jesuit Missions in Asia and Latin America: 15421773 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), 52–81

^ Back to text78. Alexandra Curvelo, “Copy to Convert: Jesuits’ Missionary Practice in Japan,” in Mullins, Critical Readings, 55–70.

^ Back to text79. Wakakuwa Midori 若桑みどり, Seibo-zō no tōrai 聖母像の到来 (Tokyo: Seidosha青土社, 2008). On printed illustrations, see also Asami Masakazu 浅見雅一, ed., Kinsei insatsushi to Iezusukai-kei “eiribon” 近世印刷史とイエズス会系「絵入り本 (Tokyo: Keiō Gijuku Daigaku Bungakubu 慶應義塾大学文学部, 2014).

^ Back to text80. Kotani Noriko, “Studies in Jesuit Art in Japan” (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2010).

^ Back to text81. Kojima Yoshie 児嶋由枝, “Nihon Nijūroku Seijin Kinenkan no ‘Yuki no Santa Maria’ to Shichiria no seibozō: Kirishitan bijutsu to Torento Kōkaigigo no Itaria ni okeru seizō sūkei 日本二十六聖人記念館の《雪のサンタ・マリア》とシチリアの聖母像:キリシタン美術とトレント公会議後のイタリアにおける聖像崇敬,” Itaria Gakkaishi イタリア学会誌 65 (2015): 167–88.

^ Back to text82. Grace A. H. Vlam, “The Portrait of Francis Xavier in Kobe,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte (1979): 48–60; Rose Marie San Juan, Vertiginous Mirrors: The Animation of the Visual Image and Early Modern Travel (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), 86–124; Mia M. Mochizuki, “Sacred Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction: The Salus Populi Romani Madonna in the World,” in Sacred and Profane in Early Modern Art, ed. Nakamura Toshiharu and Hirakawa Kayo (Kyoto: Kyoto University Press, 2016), 129–44.

^ Back to text83. Nanban bijutsu no hikari to kage 南蛮美術の光と影 (Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha 日本経済新聞社, 2011), ch. 3; Yayoi Kawamura, “El viaje de Pedro Morejón a Japón y la arqueta de laca de estilo Namban de Medina del Campo,” Itinerarios, viajes y contactos Japón-Europa, eds. Pilar Garcés García and Lourdes Terrón Barbosa (Berna: Peter Lang, 2012), 525–39; Kawamura, Alicia Ancho Villanueva, and Berta Balduz Azcárate, Laca Namban: Brillo de Japón en Navarra (Pamplona: Gobierno de Navarra, 2016).

^ Back to text84. Mori Kōichi 森浩一, Kyōtoshi Nakagyōku Ubayanagichō iseki (nanbanji ato) chōsa gaihō 京都市中京区姥柳町遺跡(南蛮寺跡)調査概報 (Kyoto: Dōshisha Daigaku Bungakubu Bunkagakka Kōkogaku Kenkyūshitsu 同志社大学文学部文化学科考古学研究室, 1973).

^ Back to text85. Umekawa Kōryū 梅川光隆, “Kyōto Heiankyō Sakyō Kujō Nibō Jūsanchō 京都平安京左京九条二坊十三町,” Mokkan Kenkyū 木簡研究7 (1985): 32–35; “Mokkan ni porutogarugo 木簡にポルトガル語,” Kyoto Shinbun 京都新聞October 2, 1985.  

^ Back to text86. Takatsukijō kirishitan bochi 高槻城キリシタン墓地 (Takatsuki: Takatsukishi Kyōiku Iinkai 高槻市教育委員会, 2001).

^ Back to text87. See Kirishitan daimyō no kōkogaku キリシタン大名の考古学 (Kyoto: Shibunkaku 思文閣, 2009) for these and other Christian archaeological findings.

^ Back to text88. Takase Kōichirō 高瀬弘一郎, Iezusukai to Nihon イエズス会と日本, 2 vols. (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten 岩波書店, 1981–88); Takase, Monsūn monjo to Nihon モンスーン文書と日本 (Tokyo: Yagi Shoten 八木書店, 2006). See also Documentos remetidos da Índia ou Livro das Monções, 10 vols. (Lisbon: Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 1880–1982), and the more recent volumes with the same title published by the Centro de Estudos Damião de Góis and CHAM.

^ Back to text89. Matsuda Kiichi 松田毅一, Kawasaki Momota 川崎桃太, and Roger Machin, eds., Nihon kankei Iezusukai genbunsho 日本関係イエズス会原文書 (Kyoto: Dōhōsha 同朋舎, 1987).

^ Back to text90. Juan Ruiz de Medina, Documentos del Japón, 2 vols. (Rome: Instituto Histórico de la Compañía de Jesús, 1990–95).

