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Courtiers and Christians: the first Japanese emissaries to Europe.

ON AUGUST 15 84 FOUR JAPANESE emissaries arrived in Lisbon. Strictly speaking, they were not the first Japanese to arrive in Europe, but they were the first official delegates sent by Japanese feudal lords. And they were the first to return to Japan after a European sojourn.(1) Some historians have argued that "no Japanese emissaries, before or since, aroused comparable interest or enthusiasm" among Europeans.(2)

Much has been written about this visit, both in the sixteenth century and closer to our own, but while there is no doubt about the warmth of the welcome, judgments about its meaning and importance have differed sharply. In the late nineteenth century, Guglielmo Berchet reluctantly concluded that despite European enthusiasm and the triumph of the travelers over enormous obstacles during the journey, the embassy was of no consequence because by the time it returned to Japan in 1587, it encountered a hardening of attitudes against Europeans.(3) Donald Lach, on the other hand, stresses the importance of the embassy for Europe, even as he acknowledges that the impact on Japan was blunted: "Whatever influence they may have had upon the progress of Christianity in Japan, there can be no question about the impact they made in Europe. Their visit was the subject of much talk, many letters by a vast circle of correspondents, and no fewer than fifty-five publications . . . Even in countries which it did not visit, the mission had the effect of immediately stimulating interest in Japan . . . That the legates put Japan on the map for most Europeans is beyond doubt."(4)

This article will not assess the relative merits of these positions nor focus primarily on the motives for the embassy or its impact on the Japanese. Instead, I would like to reflect on certain aspects of European reactions to the embassy, particularly the implications of the extraordinary public displays that greeted the emissaries. These displays have been seen as examples of Renaissance curiosity about the world and man and as specific illustrations of European interest in the Other. Yet, as I hope to show, the reception of the Japanese emissaries is better understood as a conjuncture of favorable forces within European politics than as a demonstration of interest in a different and alien culture. Moreover, even if some Europeans may have been genuinely curious about their Japanese visitors, it was simply not the case that the European public was equally fascinated by the arrival of the Japanese. The reception of the emissaries varied not just from city to city but among different social groups. A closer look at these differences and at the gap between the official receptions and more spontaneous responses call tell us much about European perceptions of the Other and about the varieties of outlook within European society.

The reflections that follow have been stimulated by previously unused documents in the Florentine archives. The documents, generated by the ducal bureaucracy, allow us to glimpse the variety of European responses in ways that are not possible in the published accounts that appeared shortly after the completion of the embassy.

The idea for the embassy came from Alessandro Valignano, the Jesuit Visitor to the Orient. Sent to Asia in 1574, Valignano had embarked on an ambitious program of conversions to Christianity by strengthening contacts with native rulers, urging the Jesuits to become more familiar with Japanese culture, and building seminaries to train Japanese clergy and teach the laity about European culture and religion. By the early 1580s he was eager to attract the attention of Europeans to the success of his mission so as to bring much needed financial backing for further work. Despite the relatively large number of conversions, the resources of the small Japanese feudal lords who had converted to Christianity had not sufficed to underwrite his projects.(5) The embassy would also show the Japanese the wealth and the power of Catholic Europe, thus making Jesuit claims more believable to a people accustomed to think of themselves as the center of civilization and skeptical about the advantages of European culture and religion. The very fact that European travelers ventured so far and braved such dangers to reach the shores of Japan indicated to the Japanese that Europeans were surely trying to escape a dreadful place:

The aim sought by this mission ... consists of two things: The first is to

obtain the cure which in temporal and spiritual matters is necessary in Japan.

The second is to make the Japanese understand the glory and grandeur

of the Christian religion and the majesty and riches of princes and lords

who have embraced this religion, and the greatness and wealth of our kingdoms

and cities ... Thus, these Japanese youths as eye witnesses and persons

of notable quality, will be able, upon their return to Japan, to recount

what they saw and thus to give in Japan the credibility and authority that

is necessary for our affairs. In effect, since the Japanese have never seen

them, they cannot presently believe them . . . because it seems to them that

in our countries we are poor people and people of lowly condition, and for

this reason, under the pretext of preaching about the things of Heaven, we

come to Japan to seek our fortune.(6)

The Japanese exposure to the wonders of Europe was to be a carefully orchestrated trip. Valignano wrote elaborate instructions for the Jesuits who accompanied the emissaries and sent letters ahead to ensure that the secular and religious authorities prepared the proper welcome.(7) While the emissaries were to "be shown all extraordinary and great things, such as buildings, churches, palaces, gardens and similar places, as well as silver objects, rich sacristies and other things which will contribute to their edification, they were not to be shown "anything that could give them a contrary impression.(8) Above all, they were not to be exposed to the divisions that were tearing apart the political and religious fabric of European society. They were to be accompanied at all times by their Jesuit chaperones and to stay at Jesuit houses whenever possible:

One must guard that they always be guided so that they may learn or see

only what is good, without knowing anything bad; this is why I ask Your

Holiness that they always be allowed to stay at the house of the Fathers and

not to let them stay at the German College [in Rome] or the seminary, although

they may visit either one or the other. And that they have no relations

with foreigners and that wherever they go, they always be accompanied

by a Father or Brother because nothing is more important than that

they return well edified and that they gain a great respect for European

Christianity. And for this reason they should not have dealings with people

who could scandalize them or who could tell them about the disorders that

are produced at the Court and among the prelates.(9)

Valignano selected several adolescents from noble families to make the journey.(10) Their youth, he thought, would help them withstand the rigors of the trip as well as make them more accepting of Jesuit supervision. Being young, they would also be more impressionable than adults and they would live longer to tell the tale of their European sojourn to their countrymen.(11) Their nobility would give the journey greater status both in Europe and Japan. The Europeans, on seeing the nobility and dignity of the emissaries, would lend greater support to the Jesuit mission in Japan.(12) For their part, the Japanese feudal lords, on hearing the favorable reports that the impressionable youths would make upon their return home, would give greater credence to the Jesuit accounts of Europe.(13)

