The idea of sending a Japanese embassy to Europe was originally conceived by the Jesuit Valignano and sponsored by the three Christian Daimyo's. Mancio Itō was chosen to act as a spokesman for the group. On February 20, 1582, Mancio Itō left Nagasaki in company with three other noblemen:
- Miguel Chijiwa
- Julião Nakaura
- Martinho Hara
The ambassadors arrived back in Japan on July 21, 1590. On their eight-year-long voyage they had been instructed to take notes. These notes provided the basis for "The Mission of the Japanese Legates to the Roman Curia", a Macau-based writing by Jesuit Duarte de Sande published in 1590.
The four were subsequently ordained as the first ever Japanese Jesuit fathers by Alessandro Valignano.
Mancio Itō died in Nagasaki on November 13, 1612.
Martinho Hara was banished from Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1614, and acted in Macau. He died in Macau on October 23, 1629.
Miguel Chijiwa seceded Society of Jesus before 1601, and died in Nagasaki on January 23, 1633. The reason of his secession is uncertain.
Julião Nakaura was caught by the Tokugawa Shogunate, and died a martyr by torture in Nagasaki on November 21, 1633. He was beatified on November 24, 2008.
It is so interesting to have so much Christian history available and right at my doorstep. The neighbouring town Chijiwa was named after Miguel Chijiwa and his statue is proudly displayed right in front of the Town Hall for all to see and admire.
Christians in the day in Japan
The first Japanese Embassy to Europe, in 1586.
Top, from left to right: Julião Nakaura, Father Mesquita, Mancio Itō.
Bottom, from left to right: Martinho Hara, Miguel Chijiwa.
Check out Miguel Chijiwa Statue Nagasaki on a map!
Click on the photos below to enlarge:
A servant of Christianity
On display at his namesake town of Chijiwa, Nagasaki