The Dream of Christian Nagasaki

World Trade and the Clash of Cultures, 1560–1640

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About the Book

Nagasaki, on the west coast of the Japanese island of Kyushu, is known in the West for having been the target of an atomic bomb attack on August 9, 1945. Less well known is that the city was founded by Europeans, Jesuit missionaries who arrived in the area in the second half of the 16th century. The Jesuits had come to convert the Japanese. After baptizing a Japanese lord or daimyo of the area, they established Nagasaki in 1571 to provide the Portuguese a safe harbor in his domain. Profits for the daimyo and the Japanese who converted to Christianity soon followed.
This book is the first comprehensive history in any language of the rise and fall of Christian Nagasaki (1560–1640). The author provides a narrative of the city’s early years from both the European and Japanese perspectives.

About the Author(s)

Reinier H. Hesselink is the author of Prisoners from Nambu: Reality and Make-Believe in Seventeenth-Century Japanese Diplomacy (2002) and many articles on Japanese and world history in English, Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese journals and other scholarly publications. He lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Bibliographic Details

Reinier H. Hesselink
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: 4 photos, 3 maps, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9961-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2474-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Abbreviated Genealogies of the Arima, Ōmura, Nagasaki and Chijiwa Houses 13

Timeline for the History of Christian Nagasaki 15

A Note on Currencies, Weights and Dates 18

Part One: Founding Fathers (1561–1586)

From Hirado to Yokoseura: Luis d’Almeida (1) 19

Becoming a Christian: Ōmura Sumitada (1) 21

The Mission’s Superior: Cosme de Torrès 29

A New Anchorage: Luis d’Almeida (2) 33

A Knight in Superior Armor: João Pereira 37

The Chinese in Nagasaki Bay: Nagasaki Sumikata 39

A Man for the Jesuits: Ōmura Sumitada (2) 43

Nagasaki Bay in 1568: Gaspar Vilela 46

The Busy Scribbler: Luís Fróis (1) 49

The Founding of Nagasaki: Francisco Cabral 52

No Place for the ­Fainthearted: Belchior de Figueiredo 57

Christian Champion: Gaspar Coelho (1) 62

The “Donation” of Nagasaki: Alessandro Valignano 64

The ­King-Sized Admiral: Ambrósio Fernandes 69

Militant Missionaries: Gaspar Coelho (2) 71

Part Two: Brave New World (1587–1613)

The Conqueror of Kyushu: Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1) 75

The Slave Trader: Domingos Monteiro 79

Rewriting History: Luís Fróis (2) 81

Master of the Tenka: Toyotomi Hideyoshi (2) 84

A Hapless Captain Major: Roque de Melo 89

A Spaniard from Peru: Juan de Solís 93

A New Head of the Mission: Pedro Gómez 99

The Spanish Spy: Bernardo Avila Girón (1) 102

A Cockaigne of Sex: Francesco Carletti (1) 106

The Martyred Mendicant: Pedro Blásquez 108

A Town Under Pressure: Francesco Carletti (2) 113

The Italian Painter: Giovanni Cola 117

A Chinese Madonna: Matsupo/Maso 122

The Eyes and Ears of Ieyasu: Ogasawara Ichi’an 127

Anti-Christian Cabal: The Hasegawa Siblings 133

The Last Conquistador: André Pessoa 137

Part Three: Forging a Yamato Soul (1614–1629)

The Second Prohibition: Tokugawa Ieyasu 144

The Last Processions: Bernardo Avila Girón (2) 147

The City Occupied: Yamaguchi Naotomo 152

The Destruction of the Churches: Hasegawa Sahyōe 157

An Early Apostate: Chijiwa Miguel 161

The Taiwan Expedition: Murayama Tōan 167

Dangerous Litigation: Murayama Tōan vs. Suetsugu Heizō 171

The New Governor: Hasegawa Gonroku (1) 174

In Pursuit of Ordination: Araki Thomé 180

Changes in the City: Hasegawa Gonroku (2) 185

The Summer of 1622: Bento Fernandes 188

A Japanese Padre: Kimura Sebastião 192

The ­Ten-Family System: ­Hama-no-machi Antonio 196

The Corral of the Martyrs: Sukedayu 201

Repressive Measures: Tokugawa Iemitsu 207

A ­Hard-Liner: Mizuno Morinobu 211

The Climax of the Persecution: Takenaka Shigeyoshi 215

The Brave ­Ex-Mayor: Machida João 217

Epilogue: Nagasaki in the 1630s 219

Glossary 227

Notes 229

Bibliography 260

Index 273

Book Reviews & Awards

“clearly the product of countless hours of painstaking historical investigation. The resultant study is nothing if not a model of thorough research…Hesselink’s book amounts virtually to a gazetteer of the early Catholic missions to Japan”—Journal of American-East Asian Relations.