Because the four emissaries were boarding students at the Arima seminary opened by the Jesuits in late 15 8o, they were already converted to Christianity and familiar with some European customs. Daily life at the Jesuit seminary where they lived included both Japanese and European practices.(14) To reduce what he perceived to be their cultural arrogance and to draw less attention to them when they traveled in Europe, Valignano, who had to leave the group in Goa, instructed that the emissaries dress in simple European-style clothes except on highly ceremonial occasions with the pope, the king of Spain, or other rulers.(15) The gifts they were allowed to bring their hosts were the only concession to the fact that they came from a truly different culture. These gifts consisted of such exotic objects as a "unicorn" horn, an ebony inkwell, strange and wonderfully thin sheets of paper, and other assorted objects--all of which were much commented upon before they were put away in the cabinets of curiosities that were springing up in various European courts.(16)

The immersion of the Japanese emissaries in a quasi-European institutional environment for several years before they left Japan, their conversion to Christianity, and their instruction in a curriculum based on European models (though purified of classical and heterodox ideas) raises interesting questions about the extent of the cultural divide that separated them from the Jesuits.(17) Although the differences between them and the Europeans they would encounter should not be minimized, there is no question that already for a significant portion of their young lives in Japan they had been brought into the margins of the European world. Their familiarity with that world undoubtedly deepened during the two-and-a-half-year voyage before they set foot on European soil.(18) The emissaries were accompanied on the trip by several European Jesuits in addition to a Japanese member of the order and two Japanese servants.(19) The Jesuit fathers so closely supervised their charges that one European observer later on in the trip remarked that the emissaries "would not have lifted their eves without asking their permission."(20) The length of the voyage and the close relationships with their guides virtually guaranteed that by the time they reached Europe, the cultural baggage the Japanese emissaries carried would be very different from what it had been when they left Japan.

Partly for this reason, no one was surprised at the appearance of these foreign travelers when they arrived in Lisbon, the first European city they encountered. To be sure, they arrived under cover of semi-darkness and were quickly taken to the House of the Jesuits, in keeping with Valignano's instructions to avoid pomp and ceremony. Yet even after such efforts began to crumble and they were officially received by the Governor of Lisbon, inevitably setting off a round of invitations and visits from the local nobility, they were relatively unnoticed as "exotics." This was already observed by some contemporaries. Writing a few years after the embassy, Father Louis Frois noted: "In this visit to the Cardinal, there were not many people who came to see them, as happened elsewhere; because Lisbon is used to seeing different nations from India, and because in the city there is such a concourse of people that not much attention is paid in particular to new things."(21)

The key element in the reception of the emissaries, according to Frois, was familiarity with novelty, which by the late sixteenth century had become a distinct feature of European society, particularly in urban centers involved in international trade. So much was this the case and so conscious were Europeans of this new development that it featured prominently in the De Missione Legatorum Iaponensium ad Romanam curiam, a Latin dialogue composed by the Jesuit Duarte de Sande from Valignano's account of the embassy(22)--a manuscript which in turn was based on the now lost diaries of the emissaries.(23)

But there are other elements that contributed to the lack of wonder about the Japanese arrivals. The emissaries were dressed in European clothes; by the time they reached Lisbon, they could make themselves understood in Portuguese, although they relied on Father Diogo de Mesquita and others to act as translators on official occasions. They also knew some Latin, which they had begun to learn at the Arima seminary, and which they continued to study during their trip. Their manners, which were greeted with admiration everywhere for their exceeding refinement, were not just the unfailingly polite manners that Valignano had observed of the Japanese in their native land; they were the manners of Japanese who had been taught what the Europeans considered desirable in polite society. If then they aroused little attention in Lisbon, it was not just because Africans, Asians, and others were a common sight but also because Europeans could see the emissaries as extensions of themselves rather than as Others.

This kind of projection was possible because of the liminal position of the emissaries between cultures. Europeans in Japan had no such illusions. Indeed, Jesuits like Valignano marveled at the extent of the cultural divide between Europeans and Japanese. Japanese culture seemed so topsy-turvy as to be nearly "beyond imagining": It may truly be said that Japan is a world the reverse of Europe; everything is so different and opposite that they are like us in practically nothing. So great is the differences in their food, clothing, honors, ceremonies, language, management of the household, in their way of negotiating, sitting, building, curing the wounded and sick, teaching and bringing up children, and in everything else, that it can neither be described nor understood."(24)

In contrast, Europeans who observed the emissaries in Europe downplayed the differences between the Japanese and Europeans, just as they minimized the differences among the Japanese themselves. These propensities are evident in the surviving European portraits of the four youths. Still innocent of the implications of statements that all Japanese look alike, one chronicler, Urbano Monte, included portraits of the visitors in his account of the embassy to show that "there is little difference among them.(25) More important, in these portraits, as in all others, the emissaries are shown as slightly altered versions of Europeans.(26) In most they wear European clothing; only one depiction shows a somewhat orientalized version of European garments. While their eyes are less rounded than those of their hosts, the rest of their features--the shape of the face, nose, lips, and hairstyle--are virtually European.

A more complicated problem was how to represent Japanese skill color, which did not easily fit into existing racial classification systems. By the end of the sixteenth century, many Europeans were increasingly differentiating between whites and blacks,(27) who as often as not included Moors along with other Africans and occasionally Asians.(28) But clear-cut racial distinctions based on color, with their concomitant racial prejudices, were not yet fully developed.(29) Indeed, there were still occasional discussions about the possibility of individuals changing color as they moved from one region of the globe to another.(30) In this vein Guido Gualtieri tried to solve the puzzle of Japanese color by explaining: "Although it is said that in Japan their flesh is white, and this is believable because of the great cold that there is there, nonetheless, in these [ambassadors] because of the length and discomfort of their trip, their flesh has gained color so that it rather tends toward an olive tint."(31)

Regardless of how it was acquired, the color of the Japanese emissaries was problematic--variously described as olive-toned and pale, leaden and sallow--it could not be easily incorporated in to the continuum of racial skin tones familiar to Europeans. Thus, while some artists darkened their skin slightly, others rendered it ill the same tones as that of Europeans. Like Valignano, these artists classified the Japanese as "white."(32) For them, the emissaries were not so much alien beings as living confirmation even in their physical appearance of the European ability to attenuate and contain the exotic--to bleach away the difference.