^ Back to text91. Joseph Wicki, ed., Documenta Indica, 18 vols. (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, 1948–88); Obara Satoru 尾原悟, Kirishitan Bunko: Iezusukai Nihon kankei monjo キリシタン文庫: イエズス会日本関係文書 (Tokyo: Nansōsha 南窓社, 1981).

^ Back to text92. Iezusukai nihon shokanshū イエズス会日本書翰集 (Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shiryō Hensanjo 東京大学史料編纂所, 1991–2014).

^ Back to text93. Hiraoka, “The Transmission,” 88–98; Hiraoka, Nanban-kei uchūron, 103–91.

^ Back to text94. Miyazaki Michio 宮崎道生, “Kaisetsu 解説,” in Arai Hakuseki 新井白石, Seiyō kibun 西洋紀聞, ed. Miyazaki (Tokyo: Heibonsha 平凡社, 1968), 441–46.

^ Back to text95. Shinmura Izuru zenshū, 7: 476, 480, 487–88.

^ Back to text96. Anesaki, Kirishitan kinsei no shūmatsu, 204–16.

^ Back to text97. Minagawa, Yōgaku torai kō, ch.3. See also Stephen Turnbull, The Kakure Kirishitan of Japan: A Study of Their Development, Beliefs and Rituals to the Present Day (Richmond: Japan Library, 1998), 141–46.

^ Back to text98. Kojima Yukie, “Reproduction of the Image of Madonna Salus Populi Romani in Japan,” in Between East and West: Reproductions in Art, Proceedings of the 2013 CIHA Colloquium in Naruto, Japan, 15th–18th January 2013 (Cracow: IRSA, 2014): 373–87.

^ Back to text99. Hirayama Akira 平山諦, Wasan no tanjō 和算の誕生 (Tokyo: Kōseisha Kōseikaku 恒星社厚生閣, 1993).

^ Back to text100. Kikkawa Eishi 吉川英史, Nihon ongaku no rekishi 日本音楽の歴史 (Osaka: Sōgensha 創元社, 1965); Minagawa Tatsuo 皆川達夫, Orasho kikō: Taidan to zuisō オラショ紀行: 対談と随想 (Tokyo: Nihon Kirisutokyōdan Shuppankyoku 日本基督教団出版局, 2005); Minagawa, Yōgaku toraikō sairon: Sō to kirishitan tono deai 洋楽渡来考再論: 箏とキリシタンとの出会い (Tokyo: Nihon Kirisutokyōdan Shuppankyoku 日本基督教団出版局, 2014), 87–147.

^ Back to text101. Miyamoto Kenji 宮元健次, Kinsei Nihon kenchiku ni hisomu seiō shuhō no nazo 近世日本建築にひそむ西欧手法の謎 (Tokyo: Shōkokusha 彰国社, 1996), 120–263.

^ Back to text102. Ana Fernandes Pinto, Uma imagem do Japão: A aristocracia guerreira nipónica nas cartas jesuítas de Évora, 1598 (Macao: Instituto Português do Oriente, 2004).

^ Back to text103. Peter Kapitza, ed., Japan in Europa: Texte und Bilddokumente zur europäischen Japankenntnis von Marco Polo bis Wilhelm von Humboldt, 3 vols. (Munich: Iudicium, 1990); João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, O Japão e o cristianismo no século XVI (Lisbon: Sociedade Histórica da Independência de Portugal, 1999), 189–290

^ Back to text104. Kishino Hisashi 岸野久traced the transmission of Francis Xavier and others’ knowledge of Japan to Europe in Seiōjin no Nihon hakken: Zabieru rainichizen Nihon jōhō no kenkyū 西欧人の日本発見: ザビエル来日前日本情報の研究 (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan 吉川弘文館, 1989). See also Hitomi Omata Rappo’s forthcoming publication of her dissertation on the European reception of Japanese martyrs.

^ Back to text105. See Josef Franz Schütte, “Ignacio Moreira of Lisbon, Cartographer in Japan 15901592,” Imago mMundi 16 (1962): 11628; Folker Reichert and Horst Walter Blanke’s articles in Bernhard Varenius (1622–1650), ed. Margret Schuchard (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 129–37, 182–83.

