Cultural Encounter


Charles Ralph Boxer*

R•C Poster "Twelve cities of the West"-a typical panel intended to give Japanese an impression of the most important western cities. This painting is special in that it also features a map of Portugal. (XVIIth century, Museum of Namban Art, Osaka)

Portuguese influence in Japan may be roughly divided into four groups: religious, political, cultural and economic. I do not propose more than to mention the first two, which have already been fully dealt with, in varying degrees of accuracy, by many writers from all points of view. It must suffice to say that religious influence was a very vital one during the brief century of its existence, and, as we shall see, its themes and motives dominated not only the early political connections of Japan with the West, but also supplied the firs introduction to European Art. In short, it formed an ever-present background which must not be forgotten, though it will seldom be directly referred to again.

Nor is it necessary to say much about the political connections of Japan with Portugal, as this aspect of the history of the period is likewise to be found in books which all who run may read. 1 It may, however, be stressed once more that purely political considerations were from the first subordinated to religious and commercial exigencies as regards the Portuguese side. The mission to Europe of the Christian Kyushu daimyo in 1582, to take only one instance, was largely the work of missionaries, and inspired by religious rather than by any political or cultural motive. Nevertheless, putting these politicoreligious considerations on one side, it is interesting to glance at the earliest reactions of the first Europeans to encounter Japanese, for these supply us with some sort of a background for the cultural contacts which followed.

Although Japan is mentioned in the book of Marco Polo under the name of Zipangu, the earliest meeting between Europeans and Japanese apparently dates from the conquest of Malacca by the great Affonso D'Albuquerque in 1511. In the second and enlarged edition of his Commentaries, published by his natural son Braz D'Albuquerque at Lisbon in 1576, there is a detailed description of some people whom Albuquerque met in Malacca and who are called "Gores" by the Portuguese chronicler. 2This description is as follows:

The Gores (according to the information obtained by Afonso Dalboquerque when he took Malacca, albeit it is now more certainly known) at that time stated that their country was on the continent, although the general opinion is that their land is an island, whence they sail for Malacca each year with two or three ships. The merchandize which they bring consists of silk and silken cloths, brocades, porcelain, great store of corn, copper, alum, gold and silver dust, and they likewise bring much gold in ingots stamped with the seal of their King; neither could it be ascertained whether these ingots were the coins of their country, or whether they had been stamped with that mark as a certificate of origin in the port whence they came; for they are men of few words, and say nothing of their country's affairs to anybody. This gold comes from an island nearby, named Perioco, in which there is great store of gold. The land of these Gores is named Lequea; 3 they are white men; their garments resemble cloaks without a hood; they carry long swords made after the fashion of Turkish scymetars, but some what straighter, and daggers measuring two spans in length; they are bold people and feared in this land. In the port to which they come, they do not bring out their merchandize altogether, but little by little; they speak the truth, and wish it spoken to them; if any merchant in Malacca breaks his word, they seize him forthwith; they strive to settle their affairs and leave within a short space; they have no lodging in the land, for they are not men who like to leave their own. They go for Malacca in the month of January, and depart for their country in August and September. Their invariable course is to seek the strait between the islands of Cêláte and the point of Singapore, on the landward side, and at the time when Afonso Dalboquerque had left for India, after taking Malacca, two of their ships had arrived off the point of Singapore bound for Malacca. Moreover by counsel of the Lassamane who had been Admiral of the sea of the King of Malacca, they hesitated and forbore to come when they knew that Malacca had been taken by the Portuguese; and when the governors of the place learnt that they were there, they sent them a safeconduct and flag, and they came forthwith.

Whether these "Gores" which are thus described by the Portuguese chronicler were Japanese, Ryukyu men, or, as some authorities suggest, Koreans settled in the Ryukyu islands, it is difficult to say for certain, but at all events they came from the later archipelago, and were thus the first inhabitants of the Japanese islands with whom Europeans came into contact. It was not until the year 1542 or 1543 that Europeans actually visited the Japanese islands proper, and the honour of being the first Westerner to enter the Land of the Rising Sun has been claimed, amongst others, by the famous Portuguese adventurer Fernão Mendes Pinto, who claims to have landed in Tanegashima Island about that time. His claim is open to grave doubt, but a perusal of his fascinating narrative entitled Peregrination,4 will convince the impartial reader that if he was not the actual discoverer of Japan, he had at all events visited the country and possessed a fairly detailed knowledge of its people. His remarks on their characteristics have therefore a certain value, and some of his impressions are as follows. With regard to the hospitality he experienced in Nippon he writes, "All this people of Japan are naturally of a good disposition and sociably inclined". Their warrior spirit is well noted in the observation that they are "very much inclined by nature to military exercises, in which they delight more than all other nations which have hitherto been discovered". He likewise observes that "these Japanese are usually very fond of hunting and fishing", whilst they are also "greatly given to joking and punning". He pays them the rather doubtful compliment of saying that "these Japanese are much more ambitious of Honour than any other Nation on earth". On one occasion when Pinto and his companions were entertained at a banquet by Otomo, the daimyo of Bungo, in 1556, the women who were serving the party made many jests at the expense of the Europeans who took the food with their hands, "for as all this people is accustomed to eat with two [chop-] sticks, they think it very dirty to eat with the hands as we are wont to do". At this particular feast the Portuguese were served by seventy damsels, whilst the only man present besides the five European guests was the daimyo himself, so this banquet sounds like a geisha party, the more so as mention is made of samisen and koto. The rationalistic views of the Japanese are well illustrated by Pinto's anecdote about what passed between Otomo and the Portuguese priest Father Belchior. When the Jesuit urged the daimyo to remember that life was not in the hands of men, for all were mortal, and if he should happen to die before becoming a Christian what would happen to his soul, Otomo smilingly replied, "God knows".

As has been said, Pinto's claim to be the discoverer of Japan is doubtful, to say the least of it, and the real credit probably belongs to three Portuguese adventurers who were shipwrecked there, as a consequence of a typhoon they encountered whilst on a trading voyage from Siam to China. The official historiographer of Portuguese India, Diogo do Couto, briefly records their arrival in Japan as follows: 5

From the land, small boats put out to meet them, in which came men whiter than the Chinese, but with small eyes and short beards. From them, they learnt that those islands were called Nipongi, 6 the which we commonly term Japan. And finding that those people were kind, they mingled with them, by whom they were very hospitably received. Here they repaired and refitted the junk, and exchanged their merchandize for silver, for there is none other; and as it was time, they returned to Malacca.

Concerning the origin of the name Japan, Couto writes as follows:

The name of these islands, which (as we have said) are called Nipongi, is termed Zipango by Marco Polo; and this latter name must be a corruption of the former, because the Chinese call them Gipon (Jipen), which has more resemblance. And the Portuguese, after that they had communication with those islands, corrupted it into Japan.

Couto duly notes the pride of the Japanese:

As for the people of these islands, so proud are the Japanese that they consider themselves the first in the world, about which they have fabricated many laughable tales.

He gives a curious description of the origin of the Court Nobles or kuge families, and states that in his opinion the Japanese are descended from the Chinese, but adds: this the Japanese will not by any manner of means allow or agree to, since they hold the Chinese to be much inferior to themselves. So much so, that the worst insult that can be made to any one of them, is to call him a Chinese; and in the same manner the Chinese consider themselves so much superior, that the greatest affront which can be given them, is to call them Japanese.

(In this respect, nearly four centuries do not seem to have brought about much change.) Couto also gives an interesting and fairly accurate account of the development of the power of the Shogunate at the expense of the rightful sovereign, summarizing the latter's position in these words:

[A]nd thus the Shogun placed the Emperor in seclusion in the palaces of Meacó, where he remained without any power of exercising his authority, whilst the Shogun ruled absolutely, giving what was necessary to the Emperor, who never lost his authority either spiritual or temporal; forasmuch as all the Shoguns who successively succeeded tyrannically, received their investiture at his hands, rendering him homage as the supreme Ruler. And what is most astonishing is that in this dignity of Shogun, from the time of the first tyrant until now (about 1611 or Kiichi XV) never has son succeeded to father nor one brother to another; for all were slain by others tyrants either by steel or poison; whilst on the contrary, in the dignity of the Emperor, there were always natural heirs, without that line ever having been broken.

Couto then briefly describes the chief Shinto and Buddhist sects in Japan as they existed in his day, and concludes with the pithy remark that:

The chief sins which prevail amongst the Japanese are fornication, theft, murder, drunkenness and lying; for these vices they have various purifications by means of alms, rites, prayers, pilgrimages and so forth; but the sins which have no absolution are treason and parricide. They reckon time by the number of years that their monarchs reign. And with this, enough of the Japanese.

I have not space now to detail all the impressions of Japan recorded by other old Portuguese, Dutch and English writers, and therefore the following brief quotations must suffice. The great St. Francis Xavier who landed at Kagoshima on August 15, 1549, exclaimed, "this people is the delight of my heart". The celebrated English pilot Will Adams, who became the friend and adviser of Tokugawa Ieyasu, wrote:

The people of this land of Japon are good of nature, curteous above measure, and valiant in warre; their iustice is severely executed without any partiality upon transgressors of the law. They are governed in great civilite. I meane, not a land better governed in the world by civil policie. The people be very superstitious in their religion and are of divers opinions. There be many Iesuites and Franciscan friars in this land, and they have converted many to be Christians and have many churches in the Land.

This letter was written in 1611, three years before the outbreak of the great and final persecution of the Roman Catholic priests and their converts, and in the same year as Diogo Couto wrote his above-quoted Década.

This digression has led us some way from our original theme, to which we must now return. The similarity in many ways between the character of the Portuguese and Japanese during this period was noticed by that acute observer Engelbert Kaempfer, and has been commented on in an earlier number of these Transactions, where reference was also made to the part played by Japanese mercenaries in the gallant defence of Malacca by the great Captain André Furtado de Mendoça against the Dutch and Malays in 1606. 7 Another striking instance of the esteem in which the Japanese were held by the Portuguese is afforded by the correspondence exchanged between the Iberian monarch and the City of Goa at the end of the sixteenth century concerning the vexed question of Japanese slaves. It is well known that as a result of the civil wars which devastated Japan until the consolidation of power in the hands of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, social conditions for the lower classes were so bad that they freely sold their children -or themselves- as slaves to the Portuguese traders in Kyushu. The ruling authorities naturally enough strongly objected to this practice, and brought pressure to bear on the Jesuit missionaries to restrain their secular compatriots from these activities. The Jesuits, whose prestige was not enhanced by the dealings of the slave traffickers, did their best to comply with this request, and as early as 1570 procured an order from Lisbon in the name of King Sebastian of Portugal formally prohibiting this nefarious traffic.