Once it was made safe, the exotic could be incorporated into a theater of public power where official receptions and triumphal processions served more to display the strength of European culture, religion, and political institutions than to quench the curiosity of onlookers about the Japanese. Almost everywhere they went after their first official greeting -- at the court of Philip II, at Pisa, Florence, Rome and Venice--the emissaries were met with enormous pomp and lavish public observances where they were paraded for public view. It is this aspect of their visit that has drawn the greatest attention and has implicitly advanced the notion that what drew Europeans to these events was the fascination with travelers from distant and exotic lands.(33)

Yet if curiosity had been the primary attraction, it is hard to explain the massive indifference that greeted Bernard of Kagoshima, the first Japanese to visit Europe in the 1550s. Bernard had been one of Francis Xavier's first Japanese converts, and like the emissaries at the close of the century, he was sent to Europe by the Jesuits to be an example of "the new and miraculous fruit of the Holy Church" as well as to see Europe with his own eyes so that he might tell his countrymen about it upon his return to Japan.(34) Yet here the similarity ended. Bernard hardly made a ripple as he traversed Portugal, Spain, and parts of Italy accompanied by his Jesuit guides. The sources suggest that he may have been allowed to see several well-placed church officials in Rome, perhaps even the pope.(35) But no great crowds followed his movements, no official welcomes greeted him, and no letters or treatises made him the subject of discussion among large circles of Europeans.

What changed in the decades since Bernard's visit was not that Europeans had become more curious about outsiders but that the institutional politics of the religious orders had changed, as had the balance of power among European rulers. Bernard of Kagoshima had been a sincere but poor and barely educated convert to Christianity.(36) He did not come to speak with European dignitaries as a representative of Japanese officials. Since that time, however, the Jesuit order had concentrated its missionary efforts more narrowly on the conversion of the ruling elites of Japan and other nations. The purpose of this strategy was to speed conversions outside of Europe and to secure the order's standing, both within Europe and outside, against the encroaching missionary activities of rival orders. This policy seems to have succeeded, at least for the moment. The aristocratic background, bearing, and connections of the Japanese emissaries were crucial to the attention they received. It was not by chance that the portrait of Mancio Ito in Urbano Monte's chronicle shows him holding a crown.

For their part, the Japanese emissaries, who sought not only to pay religious homage to the pope but to maintain their daimyos' trading privileges with the Portuguese against the intruding claims of other Japanese feudal lords, arrived in Europe at an opportune moment. In the 1550s the pope and the emperor had been battling heretics within Europe. But after the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis, the Peace of Augusburg, and the Council of Trent had drawn the confessional and political lines more clearly within Europe, both Philip II and the pope could turn their attention to extending their powers outside.

Having conquered Portugal and its colonial dependencies in 1580, Philip was eager to assert his power over his global empire. It would certainly not hurt his cause to receive Japanese emissaries who were ready to acknowledge publicly that among all the Christian kings and princes, he was the most eminent.(37) Yet he had to act with caution. The unification of Spain and Portugal had been allowed on condition that he would administer the two colonial empires separately and would recognize the exclusive rights of the Portuguese religious patronage in Asia--rights that had been granted over the previous decades by a series of papal bulls. In these circumstances the Jesuits in Japan, whose religious mission was financially dependent on the continued success of the Portuguese monopoly of the Macao-Nagasaki silk trade, seized the opportunity to press their demands on Philip. The Japanese embassy was thus part of a complex lobbying effort throughout the 1580s in which religious, economic, and political claims were closely intertwined. The Jesuits argued that in Japan there was room for only one order--their own; its missionary activities could not survive without funds received from a share of trading profits. The size of these profits were sufficiently large to help keep the mission afloat because they were in the hands of a monopoly, and this monopoly had been granted to the Portuguese. In the newly crowned king of Portugal and Spain, the embassy found a receptive ear to these appeals. Philip's hold on Portugal was still tenuous enough that he wanted to relieve his Portuguese subjects of any lingering mistrust of Spanish intentions. He also wanted to prove himself a reliable ally to the pope, who had been a key figure in the compromise by which Philip had obtained his worldwide possessions. Accordingly, he issued instructions to his officials in Portuguese India confirming the rights that the Jesuits had been granted there and enjoining them to enforce them. The very warm and public reception that he gave the Japanese emissaries was part and parcel of this diplomacy.(38)

As for Pope Gregory XIII, forced by circumstance to accept a diminished Catholic sphere in Europe, he was eager to accept the homage and obedience of the Japanese emissaries and to display the triumph of Catholicism to the rest of the world.(39) The oration with which he greeted the visitors leaves little doubt about his motives:

There is one Faith, one universal Church, one head and shepherd of that

Church and of all Christianity (that is, of all the catholics that are found

in the world). Our Holiness gives thanks to divine charity that [the Japanese

feudal lords! believe this and the other articles of holy faith . . . Hence he . . . eagerly

embraces their profession of faith, obedience, and devotion.

Moreover he wishes and prays that, following their example, the other

princes and kings of those islands and of the whole world, leave aside idolatry

and error.(40)

Since this triumph of public relations was made possible by the Jesuits, the pope also saw the desirability of reaffirming his previous commitments to the order and to his Catholic flock in Portugal. In January 1585, even prior to the arrival of the emissaries in Rome, he responded to the written and verbal entreaties he had received by issuing the brief Ex pastorali officio, which forbade any order other than the Jesuits from entering Japan.