^ Back to text106. Margret Dietrich, “Gratia Hosokawa: Ein japanisches Vorbild für die Habsburger Dynastie,” in Theologie zwischen Zeiten und Kontinenten für Elizabeth Gssmann, ed. Theodor Schneider and Helen Schüngel-Straumann (Freiburg: Herder, 1993), 445–65; Masahiro Takenaka and Charles Burnett, Jesuit Plays on Japan and English Recusancy (Tokyo: Sofia University, 1995); Adrian Hsia and Ruprecht Wimmer, eds., Mission und Theater: Japan und China auf den Bühnen der Gesellschaft Jesu (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2005); Makoto Harris Takao, “Francis Xavier at the Court of Ōtomo Yoshishige: Representations of Religious Disputation between Jesuits and Buddhists in La conversione alla santa fede del re di Bungo giaponese (1703),” Journal of Jesuit Studies 3, no. 3 (2016): 451–74.

^ Back to text107. Oka Mihoko 岡美穂子, “Daikōkai jidai to Nihon: Iezusukai no Ajia fukyō to konberuso mondai 大航海時代と日本: イエズス会のアジア布教とコンベルソ問題,” in Toyoshima, Kirishitan to shuppan, 23–50.

^ Back to text108. Takase Kōichirō 高瀬弘一郎, Kirishitan jidai no bunka to shosō キリシタン時代の文化と諸相 (Tokyo: Yagi Shoten 八木書店, 2001).

^ Back to text109. Liam Matthew Brockey, The Visitor: André Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014), 201–13.

^ Back to text110. António Francisco Cardim, Batalhas da Companhia de Jesus na sua gloriosa Provincia do Japão, ed. Luciano Cordeiro (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1894); Hubert Cieslik, “Shamuro no nihonmachi to kirishitan 暹羅の日本町とキリシタン,” Kirishitan Kenkyū キリシタン研究 12 (1967): 287–353; Akune Susumu 阿久根晋, “Porutogarujin iezusukaishi Antonio Karudin no shūshi katsudō ポルトガル人イエズス会士アントニオ・カルディンの修史活動,” Rekishi Bunka Shakairon Kōza Kiyō 歴史文化社会論講座紀要 12 (2015): 75–105.

^ Back to text111. Takase, Kirishitan jidai taigai kankei, 177221.

^ Back to text112. Pedro Lage Reis Correia, “Father Diogo de Mesquita (1551–1614) and the Cultivation of Western Plants in Japan,” Bulletin of Portuguese/Japanese Studies (2003) 7:73–91.

^ Back to text113. Fermín del Pino Díaz, “El misionero español José de Acosta y la evangelización de las Indias Orientales,” Missionalia hispánica 42 (1985): 275–98; Pedro Lage Reis Correia, “Alessandro Valignano Attitude towards Jesuit and Franciscan Concepts of Evangelization in Japan (1587–1597),” Bulletin of Portuguese/Japanese Studies (2001/2): 100–2.

^ Back to text114. Takao Abé, The Jesuit Mission to New France: A New Interpretation in the Light of the Earlier Jesuit Experience in Japan (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 3–7, 156–58; Brockey, The Visitor, 364–65.

^ Back to text115. Maruyama Tōru, “Linguistic Studies by the Jesuit Mission Press in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” in Portuguese Voyages, 162–73; Dauril Alden, The Making of an Enterprise (Stanford University Press, 1996); Murat Antoni J. Üçerler, ed., Christianity and Cultures: Japan & China in Comparison, 1543–1644 (Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 2009).

^ Back to text116. Gonoi, Nihon kirishitanshi, 2–3.

^ Back to text117. See Elison’s appendix in Deus Destroyed and Cooper’s translation of Jesuit and other texts in They Came to Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965). Cooper also translated Rodrigues’s História da Igreja (except Book One of Volume Two) in João Rodrigues’s Account of Sixteenth Century Japan (London: The Hakluyt Society, 2001). Recent additions are Derek Massarella, ed., Japanese Travellers in Sixteenth-Century Europe, trans. Joseph F. Moran (London: Hakluyt Society, 2012); Luís Fróis, The First European Description of Japan, 1585, ed. and trans. Richard K. Danford, Robin D. Gill, and Daniel T. Reff (London: Routledge, 2014); Fukansai Habian, The Myōtei Dialogues: A Japanese Christian Critique of Native Traditions, ed. James Baskind and Richard Bowring (Leiden: Brill, 2015).

^ Back to text118. Schurhammer and Voretzsch’s German translation included only the section dated 154978.

^ Back to text119. Hino Hiroshi 日埜博司, Koryādo sangeroku: Kirishitan jidai nihonjin shinto no nikusei コリャード 懺悔録: キリシタン時代日本人信徒の肉声 (Tokyo: Yagi Shoten Kosho Shuppanbu 八木書店古書出版部, 2016).

Cite this page
Mayu Fujikawa , “Studies on the Jesuit Japan Mission”, in: Jesuit Historiography Online. Consulted online on 30 May 2017 <>
First published online: 2017

▲   Back to top   ▲