Nevertheless the Indo-Portuguese authorities, as was their way when powerful colonial vested interests were closely concerned, systematically ignored this edict from the very beginning, and it was never enforced before the commencement of the seventeenth century. By this time the pressure applied by Hideyoshi on the Jesuits enabled the latter to procure more rigorous orders from the Iberian Court for the enforcement of the thirty-threeyear-old decree in 1603. The City fathers of Goa strongly demurred to this, however, and in a letter to the King written at the close of that year, they stated inter alia:

Moreover this State [of India] is full of them, who, as slaves of their masters, are ready to defend it, since the Portuguese do not suffice to garrison the smallest bulwark of this island; and, in time of war, a Portuguese with five or six such lads with their muskets at his side counts for much; the more so since this people is a warlike one, and if they were freed there is no doubt that they would rebel and hold correspondence with the enemy whom we have at our gate, and they would kill all of us as they are incomparably more numerous. So much is this the case that the mere rumour of this liberty they are already mutinous and their masters very watchful of them.8

A year later the municipal council returned to the charge in even more emphatic terms, stating in the course of a vigorous denunciation of the order to free the Japanese slaves that:

[S]o much capital has been invested in these slaves, that there are not a few people who would lose a thousand or two thousand ducats therein... for there are many [slaves] in this state, and they are of a very warlike race and useful in war, as also in case of a siege or other necessity, as was clearly shown in the recent blockade of the Hollanders when many a citizen sallied forth with seven or eight of these lads with their muskets and lances, for these are the only slaves in India who are fit to bear arms, and a large city like this will frequently lack the garrison necessary for the defence of it walls".9

Whether the Royal Orders were carried into effect despite the spirited protest of the Goa Council I do not know, but it seems inherently improbable, and all the more so since in 1612 we find that the Governor of Malacca had a bodyguard of Japanese slaves; even a dozen or more years later we find mention of Japanese slaves or mercenaries in Portuguese service as far away as Arrakan (Burma), Siam and Annam. The influence exerted by what was clearly a relatively extensive Japanese population in Goa, Malacca and Macau on colonial Portuguese social life will be adverted to later, and we must now turn our attention to more purely cultural matters.

Example of the celestial and terrestrial globes introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the XVIIth century. (Museum of Namban Art, Osaka).


In the first place we shall mention a few instances of Portuguese influence on Japanese cartography, though this interesting and little-known subject is almost a virgin field for European scholarship, and might well be dealt with at much greater length had we time and space to do so. Instances of the importation of maps and globes by the Portuguese into Japan occur during the early years of Portuguese intercourse with that country; and amongst the letters printed in the Cartas do Japão, printed at Coimbra in 1570 and again at Évora twenty-eight years later, is one from the celebrated Christian daimyo Otomo Sorin of Bungo asking in most pressing terms for a globe to be sent him by way of replacing one which had been lost on the voyage in a shipwreck. Other instances could be given of the importation of Portuguese cartographical material into Japan, but the following, which has an interesting connection with Will Adams and the Liefde, will suffice.

In the Imperial Household Museum at Ueno Park in Tokyo are kept some remarkably fine sixteenthcentury European maps on vellum. Their exact origin is not stated, but may be easily inferred from a cursory examination. The maps are of the Indo-Portuguese school whose leading exponents were Fernão Vaz Dourado and Bartholomeu Lasso, as may be verified by a comparison between the former and examples of the cartographical works of the latter reproduced in Dr. A. Cortesão's monumental Cartografia e Cartógrafos Portugueses dos Séculos XV e XVI (Vol. II, pl. 38-9 and 52). Their nomenclature is almost exclusively Lusitanian, with a few exceptions like the names of some large countries, e. g. Bresilien, in Dutch. They are decorated with the Quinas or Portuguese heraldic emblem, whilst the scale of leagues, wind-roses and other technical points are all of purely Portuguese provenance. In one section depicting the Far East with China and Japan, there is the following inscription in the top lefthand comer: By My Cornelis doedts woonende tot Edam Inde vierheems-kinderen Anno 1598 den 18 Febraaris stilo novo. Dr. F. Wieder's researches have shown that Cornelis Doedstz was the map-maker for the expedition of De Mahu and Cordes, of which the Liefde formed part, and which left for the Far East at the end of 1598. 10 It seems therefore to be both a reasonable and fairly certain conjecture that these maps were executed by cornelis Doedstz after some Indo-Portuguese originals, for the Liefde's voyage to Japan, of which they thus form an invaluable historical relic, together with the figure of Erasmus on the ship's stem (her original name was Erasmus), which has likewise found a permanent resting-place in the Imperial Household Museum at Ueno. 11

Even more interesting than the section of this map alluded to above is that representing the countries between the Cape of Good Hope and Japan (both inclusive), of which the most relevant portion is reproduced herewith. This map is likewise derived from a Portuguese prototype, albeit a different one from that which served for the last-named section, but there are some interesting alterations by a later hand. A close scrutiny of the map reveals that Japan was originally depicted in the same way as in the foregoing section, i. e. like a bent pin in the so-called Vaz Dourado type. 12 But another hand has radically altered this erroneous shape, and straightened out the North part of the main island by including the Tohoku districts, although even so the result is far from perfect. The coast of Korea and Tartary has also been drastically amended, though in this case the result is hardly an improvement on the inaccurate original delineation. Who was responsible for this emendation it is impossible to say It may have been some Japanese cartographer or it may have been done by Will Adams, but in either case the information embodied in the alterations must have been derived from Japanese sources, and proves that the Japanese made intelligent use of the cartographical material imported by them and did not blindly take it all on trust.

Partial reproduction of a portulan map by Cornelis Doedtsz (1598), probably taken to Japan on the Liefde in 1600.

The possibility that this alteration was the work of Will Adams is suggested by the fact that a globe is known to have been constructed by him soon after his arrival in Japan, as recorded by Diogo do Couto in the following terms:

And in a globe that this pilot possessed, from which there was drawn in China [i. e., in Macau] another that I have in my possession, are clearly seen these two parts [i. e., the N. E. and N. W. passages] by which they attempted to pass hither, and, placed in gradation this island of Japão, with all its kingdoms as far as the country of Chincungu, were they allege are those rich silver mines.13

Unfortunately Adam's original globe and Couto's copy thereof have both been lost, which is the more pity since the globe must have contained the earliest European representation of the sixty-six provinces of Japan, and these details must, of course, have been derived by Adams from native Japanese cartographers. As Couto wrote his twelfth Decade in 1611, the globe of Adams must have dated from about 1605.

We have space to mention only a very few other instances of Portuguese cartographical or geographical influence in Japan. There is still preserved in Osaka a magnificent portulan map of Asia on vellum, after the style of the great Goanese cartographer Fernão Vaz Dourado, liberally decorated with flags bearing the typical Portuguese insignia of the Quinas and Cruz de Christo. This map is owned by a descendant of the famous Sumiyoshi family who were prominent overseas traders to Indo-China in the days of the goshuinsen, or 'licensed ships' of the early Tokugawa period. 14

Other examples, not so fine, exist in collections in Tokyo, in the Prefectural Library at Nagasaki, and, most famous perhaps of all, in the possession of the Kadoya family in Ise. This last belonged to the famous Kadoya Shichirobei who drove a flourishing trade with Annam during the first quarter of the seventeenth century, before the inauguration of the 'closed country policy' by the Shogun Iemitsu in 1636. All these maps are of the same type. They look like typical Portuguese portulans at first sight, with their compass-lines, wind-roses, scale of leagues, and the Portuguese banners with which they are liberally besprinkled. They are likewise all drawn on vellum which must have been imported. But though clearly based on Portuguese or Indo-Portuguese originals of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, their Japanese workmanship is indubitably attested by the following two points which they likewise all possess in common. In the first place the nomenclature is written in kana, and only very rarely are European letters ever used and then merely to indicate the name of a country or continent. In the second place, Japan and the neighbouring continental coasts (Korea and Tartary) are represented far more accurately -at least as regards general outline- than in contemporary Portuguese maps, or indeed than in any European map before the middle of the seventeenth century.

Whilst on the subject of these Luso-Japanese portulan charts or cartas de marear, we may mention an extraordinarily interesting manuscript in the Library of the Imperial University at Kyoto. This is nothing less than an early seventeenth-century Japanese version of a typical Portuguese Pilot-book or Exame de Pilotos of the type published by the Cosmographer-Major, Manoel de Figueiredo, in 1608-1614. 15 From the preface to the manuscript, it appears that it was compiled by a Nagasaki man called Ikeda Yoyemon in Genna VIII (1622), from the dictation of a Portuguese pilot named Manoel Gonçalves, and reduced to its final form circa 1630-1. Ikeda was a diver by occupation, and had done some salvage work in connection with the Portuguese carrack Madre de Deus which had been sunk by the daimyo of Arima in the bay of Nagasaki, January, 1610. 16 The contents of this extraordinarily interesting treatise include directions for finding one's position at sea by means of the Southern Cross; tables for finding the altitude of the sun at noon; calculations of tables of declination for the years 1629-1688; explanation of nautical and astronomical terms such as degree(s), meridian and so forth, as also the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars; how to take the altitude of the sun with an astrolabium, and other pieces of necessary nautical information. The manuscript also contains a compass-rose with the thirty-two points of the compass, as written in Portuguese transliterated into katakana script; and finally a series of Roteiros or sailing directions from Nagasaki to various South China and Further Indian ports like Macau, Lantau and Siam, of the type published in the later editions of Manoel de Figueiredo's Exame de Pilotos. The work is written in a mixture of kana and kanji, most of the technical terms with which the work is naturally freely interlarded being rendered in katakana, such as Norte or North, Tomar o sol, although some are given in manyogana (Chinese characters used phonetically), as for instance dekirinasan for declinação or declination.

The interest and importance of this work can hardly be overestimated, and it deserves transcription and publication in full after a detailed comparison with contemporary Portuguese sources. Sufficient has been stated here, however, to prove the keen desire of the early sixteenth-century Japanese navigators to keep abreast of the most scientific European practice at the time. Together with the Luso-Japanese portulan charts above alluded to, the existence of this work conclusively proves that, but for the untimely stoppage of overseas trading by Iemitsu in 1636, Japanese navigators would ere long have been on a level with their European contemporaries; and it is yet another convincing proof of that inherent maritime ability of the Japanese which was responsible for the meteoric rise of their mercantile marine in our own day. 17

The geographical influence exerted by the Portuguese in Japan was not confined to portulan charts or nautical treatises, but likewise included maps of a less specialised and more popular type. Thus we find that the maps and globes brought by the Portuguese and by the Jesuit Fathers in the last decades of the sixteenth century exerted a powerful influence on contemporary Japanese maps. To judge by the rare examples of such European-inspired Japanese cartographical works as have survived, these were mainly derived from the Flemish cartographical schools at Antwerp, of which the great Abraham Ortelius was the leading exponent. The finest works of this kind which I know are the superb world-maps on Namban-byobu or 'Southern Barbarian screens' (of which more anon), that are worthily reproduced in the monumental Catalogue of the Ikenaga Collection. 18 These colourful maps, with Iberian carracks and galleons ploughing the seas in company with sporting dolphins and tritons, recall the decorative sixteenth-century European maps at their best. As is the case with the portulan charts, the Japanese artist was not content slavishly to copy the European original, except for such regions as Africa and America which he knew not of. In all or most of them, the shape of Japan is far more correct than in any of Ortelius' (or any other) European atlases. The Antwerpian origin of these byobu maps is indicated not only by their general appearance, but even more definitely by the fact one of them is crowned by that typical Ortelius inscription, TYPUS ORBIS TERRARUM. 19 Some of these maps, though very detailed, have no names whatever written on them, whilst in other examples the nomenclature is in Japanese script. Though of Flemish origin, these maps may rightly be included under the heading of Portuguese influence, since there is little doubt that their prototypes were brought back by the celebrated Kyushu Embassy to Lisbon, Madrid and Rome in 1582-1590. The majority were probably executed for wealthy Christian daimyo, or their sympathisers, such as the Gamo, Kuroda or Hosokawa families, to judge by the provenance of such few as have survived to-day. Tradition leads Mr. Ikenaga to attribute some of them to Nobunaga's palace at Azuchi-yama, so greatly admired by the Jesuits, but this is manifestly incorrect, since the type of European map used is of a later date than the death of Nobunaga and destruction of Azuchi in 1582. This type of world map was not confined to the use of wealthy daimyo or connoisseurs and gradually attained a more popular vogue, being reproduced in woodcut -one of the earliest known- about 1647. At this time Dutch influence was already perceptible, and the development and further history of this type has been fully dealt with by the present writer elsewhere. 20

Mapa-mundi in the Western style, painted in a Jesuit art school. Panel with eight sections, oil on paper, included in Quatro Grandes Cidades do Ocidente. (Municipal Museum of Namban Art, Kobe)


One of the most characteristic forms of Portuguese influence on the art of Old Japan is to be found in the so-called Namban-byobu, or 'Southern Barbarians screens' to give the literal translation. This type of art is peculiar to Japan, 21 and possesses some clearlydefined characteristics which render examples thereof easy of identification.