Once the Spanish king and the pope let it be known that the embassy was to be accorded the highest honors, all else fell into place. The grand duke of Tuscany, eager to please his patrons and to strengthen his rank in the hierarchy of Italian princes, expressed his satisfaction to be the first Italian prince to have the honor of receiving the travelers.(41) Even the Venetians Cooperated after overcoming their initial doubts about hosting envoys who were not real princes but merely relatives of feudal lords. Although the Venetian reluctance was heightened by the realization that there was no hope of developing extensive commercial relations in Japan as long as Spain was next in line after Portugal, in the end the Venetians concluded that it was more important to cement their European connections and to remain on a par with the king of Spain, the duke of Tuscany, or the pope than to worry about other aspects of the visit. They compromised by putting a more religious cast to the reception of these new Christians than they would have if they had been heads of state, and they continued to refer to them pointedly as "signori" rather than "principi."(42) But they stifled the objections of nobles like Lorenzo Priuli, who complained about being placed in procession behind emissaries "of such an unknown and so little regarded King [as the King of Japan]," and they put on the most splendid reception the Japanese received, thereby reminding the rest of Europe that when it came to public ritual, there was no one who could surpass them.(43)

To acknowledge these political realities is not to deny that there was some curiosity about the Japanese, particularly in court circles where nobles, cardinals, and ladies were eager to see their native costumes, hear their language, observe their deft handling of chopsticks, and learn about Japan. Curiosity was increasingly praised in the closing decades of the sixteenth century as an attribute to be cultivated in certain circumstances.(44) But the displays of Japanese culture, like the official welcomes, were performances enclosed within normalized courtly exchanges in which the clothing, mode of eating, and languages spoken, even on occasion by the emissaries, were European. When Catherine of Braganza, for example, copied a set of Japanese clothes, put them on her son, and told the unsuspecting emissaries to rush to her palace to see one of their newly-arrived countrymen, she amused herself by playing with the boundaries of European and Japanese cultural identities.(45) But the thrill of the experience sprang from its fleetingness and from the asymmetry of the game: the emissaries wore Japanese-styled clothes in public settings, her son dressed up in similar robes within a private space; whereas the former would be seen by many, her son would be seen by a select few. Her prank in effect legitimated the idea that one could play at being Japanese but that in the real world people dressed in European clothes. Pope Gregory XIII conveyed a similar message when he ordered three lavish sets of European-style clothes for the emissaries to wear during their European sojourn.(46) These were the very outfits that the emissaries then wore on their first official appearance when they returned to their native land, where they set off a craze for European fashions that lasted for nearly a decade among the Japanese elite.(47) Their sartorial gesture and the response it elicited in Japan contrasts starkly with the responses of the aristocracies they encountered in Europe.

Was the response of other European social groups different? While princes, nobles, and officials busied themselves with the arrival and entertainment of their Japanese guests, the people in the streets were drawn by the spectacle as well as the occasional chance to receive charity from the assembled nobles. Contemporary accounts dwell on the enormous crowds that greeted the emissaries on their arrival in every large city. In Rome, for example, "the streets, the windows, the doors, and even the piazze where they had to pass were full of men of every type and condition.(48) This is not surprising since the Japanese came well announced and were preceded by the entire papal cavalry, the Swiss guard, the cardinals and their courts, the households of the ambassadors resident in Rome, a large number of drums and trumpets, and finally various members of the pope's chancellery, household retainers, and shieldbearers. A parade like that would have been hard to miss.(49) Indeed, the crowds were a necessary Complement to the spectacle, which sought not only to impress foreign rulers and rivals with the power of those staging it but to overwhelm the volatile multitude as well.

Evidence of genuine wonder about the visitors themselves rather than about the spectacle is to be found more readily in small towns than in the large urban centers. The reaction at Assisi and Perugla, for example, suggests both less familiarity with exotic visitors and greater awe: "Here also the love of the people was notable, which not content to see and follow them, touched their clothing with their hands and their rosaries [corone], as if they were sacred."(50)

That the responses to the Japanese varied considerably according to social class and geographic location is clear from sources describing their sojourn in Tuscany. These sources are unusually interesting because they consist of letters exchanged by Tuscan officials and were not meant for public consumption, as were some of the accounts published later in Rome and Venice.(51) The letters were generated because the grand duke Francesco wanted to be kept informed about the progress of the visit and the safety of the emissaries while he stayed in Pisa. A sense of the closely monitored nature of the tour and the ensuing correspondence can be obtained from a letter written by Raffaello de' Medici to Antonio Serguidi, the duke's secretary at Pisa. No sooner had the welcoming ceremonies in Florence ended and the emissaries retired to have supper in their Pitti palace apartment than Raffaello wrote to Serguidi, as instructed, to brief him on what had transpired: "Returning home last night . . . I found Your Excellency's letter and I immediately gave orders to execute everything You commanded in the name of Your Excellency; and this morning the Serene Princes of Japan were met by me slightly less than a mile outside the gate, with a good contingent on horseback and we entered Florence at 16 hours." Raffaello recounts exactly where the emissaries stopped and who they saw. He then concludes, "Having taken them to the table, I came here to dine, and as soon as I will have closed this [letter], I will return at the appropriate hour to the duty imposed on me."(52)

The pattern of events described by Raffaello de' Medici corresponds in most respects to that established for the reception of the emissaries at Pisa--a pattern that would be followed in other Italian cities on the itinerary. The emissaries would be met outside of town by a large contingent of nobles appropriate to a princely welcome and by heavily armed guards whose task was to maintain order and security. Thirty of the duke's German halberdiers were assigned to the task, and everywhere the emissaries went, the nobles and the guards went with them. Louis Frois claimed the latter even stood watch outside the Pitti palace room where the Japanese slept: "When they took two steps outside, they were accompanied through the city by all their guard . . . and when they returned many nobles would come to wait for them at the gates of the city; and every night the guards of the Grand Duke slept in the antechamber, guarding their rooms."(53)