The commonest type of Namban-byobu, and the kind to which the term is applied par excellence, has only one subject for its theme, namely, the arrival of a Portuguese ship in Japan, with the accompanying scenes of the disembarkation of the passengers and crew, and their meeting with Japanese and missionaries ashore. These screens are of either the eight-, six-, four- or two-leaf variety, the six-leaf being the most common and the two-leaf the rarest. The subject is always treated in the same way. On the left-hand side (as the spectator looks at the screen) is depicted the Portuguese ship arriving or anchoring in the bay; in the centre we see a procession of cavaliers or fidalgos, headed by the Capitão-Mór (Captain-Major) and followed by a numerous retinue of slaves and attendants, wending their way to meet (as a rule) a missionary group on the right; this procession is known as the Namban gyoretsu or 'Southern Barbarian Procession'. The right-hand side of the screen is devoted to a religious or semi-religious motif, for here we see missionary priests and friars of the various orders, amongst whom the black-gowned Jesuits are usually the most conspicuous, advancing to welcome the oncoming Portuguese procession. Usually there is a church or convent in the background where a priest can be seen celebrating mass. Japanese Christians wearing half-Europeanised hakama, and with rosaries round their necks, or in their hands, are usually also in evidence in this part of the screen. Often enough, a more homely touch is provided by the Japanese mother holding up her infant in arms to see the strange foreigners, or by parents pointing out the Southern Barbarians to their children. Other details which are typical of this type of screen, and may be discerned on nearly all of them, are the negro sailors or lascars sporting in the ship's rigging and performing acrobatic feats -sometimes with disastrous effects- in the shrouds or on the yardarms; the white and black Arabian steeds led in the procession, and the cages with hawks, peacocks, tigers, antelopes and other examples of Indian fauna which the Portuguese used to bring to tickle the fancy of Hideyoshi and his courtiers. Viewed as a whole, then, the panorama presented on these screens falls clearly into three parts. The secular or worldly motive supplied by the Portuguese on the left, and the religious or spiritual world typified by the ecclesiastical scenes on the right, both being connected by the intervening Namban gyoretsu. Looked at another way, the left-hand side represents Namban, and the right-hand side Japan.

Though the type of screen described above is the commonest (if the word common may be applied to so rare an object d'art) of these so-called Namban-byobu, there are a very few which depict different themes. Thus, as mentioned above, one or two are known which represent maps of the world, a pair being formed by the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. There is also one screen depicting European and Saracen kings engaged in mortal combat, but this perhaps is not a true Namban-byobu, since it is only a faithful rendering of a European design, and not an original Japanese composition, influenced rather than inspired by European art, such as are the real Namban-byobu. Mr. Ikenaga's pair of screens representing the four capitals of Lisbon, Madrid, Rome and Constantinople in bird's-eye view similarly may be placed under the former category. 22 Sometimes these screens are in pairs; one screen showing the Portuguese ship setting out from its home port, presumably Goa or Macau, and the other screen representing the vessel's arrival in Japan, with the missionaries' welcome to their compatriots on landing. The superb pair of screens in the University at Kyoto, perhaps the best-known and most frequently reproduced set of Namban-byobu, belongs to this last kind.

The majority of these screens were evidently executed for Daimyo or for wealthy merchants interested in the foreign trade, since the materials used are very expensive and they are frequently painted by leading artists of the Kano and other famous contemporary schools. These screens are characterised by a most lavish use of gold (very rarely silver) leaf for the background, and the details are painted in with a profuse use of expensive colours such as powders of malachite, lapis-lazuli, gold-leaf, etc.

Very few of these screens are signed, but one in Mr. Ikenaga's collection bears the signature of the celebrated master Kano Naizen, Shigenobu (Ichiyo). Most of these screens are painted in the style of the Kano school, several of the better-known being attributed to Kano Yeitoku, to Kano Sanraku and to Kano Naizen as mentioned above. Others are ascribed to artist of the Tosa school, which to the uninitiated is not always easily distinguishable from the Kano-ryu, and some of the later -and inferior- productions are the work of Jokei and other artists of the Sumiyoshi school. The curious feature of these screens is that they were not painted in Nagasaki, as the casual student might pardonably imagine, but by Kyoto and Sakai artists, some of whom, however, may have gone to Nagasaki to acquire local colour and derived inspiration from the stately Lusitanian ships and fidalgos who frequented that port. Quite obviously some screens were painted by men who had never seen a European ship, whilst the detail and accuracy of others afford equal proof that the men who painted these latter were not only consummate artists, but travellers who had been aboard these ships as well.

The namban gyoretsu - procession of the Southern Barbarians; detail from a XVIIth century screen portraying the procession of the Capitão- Mór in Kyoto. (Museum of Namban Art, Osaka)

Some ill-informed and superficial European critics have thought to identify certain definite episodes in these Namban-byobu; one explanation which has found wide acceptance amongst art critics, who ought to know better, being that the scene depicted is the meeting of Fernão Mendes Pinto and St. Francis Xavier, at Funai, in Bungo, in the year 1551. 23 A little refection will show this to be demonstrably untrue, for apart from the fact that these Nambam screens were not made until about forty years later, Pinto and his companions brought no Arabian horses with them, neither is there a solitary shred of evidence to justify this purely imaginary and fantastic ascription. At this time the Jesuits had no regular Church such as is shown on the screen, nor were there anything like the number of Padres here depicted (ten) at this time present in Japan. The Portuguese costumes are also of a later date, apart from many other valid reasons which can be brought against it. Others have sought to identify the scene with that enacted at Nagasaki on the return of the Jesuit Visitador Father Alessandro Valignani in 1590, with the Kyushu envoys who had been to Rome. This identification has something to support it at first blush, since a tall man in the sombre Jesuit gown usually figures prominently in the missionary group, and it is tempting to identify him with the Padre Visitador, for Valignani was a man of uncommonly tall stature. The embassy also brought two Arabian horses as a present from the Viceroy of India to Hideyoshi, and a black and a white Arabian steed are frequently depicted in the procession. Here again, however, there is the incontrovertible objection that Valignani and his companions arrived from Macau in a junk, and not in the usual Nau da viagem.

Screen showing life in a Japanese sea-port (160 x 321cms, Edo period, 1603-1867). In the top left corner there is a group of Europeans (Portuguese? Dutch?)engaged in trade and wearing breeches, capes and hats.

It is therefore certain that these Namban-byobu depict no particular isolated incident, but just a general representation of the picturesque side of Portuguese intercourse with Japan. At the same time, it is quite conceivable that the return of Valignani's mission in 1590 provided the original inspiration for this type of screen, since none is known to have been made prior to that date; and we learn from missionary records that a special effort was made to fit out all the Portuguese accompanying the Envoy as magnificently as possible, in order to outshine a Korean embassy which was likewise on its way to interview the Taiko. 24

The arrival of the kurofune in Nagasaki harbour, the Nanban-jin procession and welcome from the priests. Catholic worship is taking place indoors. By this time, there were several Catholic orders operating in Japan, hence the presence of some Franciscans. The construction and subject of the screen is typical of Kano Naizen. (National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon)

Be this as it may, these screens, or the best of them, were evidently produced between 1590 and Ieyasu's definite prohibition of Christianity in 1614, the majority of them being painted by artists of the Kano and Tosa schools at Kyoto and Satai, probably for Christian daimyo or wealthy connoisseurs with exotic tastes. It is possible, however, that their appeal was more general, and that cheaper and less gorgeous screens were produced for the humbler samurai or hatamoto. This cannot be stated with certainty, since the only screens which stood any chance of survival after the ruthless persecution and virtual extirpation of Christianity under the first three Tokugawa Shoguns, were those few which might have been concealed by powerful daimyo. The present writer possesses a hina-byobu, or doll's screen which is likewise a Namban-byobu, but this is apparently unique, neither he nor any of the Japanese authorities whom he consulted ever having seen another such. 25Whether this solitary example may be taken as indicating the existence of a more popular demand for these Namban-byobu than amongst wealthy dilettanti it is difficult to say, but perhaps the supposition is not an unduly rash one. If this form of art had its popular side -and the contemporary craze for aping Portuguese dress, manners, food, and even on occasions speech, goes some way to prove it- then it may be regarded as the precursor of the later Nagasaki-e or Nagasaki colourprints which flourished at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries, and were inspired by the sight of the Hollanders and their shipping in old Nagasaki. 26

The definitive prohibition of Christianity in 1614 did not mean the immediate end of the Namban-byobu, though the fundamental design underwent a significant change. It was no longer safe to represent Catholic priests or churches, any more than their associated paraphernalia like crosses and rosaries. Accordingly, we find that the right-hand of the screen no longer represents missionary or evangelical scenes, but has been transformed into a purely Japanese background. Instead of the priests and their acolytes, we have Japanese townsmen or merchants coming to bargain for the foreigners' goods; instead of the celebration of mass in church or chapel, we see junketings in an inn where the Portuguese merchants are entertained by their hosts. The crosses surmounting the church roofs have gone, and their place has been taken by Buddhist symbols. Gone likewise are the crosses and rosaries with which the Japanese converts depicted on the earlier screens are so freely decorated, and their dress has lost its Lusitanian touches. Even though rendered thus comparatively innocuous, the Namban-byobu did not long survive the prohibition of Christianity, and it is probable that they ceased to be made in this style even before the final expulsion of the Portuguese and the rigorous prohibition of anything to do with them in 1639-1640.