One might well ask why there was such need for heavy security. Were the Japanese being protected from curious and adoring crowds or were they being shielded from harm? A letter to Antonio Serguldi by another ducal official sheds some light on the question. The letter, dated March 11 when the emissaries were preparing to leave Florence for Siena, asked the duke to order a heavier guard as they approached the border, "for fear of bandits because word has already spread that they [the Japanese] are laden with precious stones and jewels." As an additional precaution, the letter writer, Antonio Inglese, also escorted them all the way to Siena rather than just seeing them to the outskirts of Florence as originally planned. Banditism, the outgrowth of political disaffection and economic inequalities, was a growing concern not only in late sixteenth-century Tuscany but in all the other Italian states. Whether banditism and vagrancy had gotten worse or contemporaries were more aware of them is not entirely clear, but it is certain that more measures were taken to deal with them, both by means of military repression and the creation of new forms of charitable institutions.(54)

If the problem was worrisome in Tuscany, there were even greater grounds for concern in the Papal States, where it has been estimated that close to 25,000 bandits roamed the countryside in the late years of the sixteenth century.(55) For this reason, once the emissaries crossed the border, the duke's German halberdiers were replaced by a heavily armed contingent of papal guards. A papacy that could not ensure the safety of visitors in its own state would have had difficulty using the Japanese emissaries to forward papal claims of de facto as well as de jure spiritual lordship over the whole world.

Within the safe enclaves established by their military escort, the Japanese visited a large number of sights which their hosts or the Jesuit chaperones thought "worthy" of a visit.(56) Such sights generally fell into two categories: they had either religious or political significance. At Pisa, for example, they first went to the cathedral complex accompanied by the duke's brother Pietro de'Medici and followed by a large crowd. In Florence, after a brief stop at the Jesuit church followed by some rest and supper, they went to the new sacristy and the church of San Lorenzo in a very public display of Christian reverence to the relies kept there. Giovanbattista da Cerreto wrote that they wanted to kiss each and every item.(57) Beyond satisfying the spiritual desires of the emissaries, the purpose of these visits to the religious shrines was to reinforce the religious commitment of the crowds who observed them. In his account of the visit to the cathedral at Pisa, Gualtieri reveals the pedagogic function of such events: "They wanted to see the Duomo with all its many and beautiful relics, which they adored and kissed with such devotion and reverence that all the people [tutto il popolo] who were there were greatly edified."(58) The emotive effect on the onlookers sprang both from the recognition of the fervor of the Japanese converts and the self-congratulatory relief that Catholicism was still spreading throughout the world: "Because of the appearance of these new seeds of the Christian religion, which came from such remote parts of the world, the consolation and joy felt by the good pope Gregory were so incredible, that neither he nor the other worshippers could contain their tears at the growth of the true church of God."(59)

Some religious shrines had more overt political than religious significance. The duke, for example, took the emissaries to see the church, palace, and treasure of the knightly Order of Santo Stefano. Since this was the institution by which the duke sought to establish his naval supremacy in the Mediterranean, their visit to the headquarters of the order had as much to do with ducal efforts to be perceived as a powerful figure beyond the confines of his small state as it had to do with the Ash Wednesday celebrations that were taking place there during the Japanese visit.

In addition to religious buildings the emissaries were shown the palaces, courts, and villas of their princely hosts. These visits were less public in nature but were meant to impress the Japanese with the political strength of the ruler and the wealth and magnificence of his court. At Pisa, after seeing the cathedral they put on their Japanese ceremonial robes and set off for Francesco's palace in a coach provided by their host. There, in a place whose audience was more restricted, the duke and his duchess embraced their visitors and exchanged courtesies and gifts. In such "publicly intimate" settings as the duchess's chambers the duke and his guests conversed about each others' native lands. The visitors were included in several courtly pastimes, among them a hunt and a ball, where one of them caused some mirth by asking an elderly court lady to join in a dance.(60) Despite such occasionally endearing gaffes, the emissaries proved themselves remarkably adept courtiers and guests. If on the European side the purpose of court visits was to display the court, on the Japanese side it was to show how well they could do in these settings.

At Florence the secular places considered worthy of a visit were all related to the Medici: the Pitti palace and the duke's treasure room, the duchess's study, Vasari's corridor, the Boboli gardens, and the Casino. Lest the power of the ruling house be missed by the visitors, the fortezza da basso and the Belvedere fortress were both in the itinerary. Significant for their absence were all the sights related to Florence's long and illustrious republican past. The message conveyed about the centrality of the Medici was not lost on the perceptive emissaries. When Mancio Ito was told he could choose whatever object he wanted from the duchess's study to take back as a gift, he chose a portrait of the duchess. "And this he wants to take to Japan, " wrote Antonio Inglese to the duke's secretary, in memory of the courtesy received from Your highnesses . . . also so that in his country the women may see how much these [women] exceed them in beauty and style."(61) Nothing could have been calculated to please his hosts more.

To counterbalance the image of the "awesome ruler" with that of a benevolent prince at ease in the world around him, the emissaries were shown several of the Medici villas. In addition to seeing the villas at Castello and Petrala, they were also taken to Pratolino, a visit that seems to have been a great success. Raffaello de' Medici wrote to the duke, "We went to Pratolino, where . . . everything was shown to them." The emissaries expressed "admiration for so many and so varied a number of fountains, filled with so rich and new shapes, ornaments, and artifacts. " Because of their enthusiastic response, Raffaello spent the rest of the day disclosing the secret mechanisms behind the moving water sprays and other marvels of the garden. The living wonders from across the world could thus behold the artificial wonders of Tuscany, built by a prince who liked to amuse himself by manipulating the mysteries of nature.(62) Pratolino's gardens, with their water plays and fountains, made such a deep impression on the visitors that several pages of the De Missione contain detailed descriptions of what they saw. The emissaries undoubtedly took excellent notes that afternoon.(63)

Beyond seeing the gardens and artifacts of the villa, the emissaries, according to Raffaello, also "had great pleasure in seeing the people bathe." Although Father de Mesquita disapproved of giving a sinful people further occasion to stray by letting them cavort in the water, Raffaello, ever attentive to the wishes of his guests, "let in many people who had come to watch.(64) Raffaello's letter does not shed light on who these people were. Louis Frois, whose account of the embassy was based partly on letters and conversations with Diogo da Mesquita, writes that forty or fifty nobles went to Pratolino with the Japanese. Perhaps Raffaello allowed in some additional local notables. It is also unclear whether these people had come to watch the garden or the visitors. Whoever they were and whatever their motive, however, they seem to have had no direct interaction with the Japanese visitors, something one might expect if curiosity about the Japanese had been a large part of their reason for going to Pratolino.

The popular classes in the city also do not appear to have been much interested in the Japanese per se. The letters of the ducal bureaucracy suggest that as the emissaries moved from place to place within Florence, their various stops were not generally marked by large crowds trying to get a glimpse of them or to touch them except to beg for money. On this score, Antonio Inglese wrote the duke that one of the officials "used the authority of His Highness to respond to the inopportune demands for money and he is right because the matter was too abusive and public."(65)

The only moment when there was a near not from the populace was when the emissaries went to the church of the Holy Annunciation. "It did not seem to me that there was any disorder," wrote Raffaello de'Medici, "except when I took them alone on foot and by coach to the garden gate of the Friars of the Holy Annunciation." The problem there was not that people wanted to see the exotic Japanese but that they really wanted to see the Madonna, which was unveiled to the public only when important personages came to town or in extraordinary moments.(66) Had the people simply wanted to see the emissaries they could have done so at many of their other stops in the city. The account of the incident written by Giovanbattista di Cerreto, the duke's Guardaroba, supports this interpretation: "When the princes arrived in Florence, word spread that the Virgin of the Annunciation was to be unveiled, and there were obvious signs of this because as soon as these Lords arrived on Friday, the friars immediately ordered that the silver lamps be readied around the chapel and that the candles be put in order, so that all day Saturday and all Sunday until one and a half hours at night, the church was always full of people."(67)

To foil the crowd, Giovanbattista told the friar in charge that Monday morning he should close all the doors of the church so that the Japanese could be brought in through the garden without anyone suspecting their visit. The plan was a mixed success. The emissaries managed to see the Virgin, but there was a melee to get in. Raffaello de' Medici wrote: "When I had the door opened to let them in, because already a large number of people were beginning to ruti over, there was such a rush by some to go in with them, that it was necessary that the Germans [guards] use the poles of their halberds." Raffaello remained outside as guard to let the rest of the party in, but finally he too entered the door "before the fury of the people grew further. " The scuffle so frightened the Jesuit rector of the College of San Giovannino, that he sulked and later refused to eat with the rest of the group at Pratolino.(68)

Unfortunately for their Florentine hosts, the devotion of the Japanese emissaries to the Virgin of the Annunciation matched that of the population's. Two days before departing they begged Raffaello to be allowed to see her once more. Eager to please, both because he genuinely liked them and because he was under ducal orders to keep them happy, Raffaello asked the Guardaroba, Giovanbattista da Cerreto, to arrange it; but the latter categorically refused. "Neither the highest kings nor emperors had been shown [the Virgin] more than once." Entreaties by Raffaello, reminders of the duke's orders to show the emissaries all they wished, and a show of tears were no to avail. Exotics or not, the Guardaroba would not do any thing out of the ordinary for his guests.(69)

In a sense, precisely because of its banality this episode underscores the inability of many Europeans, including Giovanbattista, to understand the extraordinary nature of the visit by the Japanese emissaries. Probably to forestall criticism in case the affair came to the ears of the grand duke, Giovanbattista in a letter to Antonio Serguidi wrote his version of the visit to the Virgin of the Holy Annunciation. He highlighted the many impediments he faced trying to outwit the crowd and drew attention to the personal sacrifices he had to make. Because he had to go about on foot at dawn, he caught a bad cold, which kept him in bed for three days. The foreign visitors nearly disappear amidst his letter's complaints about his health and his eagerness to start planning for the upcoming feast of Saint John.(70)

The impossibility of seeing the Virgin of the Holy Annunciation a second time was the only sour note in an otherwise successful visit in Florence. The youths left for Siena on March 13, accompanied part way by Raffaello de' Medici, who made sure that armed soldiers defended them well from the "shameless" demands for money from the throngs of beggars that roamed the Florentine streets.(71) From Siena they went on to Rome, their most important destination, and to a grand tour of the northern half of Italy. From there they returned to Spain and Portugal, where they embarked on the return trip to Japan in April 1586.

Because the enthusiasm for the embassy was closely intertwined with the vicissitudes of European politics, the likelihood of a similar reception in the future was not great. When the Japanese emissaries arrived in 584, Catholic Europe was still basking in the last glows of the Council of Trent's reforms. By the time the second embassy arrived in 1614, the fervor of Trent was muted and the energies once expended on fighting heretics were now turned toward internecine conflicts among the Catholic missionary orders over the right of access to Japanese souls. Succumbing to pressure from the Franciscans, the papacy had gradually eroded the privileges granted to the Jesuits in Japan. By 1608 Pope Paul V, in response to a secret request from Philip III, lifted all restrictions on missionary activities in Japan. The Spanish Franciscans had prevailed with the king because they had protested to the Spanish Council of State, where they made common cause with Spanish national and commercial interests.