Namban-byobu of a type are, it is true, to be found occasionally during the later seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but in such a degenerate form as to be hardly recognisable for what they are intended to be. These later bastardised specimens appear to have originated in Sakai with the Sumiyoshi school. The stately Portuguese fidalgos of the earlier screens have become hardly distinguishable from Chinese merchants in dress and appearance, and no casual observer would take them for Europeans. The European ship is either absent altogether, or rendered in so grotesque a form - sans masts, sans sails, sans everything- as to be practically unrecognizable for what it is. The old half-secular half-religious theme has completely gone, and the scene usually depicted on these screens is bargaining over merchandise in the market-place between these pseudo-Portuguese and Japanese traders. This type of Namban-byobu must be distinguished from the late eighteenth-century adaptations or copies of the old sixteenth-century originals which began to make their appearance about the Temmei-Kwansei periods (1780-1798). These last came into being owing to the renaissance of interest in Western Art and Science which took place in Japan during the last quarter of the eighteenth century thanks to the influence of the Dutch scholars or Rangakusha. They can be easily distinguished from the originals of the Kano and Toda schools by their comparative crudity and numerous mistakes of detail -thus the Portuguese cavaliers are depicted in their sixteenth-century costume, but with the long hair and wigs of the eighteenth-century Hollanders- an incongruity which has tripped up the busy modern forger of these screens more than once. 27

Finally, one other point must be mentioned about the genuine Namban-byobu of the Keicho period, 1596-1614. That is their great value and interest for the study of the iconography of both Japanese and Portuguese of the time, especially the latter. We have no sources whatever -if we except a few engravings in works like Linschoten's Itinerario published in 1596- for the study of the dress and costume of the Portuguese in Asia at that period, except for these Namban-byobu. From these we get an excellent idea of the kind of clothes they wore, the materials used and the favourite patterns employed. The faithfulness of detail is apparent not only by comparison with the engravings of Linschoten -and these screens are far more colourful and natural than the stilted posings in the Dutch copper-plates- but by such instances as the rosaries carried by the Portuguese as they walk, or by the long lace or calico handkerchiefs held in their hands, after the fashion of the elegant ladies in the pictures of Velasquez or other contemporary Iberian painters.


Although owing to the rigorous extirpation of Christianity during the early decades of the seventeenth century, and the subsequent prohibition of all forms of art inspired by or connected with this hated religion, exceedingly few examples of the once-flourishing native Christian art have survived, yet the nature of these, and a few stray passages in contemporary literature, suffice to prove that this form of art had attained a considerable degree of popularity and proficiency by the end of the sixteenth century.

Unlike the artist of the Kano and Tosa schools who were responsible for the Namban-byobu of the Keicho period, the painters of what may perhaps be termed the Japanese Christian schools did not succeed in preserving their native artistic independence, but relied almost exclusively on European models and designs. In other words, whereas the Namban-byobu artists retained their native individuality, and merely introduced Western subjects, such as ships or merchants, into their works in order to please the exotic tastes of the wealthy dilettanti for whom they were intended, the native Christian painters confined themselves to copying closely -at times indeed slavishly - Roman Catholic religious subjects, taken direct from European models with little or no attempt at modification.

The reason for this is of course not far to seek. The artists of this school were all trained from their youth up in one of the Jesuit colleges or seminaries founded by the missionaries in Japan for the education of their native converts. The raison d'être of their art was solely to produce paintings for religious or ecclesiastical purposes; and hence they had no alternative but to copy as closely as possible the originals which their Jesuit preceptors imported for this purpose from Europe. These artists were drawn from the ranks of the lay acolytes or Dojucus (Dogicos) as the Portuguese called them after the Japanese term doshuku, meaning 'fellow-lodger' or 'fellow-guest', and whose duties are best explained by the following extract from a contemporary Jesuit report drawn up in the year 159228:

In Japan the word dogicos is used to describe a class of men who, whether young or old, shave their heads and renounce the World by entering the service of the Church; some studying with a view to eventually becoming Religious and clergy, whilst others render various household services which cannot be performed in Japan save by bald-pated acolytes of this kind, such as the office of sacristan, bringer of chanoyu, messenger, helper at Mass or burial services, at baptisms and in other like solemnities of the Church, and in accompanying the Padres; those of them who are capable thereof likewise help in catechizing, in preaching to and conversion of the Christians. These dogicos are respected in Japan and looked on as being Churchmen, and they wear long gowns albeit of a different fashion from those worn by the Padres and Irmãos (Brothers), whilst everyone is aware that they are not really Religious but either are resolved to become so or to help the Religious in these ministerings. Some of these are occupied in studying Latin like those who are in the Seminaries, and our Irmãos are drawn from this class; others are divided amongst the other houses and residences and employed in the aforesaid duties, the total number of these dogicos in Japan at this time being 180, to which if we add the other servants and acolytes who are distributed amongst the various houses in the service of the Church, we get a total of over 670 persons, including the Padres and Irmãos, who are at present maintained at the cost of the Company in Japan.

Although this extract makes no specific mention of Dojucus as painters, we do meet with fairly frequent references in contemporary Jesuit records to these theological students or acolytes as such under the term of Dojucus pintores, 29 and it is clear that most, if not all, of the native Christian painters were drawn from this class of student. Doubtless these acolytes began to be taught to copy European religious pictures and images soon after the foundation of the Japan mission by St. Francis Xavier in 1549-1551; but in this sphere of culture as in so much else, the greatest impulse towards bringing this art to fruition was supplied by the return of Father Valignani with the young Kyushu Ambassadors from Rome whence they had brought a large number of books, prints, engravings and pictures acquired in the Italy of the Cinquecento.

From the above-mentioned report of 1592 (two years after the Embassy's return) we learn the name of the instructor of these Dojucus Pintores, namely the Italian Brother Giovanni Nicolão, who fifteen years later is still recorded as being at the Jesuit College of Nagasaki in the same capacity of "teacher of painting".30 During this long period he must have taught a great many pupils, but unfortunately we have only the most meagre references to a very few of them, which have been carefully collected and published by Father Schurhammer in his essay referred to below. The above-quoted Catalogue of 1592 gives us the names of two Japanese students of painting in the residence of Shiki in Amakusa:

    Irmão Vatano Mancio Japam    Aprendem a pintar; 
    Irmão Mancio João Japam        não sabe mais que Japão. 

The fact that both are called Mancio is certainly confusing, but one of them is presumably to be identified with "le Frère Mancie Taichico [i. e., Taichiku], Japonais, frère coadjuteur de la Compagnie de Jésus,peintre éminent, et qui avait décoré la plupart des églises de sa patrie", and who at the age of forty-one was exiled to Macau in 1614 where he died in January of the following year as recorded by Pagés. 31 Of eight known painters working from 1592 till 1614 who are recorded by Father Schurhammer, the most interesting is Jacobo Niwa, who was born in 1579 of a Chinese father and a Japanese mother. One of the Padre Nicolão's most promising pupils, he was sent by the Visitador Valignani to Macau in 1601, where he formally entered the order two years later. Amongst his works were a picture of the Ascent of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and an altar frontal of the eleven thousand Virgins, both executed for the great church of St. Paul, whose ruinous façade still stands to-day. He accompanied Ricci to Peking in 1602 and seems to have worked alternately between the capital city and Macau till 1635 at least. 32

We know for certain that painting was taught to Japanese novices and students in the Jesuit seminaries at Amakusa, Arima and Nagasaki, but it is not so sure whether it was also taught in their other educational establishments at Funai in Bungo or at Azuchi near Lake Biwa. It seems probable that this was so, especially in the last instance, since Azuchi was so near to Kyoto, the artistic centre of Japan, and situated in the heart of a singularly flourishing and cultured Christian community, which for long enjoyed the patronage of influential Daimyo like Gamo Ujisato and Hosokawa Tadaoki.

Although, as we have stated, and as is evident from the extracts from Jesuit records already quoted, this native Christian Art was almost wholly religious and ecclesiastical in origin and practice, yet this assertion must be qualified to some extent. In the collections of Count Nambu and Viscount Matsudaira at Tokyo, and in that of Mr. Ikenaga at Kobe, are preserved some very curious eight- and six-leaf screens painted in the style of the later Italian Renaissance, as may be judged from the reproductions of them which are available in various Japanese works. 33 These screens are of quite a different type from the Namban-byobu, and, unlike them, are nothing more than faithful copies of European originals, so faithful, indeed, that one or two of them might easily pass for the work of Europeans. They are all very similar in design and seem to portray some pastoral or Biblical scene, but can hardly be termed religious art in the strict sense of the term. Their origin is ascribed by tradition to the Christian daimyo family of Gamo Ujisato, whose younger sister is supposed to have received them as part of her dowry on the occasion of her marriage into the Matsudaira family of Aidzu about 1580. Personally, however, I am inclined to believe that, like so much other European-inspired art, they were not executed until after the return of the Kyushu envoys in 1590, being probably copied from originals brought back from Italy. We know that the envoys had their portraits painted by the great Venetian artist Tintoretto during their stay in Venice, and it is quite natural that they should have brought back to Japan examples of his or other Cinquecento artists' works. 34

It has been suggested that these paintings appear to have been copied from Spanish rather than Italian originals, and this is of course quite possible, since the envoys made a prolonged stay in Spain and Portugal where they acquired many rarities, and certainly had the opportunity of appreciating paintings by contemporary Iberian Masters such as Sanches Coelho. It may be added that in some of these screens the style of painting and the materials used are half Japanese and half European, oil paints being used for the figures and Japanese paints for the background. This has led some Japanese art critics to express the opinion that the screens in question are the joint work of a Japanese and a European painter. Here again I have not sufficient knowledge to decide the point, but my own opinion for what it is worth after examining the screens in Count Nambu's collection, is that a Japanese artist was responsible for the whole.

In any case these screens -which some connoisseurs like Mr. Ikenaga ascribe to the pupils of the Jesuit Seminary at Azuchi, but without affording any convincing proof of this ascription- are by no means typical of the normal productions of the Jesuits' pupils or Dójucus pintores. The purely religious motives by which these painters were inspired is clearly shown by the few surviving examples of their works, which depict the Fifteen Mysteries of the Virgin, and portraits of St. Francis Xavier, the Archangel Michael, or similar subjects derived from Roman Catholic hagiology. Though native paper and materials are used, the designs are in all cases copied from European originals with little or no modification. 35

Finally, mention must be made of the famous painter Yamada Emosaku, the last known survivor of the Christian school, one or two of whose works are still extant. A great deal has been written about him by modem authorities, but little is known of his life beyond the fact that he was involved (apparently unwillingly) in the Shimabara rebellion of 1637-8, and served in the rebel force besieged in the Castle of Hara. Detected in the act of traitorously communicating with the besiegers, he was imprisoned in a dungeon, but saved from condemnation and death by the fall of the fortress. As a reward for his abortive treachery, his life was spared by the Shogunal Commander, Matsudaira Idzu-no-kami Nobutsuna, who took him to Yedo and kept him in his own yashiki until his death many years later. One of the most famous examples of Yamada's art is a European woman playing on a guitar, which has often been reproduced. It is painted in oils and possesses considerable artistic merit. He has often termed the earliest oil-painter in Japan, but this is doubtless an exaggeration, as many of the Jesuits' pupils used this medium. Whether Yamada himself had studied under the Jesuits is uncertain, but it seems quite possible. 36

Naturally enough, the virtual extirpation of Christianity in Japan as a result of the suppression of the Shimabara rebellion gave the final blow to the socalled Christian school, though there are some vague and unsatisfactory references to the Namban-ryu or Southern Barbarian style of painting at Nagasaki as late as the end of the seventeenth century.


As every student of Japanese history knows, it was the Jesuit missionaries who were responsible for the introduction of printing with movable types into Japan; but it is perhaps not so generally realized that they were likewise responsible for the introduction of the art of cooper-plate engraving.

The Jesuit Father Alessandro Valignani brought back to Japan with the Kyushu embassy a fount of European type in the summer of 1590; and this press, which had already produced two works relating to Japan at Goa and Macau in 1588-9, was responsible for the production of a large number of books in the brief twenty years of its existence in Japan. The original European press of 1590 was afterwards expanded to include Japanese characters and script, chiefly in hiragana. The devoted labours of the late Sir Ernest Mason Satow have raised an enduring monument of impeccable scholarship to the Jesuit mission press in Japan through his masterly monographs on the subject, to which some modern Japanese scholars have likewise devoted years of conscientious research. 37 For a full description of the chief works published by the Jesuit Mission Press in Japan, the reader is referred therefore to the works cited below, and I will confine myself here to a few brief notices of the subject which seem to have escaped general observation.