The problem for the friars now was how to finance their stay in Japan. This is what led to the Japanese embassy of 1613-14, which went to Europe via Mexico. The avenue the Franciscans pursued was to ally themselves with Spanish trading interests and a northern daimyo, Date Masamune, who was willing to tolerate them if they brought trade. Enticed by the false representations of a Spanish ship captain, Sebastian Vizcaino, Masamune sent one of his retainers, Hasekura Rokuymon, and Fray Luis Sotelo to negotiate on his behalf in Mexico and Europe. Sotelo would be the linguistic intermediary since Hasekura did not know any European languages or customs. The two men would be accompanied by a small group of Japanese and a few Franciscans. The trip has been described by a Japanese historian, Iichiro Tokutomi, "as a combinatinl of those who wished to use the Kingdom of Heaven for trade, and those who wished to use trade for the Kingdom of Heaven."(73) Hasekura was to see if he could establish direct trade between Acapulco and Japan.(74) He should also ask the authorities in Seville to send several pilots to instruct Masamune's men in navigation because the daimyo wanted to send his trading ships to Europe and the New World. Finally, he should request the pope to recognize him as a sovereign prince and to send some friars to propagate the faith.(75)

It is not surprising that this embassy received a tepid reception. The Spanish were extremely jealous over their intercolonial trade, which always had to go through Spain. They were not about to let the Japanese into this lucrative arrangement, let alone teach them how to navigate the routes. As for the requests made of the pope, they also left much to be desired. In his letter to Paul V, Masamune states that for "certain invisible motives" he has not yet converted to Christianity and has not "succeeded in making himself openly profess" Catholic teachings which "I have accepted . . . in my heart and . . . recognize that they are true and good."(76) This admission raised suspicions, which the Jesuits did their best to fall. They pointed out that Masamune asked for friars, "but the truth is he only pretends interest"; he "does not want Christian law but only commerce."(77) Operating not so subtly behind the scenes, the Jesuits also undetermined Masamune's request to be recognized as a sovereign. The Venetian ambassador in Rome, Simon Contarini, wrote to his superiors: "That which is curious in this affair is the dislike, not to say disdain, that the Jesuit Fathers show about the arrival of this personage in Christendom; and they say that he is not the ambassador of the emperor of Japan, but rather of a certain lord, called Masamune, who is his subject."(78) Informed by the Jesuits of some of the potential problems, Paul V wisely reframed from interfering in Japanese internal affairs by stating that before recognizing Masamune's sovereignty, he wanted to consult with the king of Spain. In effect, as the Venetian ambassador pointed out in a dispatch home, this meant that he would do nothing since he would not consult the king about matters that were within his own power to resolve.(79) In the meantime, he assured the emissaries that he would see to it that additional friars would be sent to Japan.

In contrast to the embassy of 1585, the second embassy went away empty-handed. To be sure, the Japanese could no longer be ignored as Bernard of Kagoshima had been in the 1550s. The first embassy established certain precedents and a minimum standard of welcome that could not be violated. The second ambassadors were cordially received. Philip III of Spain sent several horse-drawn carriages to bring them to his palace, where members of the court were present as they exchanged the usual courtesies. As they left, there were enough people along the streets and at windows to "give thanks to God."(80) But the visit was brief, with a minimum of ceremony and relatively few crowds. At Genoa, where they were received the in the Senate, their visit was even briefer and attended by few onlookers other than the members of the assembled magistracies in the Senate chmambers. In Rome the emissaries received the usual greetings accorded to royal ambassadors, supplemented by some additional guards and horses, but nothing to compare with the welcome of thirty years earlier when the pope came out to meet them in procession. They were, of course, greeted in the Vatican by Paul VI in the presence of those cardinals who wanted to attend. They also received grants of Roman citizenship. But the grand public ceremonies and the lavish processions were gone.(81) As the Franciscans squabbled with the Jesuits over the souls of the Japanese, and the Dutch, English, Spanish, and Portuguese fought each other over access to Japanese wealth, the embassy seemed hopelessly tainted from the start. The Venetian ambassador summed up the problem when he observed, "Most believe that this is a business that is hard to understand, and underneath there are private interests."(82) By the early seventeenth century the politicaly useful moment for an embassy from Japan had passed. it would not return until the nineteenth century.

The enthusiastic reception of the Japanese embassy of 1585 is best understood as an expression of the internal dynamics of European politics and religious institutions in the late sixteenth century than as an expression of the Renaissance interest in the Other. Measured within such limits, it appears to have been effective on many counts. The political success of the embassy, though brief and with no long-term consequences, are hard to deny. The young emissaries were treated almost royally wherever they went. The incident at the Church of the Holy Annunciation and the theft of a quickly-recovered piece of luggage at Siena did not mar an otherwise splendid visit. The safety of the emissaries, both spiritual and physical, was preserved by avoiding possible areas of conflict, such as the Protestant strongholds of northern Europe and the city of Naples, which was dropped from the itinerary because of a popular anti-Spanish uprising. The rulers through whose lands they passed gained stature in the eves of their rivals and their subjects for being selected as part of the processional route. The visit helped the king of Spain and Portugal cement his relations with his new Portuguese subjects and with the pope. The latter, who had his feet kissed by the Japanese in an act of public homage, staged a great public relations coup; and the Roman Senate which granted citizenship to the Japanese could once more forward Rome's tattered claim to be caput mundi.(83) For the Jesuits, the mission brought additional fuilds and a papal brief granting them exclusive spiritual privileges over Japan. For the multitudes who followed their progress, there was entertainment, all occasional coin thrown their way, and the chance to glimpse seldom-seen religious objects.(84) For Europeans as a whole, the embassy contributed to a more accurate view of the physical geography of the world, as Donald Lach has pointed out. This last feature was probably the most lasting aspect of the visit.

As an experiment in cross-cultural encounters the embassy was less successful. The new awareness that Europeans gained about Japan as part of the geographic world was not matched by a similar understanding of or curiosity about the culture of those who inhabited that newly discovered space.(85) If the Europeans who hosted the visitors learned anything about Japanese culture, it has left virtually no trace in their accounts of the visit. Most contemporary observers stressed the modesty, intelligence, and maturity of the Japanese emissaries. (86) Above all, they drew attention to their religious fervor, which repeatedly brought tears to the eyes of European Christians and reminded them of the long lost innocence of their own faith. Although the piety of the Japanese contrasted with the realities of European religion at the close of the sixteenth century, it represented a link to the European past which brought hope for the possibilities of internal renewal.