The enterprise of the Jesuit in importing these useful European commodities was speedily appreciated by their Japanese converts, many of whom proved apt pupils in this art. The Catalogue of 1592 already referred to makes mention of an Irmão Pedro Japão impressor da letra de Japão, não sabe mais que Japão (Brother Peter, Japanese and printer of Japanese characters, knows only Japanese), thus within two years of the foundation of this Press. An interesting letter written by Father Francisco Passio in March, 1594, alludes to the progress made by the Press in glowing terms:

The Press has been enriched with a fount of letra grifa which the natives have made at very little cost, since they are very generous and excellent workmen. We are now printing the Grammar of Father Manuel Alvarez in both the Portuguese and Japanese tongues, 38 and when this is finished we will proceed with a Calepin in Portuguese and Japanese, 39 in order that the Japanese may learn Latin and we of Europe, Japanese. We will also print in Japanese characters the Guia de peccadores of Frei Luis de Granada, which is now being translated, etc.40

Although their Japanese pupils had made such speedy progress in the art of printing in both native and European type, it seems that the Press continued to be supervised by Europeans priests for many years. At any rate the missionary catalogues of 1606-7 inform us that the then superintendent of the Press was Father Nicolão de Avila, the printer's name being given as Father João Baptista. Mention is also made of a Japanese, Irmão Nixi (Nishi) Romão, who was occupied in translating a book of sermons into Japanese, presumably with a view to its being printed in the vernacular. 41 Only in the last years of the existence of this Press, do we get the name of a Japanese printer on the title-page. This was one Goto Soin, whose Christian name was Thomé, and who is known to have had a long and close connection with the Press. He was not apparently a priest or lay-brother, but certainly a devoted convert. His name appears on the title-page of the Fides no Quio ('Book of the Faith'), printed at Nagasaki in 1611, which must have been one of the last books printed before the storm of persecution broke in 1614, when the Jesuit Press was destroyed or taken to Macau. It is also one of the few books not recorded by Sir Ernest Satow. 42 The name of another Japanese printer is supplied to us by the title-page of the Contemptus Mundi printed at Kyoto (Miaco) by one António Harada (Harada Anthonii) in 1610.

Reproduction of the press taken to Japan by Valignano, in Kawaura Museum, Amakusa, location of the Jesuit college and seminary in the XVIth century.

The influence exerted by these works on Japanese language and culture was considerable, and would have been still more so but for the prohibition of Christianity and the extinction of the Press in 1614. Although most of the works were, naturally enough, purely religious or devotional treatises, yet the productions of the Jesuit Press included a version of the Heike Monogatari, an edition of Aesop's Fables, and last, not least, the magnificent Luso-Japanese Grammars and Dictionaries of Father João Rodrigues which form the first (and for long the only) attempt at a scientific study of the Japanese language, and were the basis of the earliest Japanese-European grammatical works published in the middle of the nineteenth century. 43

An idea of the influence exerted by the Portuguese - and to a lesser degree by the Latin- language on the Japanese vocabulary of the time, can be formed by a study of the numerous words and phrases transliterated into Japanese romaji in these works. Lists of such words are to be found in the works of Satow, Shimmura, Doi and other scholars, so there is no need to reproduce them here. 44 Of course the vast majority were theological or ecclesiastical terms and phrases which had no equivalent in Japanese, but apart from these a number of ordinary secular words are to be found, and their number would have increased yearly through the medium of these Jesuit publications but for the early extinction of the Press. It must be remembered that in Japan, as in contemporary Europe, books were comparatively rare and costly things, and the works published by the Jesuit Press would not have had to compete against an overwhelming mass of current popular literature such as the missionary productions of to-day have to contend with. The more popular tracts and treatises also had a large circulation in manuscript.

However, it is bootless to speculate on what might have been, and before concluding this section we must make a brief mention of the art of copperplate engraving as introduced into Japan by the Jesuit Fathers and first practiced by their Japanese acolytes. Father Francisco Passio in his above-quoted letter of March, 1594, states that some of the pupils had made great progress in painting, both in distemper and in oils, and in engraving on copper, copying the paintings and engravings which had been brought from Rome by the Ambassadors. There is no doubt but that they were also responsible for the execution of the plates for the title-pages of the works of the Jesuit Mission Press. Specimens of these copper-plates are exceedingly rare, but two are reproduced in Dr. T. Nagayama's oft-quoted Kirishitan Shiryo-shu or Collection of Historical Materials connected with the Roman Catholic Religion in Japan, published at Nagasaki in 1924 (pl. 73-7). These are supposed to have been executed at the Jesuit Seminary of Ariye in Kyushu, and are merely copies of Italian or Spanish originals. This art was probably confined to religious and ecclesiastical subjects during the brief span of its existence. In any case, it was extinguished in the deluge of blood which virtually extirpated Christianity in the years 1614-1640, and it was not until nearly one hundred and fifty years later that it was revived or rather re-introduced by the Yedo artist Shiba Kokan, through the influence of the Hollanders.


Whatever views may be held as to the propriety or otherwise of the Jesuits' missionary efforts in Japan, there can surely be no two opinions as to the honour which is due to them for their noble activities in the sphere of medical and surgical science. It is true that judged by modern standards the medical knowledge of the sixteenth-century European physicians and surgeons left a great deal to be desired, yet, barbarous in many respects as it undoubtedly was, it was nevertheless superior to the still cruder Sino-Japanese methods as practised in Ashikaga Japan.

From their earliest years in this mission-field the Jesuits won distinction as amateur doctors or surgeons, but it was not until the foundation of their celebrated Hospital at Oita in Bungo that their cure of bodies was placed on as regular a basis as their cure of souls. The guiding spirit in this foundation was the Jesuit Father Luís Almeida, who was apparently a person of no mean scientific attainments, in addition to being a man of rare energy and tact. This Hospital from the first seems to have been staffed mainly by Japanese surgeons and physicians, and on Almeida's virtual retirement from the supervision thereof in 1561 owing to pressure of other work, a Japanese succeeded him as principal. The custom of infanticide was then wide-spread in Japan owing to the miserable social conditions prevailing in consequence of the perennial civil wars, and this Hospital seems to have been founded partly with a view to taking in and caring for destitute children abandoned by their parents. The Jesuits also distinguished themselves by their charitable care of leprous and syphilitic patients, two classes who were viewed with loathing and contempt by the majority of their countrymen. This Hospital seems to have been the first of its kind ever erected in Japan, and it is not surprising that patients flocked to it from all over the country, even from the distant North. Already, in the summer of 1559, a bare two years after its foundation, there were sixty seriously ill patients, besides another one hundred and forty who had been cured of internal or external diseases in one form or another. Almeida's organisation seems to have been remarkably efficient, and the place was provided with a well-stocked dispensary or pharmacy amongst other things. 45

Frontispiece of Fides no quio (Book of the Faith), printed by Goto Soin, Nagasaki, 1611.

This Hospital seems to have been destroyed or abandoned in 1586, probably in consequence of the invasion of Bungo by Shimazu of Satsuma in that year, but Almeida's tradition of healing was continued by his Japanese pupils, and by other Portuguese Jesuits, of whom Fathers Duarte da Silva and Ayres Sanches were the most famous. The teaching of Almeida and his co-religionists was the origin of a native school of medical surgery know as the Namban-ryu or 'Southern Barbarian School' after its originators. Little is known of the middle of the nineteenth century at least, though it did not cut much of a figure beside the later native Sino-Japanese Schools or the Dutch School of Surgery which achieved considerable vogue in the last quarter of the eighteenth century through the translation of Dutch medical works by Sugita Gempaku, Katsuragawa Hoshu and others. 46 Portuguese surgery of a sort was also taught at Nagasaki and other places in Kyushu, and seems to have survived in various places in a vaguely traditional way. The best-known name in connection with the Namban-ryu and its branches is that of the renegade Jesuit Provincial, Father Cristóvão Ferreira, who apostatised under the torment of the fosse in 1633, and became a naturalized Japanese under the name of Sawano Chuan. To him is attributed a work called the Namban Gekasho or 'Southern Barbarian Surgery', and he had several pupils amongst the interpreters and citizens of Nagasaki, amongst whom Handa Junan, Nishi Gempo and Sugimoto Chukei were the most renowned. It seems, however, that these local Nagasaki schools were soon influenced by the Hollanders, from whose doctors the later practitioners like the Nishi and Narabayashi families seem to have acquired their somewhat modest knowledge of European medicine and surgery. 47


No more than a brief mention need be made of this. We know that one the things which most impressed the Japanese about Saint Francis Xavier was his astronomical knowledge, which they regarded with great respect. We have a few stray references to astronomical globes and charts being imported by the Portuguese into Japan, and doubtless the Jesuits imparted a rudimentary knowledge of the subject to some at least of their Japanese pupils. The afore-mentioned Jesuit apostate, Cristóvão Ferreira (Sawano Chuan), is credited with two or three astronomical treatises, explaining in detail the principles of European astronomy. The longest one was drawn up by Chuan on the order of the Kirishitan Bugyo or Chief Inquisitor, Inouye Chikugo-no-kami, the preface being dated Keian III (1650). The work was apparently dictated by Chuan and reduced to writing by one of the Nishi family of Nagasaki interpreters. A Japanese astronomer named Mukai published a refutation of Ferreira's works ten years later. 48

Model of Japan's first Western hospital, in Oita, founded by Luís de Almeida SJ.

Curiously enough, Portuguese or rather Jesuit influence on Japanese astronomical science became much more potent after the expulsion of the Lusitanians from Japan and the extinction of the Catholic missions, than it had been before. This was because just about this time the scientific attainments of the Jesuit missionaries in the neighbouring Middle Kingdom had attracted the favourable notice of the Court of Peking, where both the late Ming and early Manchu monarchs bestowed their patronage on such learned Jesuits as Ricci and Schall. Numbers of European scientific works were translated into and published in Chinese at this period, and not a few such works found their way to Japan, despite the Bakufu's prohibition of Sino-Jesuit scientific literature in 1630. Upon the partial rescinding of this decree by the Shogun Yoshimune in 1719, the free import of these books began anew, and through them the native astronomers obtained a knowledge of the works of European scientists like Leibnitz and Newton. In fact the astronomical knowledge derived from these Jesuit sources enabled the native astronomers of the eighteenth century to attain a technical and professional ability which was already sufficiently remarkable before the great impetus given to astronomical science by the translation of Lalande's treatise at the end of the eighteenth century.


Only passing mention will be made of this subject, since it has been fully treated by me elsewhere and I have nothing to add to what I then wrote. 49 Suffice it to say that the Portuguese were responsible for the introduction of fire-arms and cannon into Japan, both of which were speedily adopted by the Japanese. To all intents and purposes, Portuguese influence was confined to these innovations as neither in the realm of tactics nor military engineering did they impart or leave any discernible traces.


The influence exercised by the Portuguese in Japan on the manners, dress and language of the people with whom they came into contact was remarkable when we consider the brief span during which this influence was exerted, as also the comparatively small number of Lusitanians who visited or sojourned in the country. Naturally enough, this influence was strongest in Kyushu, and above all in Nagasaki and its vicinity, where not a few Portuguese married Japanese wives and settled down for life. It was, however, by no means confined to these localities, but attained a wider if less enduring vogue even in the court circles at Kyoto.

Naturally enough, too, one of the most effective means of propagating Portuguese -and thus also European- culture was through the training schools and colleges founded by the Jesuits for their neophytes and converts, which thus turned out yearly a large number of graduates imbued with European ideas and outlook, whose influence upon their fellow countrymen can scarcely have been negligible. A good idea of the proficiency attained by these students and the atmosphere of these colleges can be gained from the following extract of the Vice-Provincial Francisco Passio's letter of September 16, 1594, which has already been quoted in another connection elsewhere:

There were this year in the Seminary about one hundred pupils divided into three classes of Latin, written and oral, of writing Japanese and Latin, and of chanting and playing musical instruments. Those of the first class can already compose and recite therein, reading some lessons in a masterly manner, whilst they can perform some dialogue-plays in Latin. Twenty students will graduate this year... neither do they omit to hear or compose a lesson of rhetoric each day. The painters and those who engrave copperplates become daily more skilful, and their works are but little inferior to those which were brought from Rome. 50

Apart from purely cultural influence which must perforce have been spread by these Jesuit-trained scholars, there was a more popular response to the interest aroused by European manners and customs. In no respect was the influence more strikingly exerted than in the sphere of dress. In the Namban-byobu of the Keicho period by Kano Yeitoku and other artists already referred to, can be seen Japanese clad in a more or less modified European form of dress. In some cases the hakama or divided skirt is replaced by those baggy Zouave-like mosquito-proof trousers which are so characteristic a feature of Indo-Portuguese costume at that period. In other cases, Japanese can be seen wearing ruffs or rosaries round their necks, or carrying long handkerchiefs after the manner of the Portuguese fidalgos depicted in the same screens. Indo-European or Sino-European patterns can also be detected in some of the clothes worn by Japanese. That this sartorial influence was by no means restricted to the comparatively small if influential class of native converts, is amply proved by the following extract from Father Francisco Passio's previouslyquoted letter of September, 1594, which, it is worth noting in passing, is contemporary with the earliest and finest Namban-byobu by the Masters of the Kano school:

Quambacudono (i. e., The Kwampaku or Regente, Toyotomi Hideyoshi) has become so enamoured of Portuguese dress and costume that he and his retainers frequently wear this apparel, as do all the other Lords of Japan, even the gentiles, with rosaries of driftwood on the breast above all their clothes, and with a crucifix at their side or hanging from their waist, and sometimes even with kerchiefs in their hands; some of them are so curious that they learn by rote the litanies of Pater Noster and Ave Maria and go along praying in the streets, not in mockery or scorn of the Christians, but simply for gallantry or because they think it a good thing and one which will help them to achieve prosperity in worldly things. In this way they order oval shaped pendants to be made containing reliques of the images of Our Lord and Our Lady painted on glass at great cost, etc. 51

Doubtless this craze for Portuguese dress and customs was only a passing one at the Court of the notoriously whimsical Taiko, and it can scarcely have survived the promulgation of Hideyoshi's anti-Christian edict three years later, but it shows how wide-spread Portuguese influence was, and what a fillip it had received after the return of Valignani and the Kyushu Ambassadors from Rome in 1590. Another symptom of its duration is the romaji seals which were used by many of the Christian daimyo and their retainers down to the Kwanyei period (1624-1643) which I discussed in Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society of London, Vol. XXXII, pp. 113-117, they need not be treated in detail here. The accompanying illustration shows the romaji seal used by a samurai named Hitomi Sensai Munetsugu, and is reproduced from a treatise on horsemastership written by him in Keicho XVIII (1613), a fragment of which is in my collection. Other sections of the same treatise are in the possession of Professor Katsumata of Waseda University and of a private collector in Akita Prefecture. The seal is in red vermilion and will be observed to contain the roman letters STIAGO, the recognised abbreviation of São Thiago or Santiago, the Hispano-Portuguese patron saint in time of war. It is interesting to recall that both Otomo Sorin's troops and the Christian ronin who fought at Osaka castle in 1615 had the same name, as also those of Jesus and Maria, inscribed on their helmets or banners, and it was likewise the battlecry of the rebels at Shimabara in 1637-8. 52 Nothing is known of Hitomi Munetsugu beyond the fact that he was the author of this treatise on horsemanship which some native scholars believe to have been translated from a Portuguese original. He was doubtless a Christian samurai, and perhaps may have been numbered amongst the defenders of Osaka in 1615. In any case, the seal is interesting as dating from just before the definite prohibition of Christianity in 1614, and must have been one of the last so used. The few that survived from a later period, like those of the Hosokawa clan, were of. no religious significance, and contained merely the romaji form of their owner's personal name. The earliest known of these seals dates from 1556 and the latest from 1642, so that their use was practically contemporaneous with that of the whole period of Portuguese influence in Japan.

Pages from the shooting manual "Thirty Two Aiming Positions", from the Inatomi Shooting School (1595).

Each print has captions with technical instructions and angles for aiming.

The figure is undressed in order to give a clear idea of the correct posture. (Museum of Namban Art, Osaka)

The question of these romaji seals brings us to another interesting side of Portuguese influence in Japan, namely the linguistic. It is well known that at this time Portuguese was the commercial lingua-franca of the Far East, occupying the place that English or Malay holds in those regions to-day. Thus all Dutch or English Indiamen which left Europe for the Orient in the early part of the seventeenth century carried a Portuguese language-master on board, and knowledge of this tongue was a prerequisite with any merchant who went out there. The first Hollanders and English who arrived in Japan conducted their business with their Japanese customers in Portuguese, and this language was not superseded by Dutch until some time after the removal of the Netherlanders from Hirado to Deshima in 1614. 53 Portuguese is a relatively easy language to learn and its vowel sounds were well suited for easy adaptation or imitation by Japanese. Observers as far apart in point of time as Father João Rodrigues (1600), Engelbert Kaempfer (1696) and B. H. Chamberlain (1888) have pointed out the similarity in many ways between Portuguese and Japanese. It is not surprising that a knowledge of the Lusitanian tongue was widespread in Kyushu, especially when we consider the number of Portuguese settled in Nagasaki, or the flow of skilled interpreters from the Jesuit training schools in this neighbourhood.

There were in fact a great number of Portuguese words which were taken into use in Japanese, the majority being of the household variety if we except theological and religious terms already alluded to, some of which were of Latin origin. The extract from Father Passio's above-quoted letter shows us that many phrases were learnt in parrot-like fashion off by heart, and this is confirmed by a contemporary Japanese grammarian who observes that it was the fashion (which he much disliked) for smart people to interlard their conversation with Portuguese words and phrases, somewhat after the style of the modem Japanese intelligentsia who frequently prefer English terms to the vernacular, such as Sunday for Nichiyobi, and the like. 54 Of course many of these Portuguese words have passed out of use or been superseded by English terms, but a goodly number still survive to attest what must have been their plenitude at one time. As one would expect, these words were mostly confined to Kyushu in general and to Nagasaki in particular, where Portuguese influence was strongest and most lasting. Lists of these words have been complied by Japanese scholars and are available in print elsewhere. It will suffice here to quote a few of the more typical. (Japanese words are given in italics and their Portuguese originals in brackets).

Tabako [tabaco], tobacco; kappa [capa], rain-coat of straw, worn by peasants even nowadays in both Japan and Portugal; pan [pão], bread; kasutera [castelha], sponge-cake; karumeru or karumeira [caramelo], caramel or sugar-candy; kompeito [confeito], confits, sweets or jam; karuta [carta], (playing-) card; biidoro [vidro], glass, etc. All the above are still in use, but there are a number of other terms like kareuta [galeota], galliot or small sailing vessel, and kunushimento [conhecimento], bond or receipt, which were of a more technical character and are now obsolete. 55

It is worth remarking in passing that this influence was not entirely one-sided, for the Portuguese vocabulary was enriched by a few words of Japanese origin, as were to a greater extent the Indo-Portuguese dialects in use at Macau, Malacca and Goa. We need only mention three examples: “catana”, a sword, is derived from the Japanese katana whence also “catanhada”, a 'blow or cut with a sword'; “nanguinate” or “nanginata” is taken form the Japanese naginata, a 'halberd or halfpike'; “biombu” (or “beobie” in the seventeenth-century Macau dialect), 'a screen' is obviously taken straight from the Japanese byobu.


No more than a passing allusion need be made to this aspect of Portuguese influence, since the question has already been dealt with more than once by the present writer. 56 Suffice it to say that the Portuguese were responsible for the introduction of many examples of exotic fauna and flora into Japan such as the fig-tree and tobacco-plant, the latter of which was first planted at Sakakibara near Nagasaki. The Arabian and Persian horses imported as presents for Hideyoshi and his successors likewise deserve a passing mention, though they do not seem to have improved the inferior native stock to any appreciable extent.

The unique position occupied by the Portuguese as the sole recognised importers of foreign goods for over half a century (for the Chinese were officially prohibited from trading with Japan until after the fall of the Ming dynasty) naturally had a great effect on the Japanese economic structure of the time. We have seen how the early Japanese mercantile adventurers to Indo-China and elsewhere were largely indebted to Portuguese nautical and technical instruction or example for their advance. The organisation of Japan's overseas trade during this period was influenced by them to a very great extent, and the arrival of the yearly Nao do Trato or 'Great Trading Ship' from Macau at Nagasaki was for long the most important single event in Japan's overseas commerce. Many of the chief trading-houses and commercial magnates owed the origin of their fortune to the Portuguese trade, as for instance the Sumitomo family whose wealth was founded by one of the clan who was taught the art of copper-refining by a Portuguese at Sakai. The names of Ito Kozayemon and Suetsugu Sotoku which bulk so largely in the social and economic history of Japan during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries are likewise closely connected with the Luso-Japanese trade, for these merchant-princes drew their fortunes from their investments in this commerce. 57 The influence exerted by the Portuguese on the economic structure of the time -above all in Southern Kyushu- is strikingly attested by the respondência bonds for large sums of money borrowed by them, which form the subject of an article by the present writer in Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society of London, Vol. XXXI. A perusal of this paper will serve to show the scale on which they drove their financial transactions, and their intimate connection with general commercial conditions in Japan.


It has been frequently suggested by historians that the influence of the Portuguese in Japan was wholly negative and transitory, and that on the extirpation of Christianity in rivers of blood no permanent trace remained of the eventful 'Christian Century', save a few words of Lusitanian origin in the Nagasaki dialect and the introduction of tobacco. The reader who has had the patience to wade through this essay so far will probably realise that this sweeping judgment requires considerable modification; though it must be conceded that the reactionary policy of the second and third Tokugawa Shoguns succeeded in eliminating along with Roman Catholic Christianity the more useful productions of Portuguese influence, such as the printing-press, ship-building and high-seas navigation, painting in oils and copper engraving, and (last not least) the introduction of an effective romaji system which the Jesuits under Father João Rodrigues were so well on the way to popularising.

Even if we admit that the result of the brief century of Portuguese-Japanese intercourse was mostly negative, and even if we refuse to indulge in interesting if vain speculations as to how the civilisation of Japan would have developed had this intercourse not been so violently interrupted, yet there is another aspect of it which gives rise to some considerations on which it may not be altogether profitless to dwell for a moment. This aspect is the light that this curious episode of Japanese history throws on the character and nature of the Japanese people themselves.

Superficial observers, and even others who should be better qualified to give an opinion, frequently express their astonishment at the unprecedented rise of Japan from the position of a hidebound feudal state to that of a Great Power during the Meiji period. This achievement is indeed a most noteworthy one, and sufficiently remarkable in any of its aspects, but it is not so wholly unprecendented as is commonly asserted. The reader of this essay will perhaps agree that the writer thereof is making no exaggerated claim when he states that a precedent for the wave of Europeanisation which swept over the country during the early years of Meiji, can be found in the enthusiastic reception accorded to Jesuit missionaries and Portuguese merchants alike in the second half of the sixteenth century. True it is that the degree of Westernisation achieved in the Meiji period was much greater than that brought about by the brief period of Lusitanian intercourse, but the apparent disparity between the two is vastly reduced if due consideration is paid to differences of time and space. In the early years of Meiji, Japan was opened to the commerce, culture and influence of the peoples of the all Western World and America, whence both goods and ideas were imported in comparatively swift steam vessels plying to numerous ports. In the sixteenth century on the other hand, foreign influence was virtually confined to what could be brought on board the annual nao or carrack from Macau whose letters, goods and news from Europe must of necessity have been anything from one and a half to two years old. In later years, when the scope of foreign influence was somewhat widened by the concurrence of Spanish, Dutch and English rivals of the Portuguese, and by the Japanese overseas expansion to Indo-China and the South Seas, it soon received an artificial but effectual check from the increasingly reactionary policy of the Tokugawa Shoguns. Enough, however, has been stated in this article to prove to any fair-minded person that the influence exercised by the Portuguese in Japan was far greater than might be imagined from its somewhat tenuous and intermittent nature. It permeated all sections of Japanese society and all sides of Japanese culture. 58 It was warmly welcomed by the Japanese themselves, fostered by Nobunaga and, for a time, by Hideyoshi, and only finally suppressed by the autocratic Tokugawa because of the baneful effects they feared its religious aspect would exert on the national polity. But the undoubted -if largely ephemeral- success it did achieve with such slender means and in so few years affords us convincing proof that the average Japanese is not anti-foreign by nature, that he does not instinctively dislike foreign culture or traditions; but on the contrary it proves that (if allowed by higher authority) he is ready to welcome or at least give them a trial.

To take a concrete instance. The phenomenal rise of Japan from a nation possessing no ocean-going craft whatsoever to the owner of one of the largest and most efficient mercantile marines on the face of the globe, has often been the cause of astonishment to numerous writers. What is more, it was frequently prognosticated during the early Meiji period that the Japanese would never be able to attain the necessary nautical skill to navigate ocean-going vessels, and that they would never be able to dispense with their foreign pilots and skippers. A little knowledge of history might have taught these pundits to save their breath to cool their own porridge. In the early Keicho period a law was promulgated by the Bakufu forbidding any Japanese vessel to navigate as far the Philippines or Indo-China without a Portuguese pilot on board; and accordingly all the Goshuinsen, or licensed ships, for some years duly carried such pilots or skippers, just as Japanese steamers did in the early Meiji period. But the Japanese sailors soon made such progress in the art of Western nautical sciences, as evidenced by the examples adduced earlier in this essay, that this law speedily became unnecessary. 59 A similar advance could be quoted in ship-building until Iemitsu's drastic edicts put an end to these and all other similar activities.

Another clue to present events which can be supplied by the past relates to Japanese expansion overseas. This problem is usually considered to be of very recent origin and ascribed solely to the pressure of over-population which has become so marked of late. In support of this theory, it is usually alleged that the Japanese showed no desire to extend or expand overseas, with the possible exceptions of the plundering raids of piratical bands on the Chinese coast during the Ming Dynasty or Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea. A close study of the period under review reveals that there is another side to this question. By the second decade of the seventeenth century the Japanese had a well-organised and steadily expanding trade with Indo-China and the South Seas, apart from an increasing number of ronin and other adventurers who sought to make their fortunes as mercenaries in Siam. The modem Japanese settlement at Davao in the Philippines has its forerunner in the flourishing Japanese colony at Manila during the early seventeenth century. The activities of Japanese traders and adventurers in Malaya to-day have their counterpart in the ronin and mercenaries whose doings caused the Portuguese of Malacca or the Dutch at Batavia no little anxiety at times. 60

The arrival of the nau do trato and procession in Nagasaki.

A typical Kano screen (XVIIth century). (Museum of Namban Art, Osaka)

In this connection we may stress that a comparison between the era 1542-1600 and the early years of Meiji is particularly valid, as the general atmosphere and conditions in Japan afford in some ways a striking parallel. After the adoption of Chinese civilisation during the Nara period, the Japanese were too occupied with absorbing and adaptation this civilisation and Buddhism to worry about expansion overseas, even if this had been necessary or desirable, which it was not when so mighty and satisfying a neighbour as China was close at hand. From the time of Yoritomo down to the end of the Ashikaga period, Japan was rent -with few and brief intervals- by civil wars; whilst from the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate until Perry's arrival she was artificial sealed from close contact with the outside world, save through the medium of the Dutch and Chinese in Nagasaki. The only two periods, therefore, in which Japan had both the leisure and opportunity for free and comparatively unrestricted intercourse with foreign culture and the outside world other than China were in 1542-1616 and again from 1853 onwards. In each case the first reactions were strikingly similar, but if anything those of the Portuguese period were favourable since there was no joi ('Expel the Barbarians') movement, and on the contrary foreigners together with their goods, arts and sciences were warmly welcomed. The results, if continued and unrestricted intercourse with the West had continued after 1635, are interesting if profitless to discuss; but in the light of the preceding fifty years and of the subsequent course of events in the Meiji period, it seems highly probable that Japan would have adopted or adapted such Western arts and sciences as she needed, but without sacrificing any of her own characteristic civilisation, or becoming a Roman Catholic state as so many people (including the Tokugawa bureaucracy) seem to have imagined. How the course of history would have been in such an event we do not profess to foretell; but perchance if Commodore Perry and those who went with him to 'open Japan' in 1853 had been well read in the history of the 'Christian Century', they might have hesitated before doing so, and consequently visiting on the heads of their children's children, not indeed the sins, but the light-hearted acts of the fathers who were thus responsible for calling into existence the most formidable political, military and commercial competitor which Western civilisation has ever had to face.

CN: This article, originally published in the Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society of London, vol. 33 (1936), pp. 13-64, is reprinted here by kind permission of the author.


1 Besides the better-known standard works of Brinkley, Murdoch, Nachod and others, which deal in passing with the early foreign relations of Japan, more detailed accounts of varying aspects thereof will be found in works like the following: I. Shimmura, Namban-Koki and Zoku-Namban-koki (Tokyo, 1925); T. Nagayama, Kirishitan Shiryoshu (Nagasaki, 1924); D. Schilling, Das Schulwesen der Jesuiten in Japan (1551-1641), (Munster, 1931). Various articles by Okamoto Yoshitomo (Ryochi) in Japanese historical magazines, 1930-1935, and by the present writer in the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan and of the Japan Society, 1928-1935, passim.

2 Commentarios do grande Afonso Dalboquerque, Capitam Geral que foy das Indias Orientaes, Lisboa, 1576.

3 I. e., Ryukyu or the Luchu Islands. For a full discussion of the probable origin of these Gores compare the articles of Mr. Akiyama, Gores wa Ryukyu jin de aru, and Gores naru meisho no hassei to sono rekishiteki hatten, in Vol. 39 of the Shigaku Zasshi and subsequent articles on the same theme by this author and Mr. Y. Okamoto in Shigaku Zasshi and Rekishichiri.

4 Peregrinaçam de Fernam Mendez Pinto, Lisboa, 1614.

5 Diogo do Couto, Década Quinta da Ásia, Lisboa, 1612. The account of Japan is in Livro VIII, Cap. XII, folios 183-6. Do Couto was an exceptionally reliable and painstaking historian, He was born at Lisbon in 1542 (the year of the discovery of Japan by the Portuguese) and lived in India from 1559 to 1569, and again from 1571 until his death at Goa in 1616. He was thus in a position to know the real facts of the case if anybody was.

6 Probably an error for Nippon-jin or Japanese.

7 Vol. XXVI (1929), The Affair of the Madre de Deus, pp. 20-23,29.

8 Letter dated 31. xii.1603, printed in full on pp. 125-8 of the Archivo Portuguez-Oriental, Fascículo I, Parte 2ª, Cartas da Câmara de Goa a Sua Magestade (Nova Goa, 1876).

9 Ibidem, pp. 157-8. Compare the decisive part played by the Japanese colony in Manilla in assisting the Spaniards to quell a Chinese revolt, as related in Colin-Pastell's Labor Evangelica, Vol. II, pp. 413-441.

10 F. C. Wieder, De Reis van Mahu en De Cordes, Lin. Ver, Vols. 21-4, (Hague, 1923-5). For a discussion of these maps and their probable attribution to the Liefde, see also N. W. Van Nouhuys, Zeekarten uit het Schip de Liefde ex-Erasmus in 1598. (Tijds. Ned. Aardrijk. Gen. Deel 48, 1931).

11 The Image of Erasmus in Japan. Article by J. B. Snellen in Trans. As. Soc. Japan, Second Series, Vol. XI, Tokyo, 1935.

12 For the reason of this nomenclature see Dahlgren, Les Débuts de la Cartographie du Japon (Upsala, 1911), pp. 41-56, and for certain necessary rectifications thereof, Cortesão, Cartografia, op. cit., II, pp. 38-41.

13 Diogo do Couto, Década XII, Livro 5, Cap. 2 (Paris, 1645). This passage, which occurs in Couto's account of the arrival of the Liefde in 1600 was translated and fully annotated by D. Ferguson in his Hakluyt Society edition of the Travels of Pedro Teixeira, pp. lxxvi-lxxxii.

14 This map and the portulans immediately following are reproduced (albeit badly and on a very small scale) and briefly described on pp. 115-120 of Professor Kawajima's Shuin-sen Boeki-shi, (Tokyo, 1918).

15 Hydrographia. Exame de Pilotos, no qual se contem as regras que todo Piloto deve guardar em suas navegações, assi no sol, variação dagulha, como no cartear... com os Roteiros de Portugal pera a India, & Malaca, &c., Lisboa, 1608, 1614, 1625 and 1632.

16 See my article, The Affair of the Madre de Deus in Vol. XXVI of the present Transactions. This Luso-Japanese nautical treatise is briefly described in Kawajima, op. cit., pp. 102-114.

17 This is the more so when it is recollected that not only Will Adams but also Portuguese shipwrights introduced improvements into Japanese ideas of building large sea-going vessels, for examples of which see Professor Kawajima's book, op. cit.

18 H. Ikenaga, Hosaibankwa Daihokwan, two vols., with supplementary text and description by H. Inada (Osaka, 1932). Mr Ikenaga is a Kobe millionaire and his collection is worthy of his means. Compare especially the byobu maps reproduced in Vol. I, P1. 9 and App. 1 and 2, Vol. II, P1. 127-130.

19 Hosaibankwa, II, P1. 127.

20 C. R. Boxer, Jan Compagnie in Japan, 1600-1860 (Hague, 1936), pp.9-11.

21 A somewhat similar form of art is to be found in the so-called 'Coromandel' screens produced in China for the European market during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, of which a fine example was included in the Exhibition of Chinese Art in London, 1935-36.

22 Catalogue of Ikenaga Collection, Plates 4a and B; Vol. II. These views of leading European capitals were presumably taken from the engravings in Braun's Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber primus, published at Cologne in 1572, copies of which were probably brought back by the Kyushu embassy in 1590. At any rate, the view of Lisbon bears the most striking resemblance to that published in this book, as a comparison of the two at once discloses.

23 E. g., the compiler of the catalogue of the Musée Guimet, Paris, where this particular byobu is to be found. Another very similar one is in the collection of Mr. Ikenaga, of Kobe, and is reproduced in Vol. I, P1. 8, of his Catalogue, op. cit. The erroneous attribution of the compiler of the Musée Guimet Catalogue has misled so eminent an art critic as Dr. José de Figueiredo, who is thus responsible for perpetuating this fairy tale in his otherwise excellent description of this screen in História da Literatura Portuguesa Ilustrada (Lisboa, 1929), Vo. I, pp. 352-3.

24 Even the negro slaves were provided with velvet liveries and golden chains!

25 Curiously enough it is a modified type of the byobu in the Musée Guimet and Ikenaga collections which have been erroneously identified with St. Francis Xavier and Mendes Pinto as narrated above. In the case of this present hina-byobu however, there are no ecclesiastical or religious figures visible, the Jesuits being replaced by ordinary Japanese merchants and samurai, whilst the church has been turned into an inn by the simple expedient of substituting a Buddhist emblem for the cross on the roof. Probably Kwanei period.

26 For the popularity of Portuguese dress, manners and speech, see below, p. 53; for a detailed account of the origin and growth of Nagasaki-e, my Jan Compagnie in Japan (Hague, 1936).

27 By far the best and fullest account of Namban-byobu is the monumental publication of Mr. Nagami Tokutaro of Nagasaki, who has made a life-long study of these screens, entitled Namban-byobu no kenkyu (Tokyo, Kogeisha, 1930), containing some sixty pages of descriptive text and 105 plates in folio size. Here all the Byobu known to Mr. Nagami, whether in Japan, Europe or America, are duly classified and identified, with reproductions in whole or in part of the majority of them. Some superb examples are also reproduced and briefly commented on in the two volumes of the Ikenaga Collection. For those unable to read Japanese, but who can cope with German or Portuguese, there are the following two studies, the first of which, however, needs considerable revision in the light of Mr. Nagami's researches: J. Dahlmann, SJ, Japans Älteste Beziehungen zum Westen, 1542-1614 (Freiburg, 1923); and the essay of Dr. J. Costa Carneiro, "A Iconografia dos Portuguezes no Japão" in the Boletim of the Sociedade Luso Japoneza (Tokyo, 1929). There is nothing on the subject in English so far as I know. During a three years' stay in Japan I had the pleasure of frequentely discussing these Namban-byobu with such eminent authorities as Messrs. Nagami, Koda, Shimmura, Okamoto, and Ikenaga, besides having personally examined the majority of those still preserved in Japan.

28 Rol dos Dogicos que estão nas casas do Japão cõ outra gente de seruiço [1592] in British Museum, Additional MSS. 9860, fl. 3. For other extensive references to these Dojucus cf. P. D. Schilling, O. F. M., Das Schulwesen der Jesuiten in Japan (1551-1614), pp. 73-4 (Munster, 1931).

29 E. g., Guerreiro, Relaçam Anual [1603], p. 140.

30 Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 9860, fl. 112 and 113. Catalogues of missionaries in Japan, dated 1606 and 1607. For further details concerning P. Giovanni Nicolão and his Japanese pupils see the interesting and valuable essay of P. Schurhammer, SJ, Die Jesuitenmissionare des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts und ihr Einflüss auf die Japanische Malerei, on pp. 118-126 of the Jubiläumsband of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Natur. und Völkerkunde Ostasiens, Teil I, Tokyo, 1933.

31 L. Pagés, Histoire de la Religion Chrétienne au Japon, I. p. 302. He was a native of Higo. The following quotation from the work referring to the year 1601 is also relevant: "Quatorze Doyoucous, étudiant la peinture, s'étaient retirés à Arima pendant la guerre, et vivaient en forme de séminaire, enrichissant de leurs oeuvres les santuaires du Japon". Thus most of the Japanese Churches had been decorated by native converts before the persecution of 1614.

32 Cf. Schurhammer, op. cit., p. 120.

33 E. g., Catalogue of the Ikenaga Collection, op. cit., T. Nagayama, Collection of Materials relating to the Roman Catholic Religion in Japan (Nagasaki, 1924); Meiji Izen no Yogwa, and Catalogue (illustrated) of the exhibition of Materials connected with Foreign Intercourse, organised by the Asahi Shimbun at Osaka in 1929.

34 Cf. Professor I. Shimmura's essay Seiyo-gwa denrai no kigen on pp. 417-435 of his Namban Koki, and Professor Kuroda's work, op. cit.

35 Reproductions of the chief of these works are to be found in Mr. T. Nagayama's work, op. cit.

36 For Yamada and his works, compare the books of Professors Shimmura, Kuroda and Nagayama referred to in the preceding notes, the introduction to the Catalogue of the Ikenaga Collection, and Father Shurhammer's article, op. cit., p. 121.

37 E. M. Satow, The Jesuit Mission Press in Japan, 1591-1610 (privately printed, 1888). Ably reviewed by B. H. Chamberlain in the Trans. As. Soc. Jap. for 1889, which also contains another of Satow's essays on the Jesuit Press, together with a reproduction of the Doctrina Christan of 1600. Of Japanese works devoted to the same subject, the best are those by Professors Kinoshita and Doi, which have been published in the Shigaku Zasshi, Shigaku, and other learned periodicals. Excellent reproductions of the title-pages of many of the original works are also to be found in the Kirishitan Shiryo-shu of Dr. T. Nagayama (Nagasaki, 1924).

38 Emmanuelis Alvari e Societate Iesu de institutione grammatica... Coniugationibus accessit interpretatio Iapponica. Published at Amakusa in 1594. (Satow, Jesuit Mission Press, No. 4).

39 Dictionarium Latino Lusitanicum, ac Iaponicum ex Ambrosii Calepini Volumine depromptum. Amakusa, 1595. (Satow, No. 5).

40 Guia do Pecador. Published in two vols. in 1599.

41 British Museum, Add. MSS. 9860, fls. 2 and 113.

42 In his above-mentioned articles Satow records and describes some sixteeen works which he had actually seen and examined. Later discoveries have brought this total up to twenty. This title-page of the Fides no Quio is reproduced herewith.

43 For Rodriguez's Dictionary see Satow, op. cit., No. 12, and the essays of Professor Doi. I possess an example of the almost equally rare Spanish translation edited by Frei Jacinto Esquivel and printed at Manilla in 1630 under the title of Vocabulario de Iapon declarado primero en Portugues por los Padres de la compania de Iesus de aquel reyno, y agora en Castellano en el Colegio de Santo Thomas de Manila, etc.

44 Compare such lists on pp. 27-9, 39-43, and 51-2 in the Japanese section of Professor Shimmura's Studies on the Christian relics in Japan found near Takatsuki and Kyoto (Tokyo, 1926).

45 Tinha [Almeida] alli feita hua botica com tantos Materiaes e Mezinhas, que mandava vir da China, que para tudo se achava logo remedio em sua caridade. Contemporary document quoted by Schilling, Das Schulwesen der Jesuiten in Japan, p. 56, note (7). This was in keeping with the Jesuits' practice elsewhere, as the Royal Hospital at Goa when under their supervision was renowned for its cleanliness, order and careful management, as testified in the accounts of Pyrard de Laval, Mocquet, Della Valle and other travellers.

46 Compare my Jan Compagnie in Japan, 1611-1817 (Hague, 1936), pp. 24f.

47 For those who wish to know more about the Jesuit School of Medicine and Surgery in Japan and its influence on native practitioners, I commend the excellent study of Father Dorotheus Schilling, O. F. M., Das Schulwesen der Jesuiten in Japan (1551-1614), (Munster, 1931), on pp. 40-68 of which will be found a painstaking account thereof based on all available sources, both Japanese and European.

48 A Portuguese translation of an article by Professor Shimmura on Christóvão Ferreira or Sawano Chuan and his astronomical works will be found on pp. 30-37 of Revista de História, Vo. IX (Lisboa, 1920).

49 Early European Military Influence in Japan, in Trans. As. Soc. Jap., II Series, Vol. VIII (Tokyo, 1930).

50 British Museum, Add. MSS. 9860.

51 British Museum, Add. MSS. 9860.

52 This again was directly derived from the Iberian example, as it was customry for the Portuguese soldiers to dar Santiago (lit. "Give them Saint James"), or loudly invoke the name of this Saint when charging the enemy.

53 Cf. pp.41-3 of my book Jan Compagnie in Japan for details as to the survival of a knowledge of Portuguese amongst the official Nagasaki interpreters, down to the eighteenth century at least. The English naturalist Wallace, visiting Amboyna in the middle of the nineteenth century, observed that the few years of uneasy Portuguese domination in that island during the last half of the sixteenth century had left far greater traces in the language and customs of the natives than the ensuing one hundred and fifty years of virtually uninterrupted Dutch rule.

54 Sansom, Japan: A Short Cultural History, p. 426.

55 Similar terms survive elsewhere. Even to-day in Java the native word for butter is the Portuguese manteiga, though the Lusitanians were never settled in this land, or nearer to it than Malacca. The question of Portuguese loan-words in the Japanese language is ably dealt with by Professor Doi in his article Nihon Yasokai no yogo ni tsuite in Nº 3 of the magazine Gairaigo-kenkyo (Tokyo, 1933).

56 Compare my articles in Vols. XXVI (1929) and XXXI (1933-4) of Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society of London.

57 Even the Shogun Ieyasu, despite his official injunctions to his samurai to refrain from trading or defiling themselves with filthy lucre in any way, was a large shareholder in the Macau- Nagasaki trade, as can be proved from the Jesuits' letters. In 1616 Hasegawa Gonroku, the Governor of Nagasaki, warned the English and Dutch Factors at Hirado not to interfere with "the great ship of Amacon, for that the Emperor had much adventure in her." (Cock's Diary, Vol. II, p. 106).

58 An interesting and instructive contrast to the influence exerted by Western Art and Sciences in China, where, despite the active patronage of the Ming and Manchu Courts, their practice was confined to a few intelligentsia. Foreign manners and customs (till very recent times) never made anything like the same broad appeal in China as did the social and cultural influence of the Portuguese on all classes in contemporary Japan.

59 The parallel or precedent becomes even closer when we observe that about 1630 the Lusitanians bitterly complained that Japanese junks were cutting them out of the Indo-Chinese raw silk trade, just as three hundred years later the Dutch and English inveighed so heavily against Japanese commercial competition and "dumping" in neighbouring regions!.

60 Professor N. Murakami has published a most interesting study on the populace composing the flourishing Japanese colony at Batavia in the first half of the seventeenth century, under the title of Jakatara in Nihon-jin in the Historical Transactions of Taihoku University.

*Historian and author of a vast number of studies dealing particularly with the history of the Portuguese in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Professor Boxer is a member of the British Academy, the Academia Portuguesa de História and other academic associations. He held the Camões Chair at the University of London (King's College) and has been made Doctor Honoris Causa in several universities.

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