Contemporaries also pointed to the courtly refinement of the Japanese visitors. They knew how to exchange polite pleasantries; they could strum a few musical instruments; they knew how to hunt and when necessary, they could even join in a courtly dance: "In their manners they are civil, courteous, and modest . . . They know how to play the cymbal, the guitar, the lute . . . They play cards and even know how to dance."(87) "All remained satisfied about their comportment, and especially about the prudence of their speech, their politeness, and their modesty in eating."(88) I'll Raffaello de' Medici noted that no trace of barbarism clung to his guests.(89) So much was this the case that Gualtieri observed that they were able to adapt to European rules of conduct "as if they had been brought up for a long time in one of our courts."(90) This opinion was echoed by Benacci: "They have such breeding that they seem to have been grought up in Italy.(91) The art of the courtier, codified in courtesy manuals since the time of Castiglione, emphasized the art of effortlessness--the ability to use artifice to conceal effort and to smooth over potentially troublesome cultural differences. The Japanese visitors thus drew praise for the apparent ease with which they carried off the artifice of seeming to be European: "They note well everything they see, but they do not wonder much, by which they show a great and noble disposition."(92)

Although Europeans noted with interest the strange objects the Japanese brought as gifts and the occasionally exotic manner of their dress and modes of eating, no account penetrated the surface differences. No one among the many observers who wrote about the emissaries had a grasp of or all interest in the vast cultural differences that separated European culture from the Japanese culture of which the emissaries were a part.(93) Indeed, what elicited wondrous admiration was not cultural difference but cultural similarity --the ability of the Japanese emissaries to adapt to European culture "as if" they had been raised in it.

Nothing reveals this better than the indifference with which Europeans greeted the Japanese emissary Hasekura Rokuymon in 1614. Unlike the earlier visitors, Hasekura had no knowledge of European languages or customs, he dressed according to the Japanese style, his hair was cut short on top and braided in back, he had been baptized in Spain, but his Christianity was suspect. In short, he was truly and unmistakably a representative from a different culture.(94) Yet instead of eliciting great curiosity, a stream of questions from courtiers, large awe-struck crowds, pamphlets describing Japanese customs, or a vogue for Japanese art objects or fashions, Hasekura traveled relatively unobserved, without leaving an imprint in the contemporary discussions or letters of Europeans. It was easier to ignore cultural difference than to accept its existence.

The embassy of 1585 may have put Japan more firmly in the intellectual landscape of Europe, but it was a Japan devoid of Japanese. What Europeans "discovered" in the late sixteenth century was that under the clothes and the body of the Japanese there seemed to beat the heart of a European courtier and the soul of a Christian. (*) For their helpful suggestions, I would like to thank Paula Findlen, John Freccero, Stephen Orgel, the participants in Stanford University's Europeati History Workshop, and the anonymous referee for this journal. (1) On the problem of the "official" status of the embassy, see below p. 888. The first Japanese to arrive in Europe was Bernard of Kagoshima; he reached Lisbon in 1552 and died before returning to Japan five years later. D'Elia. (2) Lach, 690. One might argue that this statement holds true until the nineteenth century, when Japanese participation in the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 aroused comparable interest. (3) E cosi furono senza conseguenze ambedue le ambasciate giapponesi, che i principi del Sud e del Nord inviarono in Europa, durante il breve periodo in cui il Giappone rimase aperto agli Europei, nella fine del secolo XVI e nel principio del secolo XVII. Berchet, [1877.sup.1], 285. (4) Lach, 701-02, 705; For the large number of sixteenth-century publications, see Boscaro, 1973. (5) There is some question about the depth and meaning of the conversions, as even Valignano himself acknowledged. While the more inflated claims of the missionaries should be discounted, from a Christian perspective the conversions appear quite successful compared to other missionary efforts of the time. From the Japanese side, the number of converts was insignificant and the movement was of negligible importance. See Boxer, 94-98; and Elison, 54-63. (6) Valignano, 1943, 395. (7) "In order to achieve the second aim it is necessary that these youths be treated well and received kindly by the said lords." Ibid., 397. (8) Ibid., 397. (9) Ibid., 401. (10) Mancio Ito, the thirteen-year-old chief emissary, was a cousin of the former feudal lord (damiyo) of Hyuga and a relative of Otomo Sorin of Bungo. Michael Chijiwa, also thirteen, was a cousin of the daimyos of Arima Harunobu and Omura Sumitada. Martin Hara, 13, and Julian Nakaura, 15, were sent along as companions. (11) Valignano outlines these reasons for selecting the "Japanese boys" (menonos Japoes) in a 1583 letter from Goa; cited in Cooper, 71. (12) "Y desta man[eir]a se movessen os Principes a ajudar Japao y por ysto pareceo bem yr estes meninos tan honrados y tan nobres mandados del Rey de Buligo y del Rey de Arima y de Don Bartolomeu." Valignano, 1943, 397. (13) "Estos meninos Japoes como testimunhos de vista, y pessoas de tal calidade tornando depoys a Japao possao dizer o que virao y dar con vesto en Japao o credito y autoridade q convem a nossas cousas." Ibid., 396. (14) For a description of the typical day in a Jesuit seminary in Japan, see Valignano's "Distribuicao das horas pera os minimos du seminaryo," in J. F. Schutte, Valignanos Missionsgrundsatze fur Japan 1:1 (Rome, 1951), excerpted in Elison, 408-09. (15) Valignano, 1943, 395. (16) The gift exchanges are discussed in much of the literature on the embassy, so they will not be examined here; see infra, Berchet, Gunji; on collecting and cabinets of curiosity, see Regond-Bohat, Kenseth. (17) A thorny issue for the missionaries in developing a curriculum for the Japanese was how to deal with the non-Christian elements of the European past. Another complication was how to include instruction in Japanese literature and culture so that the students could maintain their links to their own society and thus become more effective agents for the spread of Christianity in their country. The curriculum designed by Valignano included several hours of instruction in Japanese taught daily by a Japanese member of the Order. See Elison, 65-67. (18) The embassy left Nagasakion 20 February 1582 and reached Lisbon only on to August 1584. (19) The Japanese Jesuit Jorge de Loyola was brought along to continue teching the youths in Japanese. He also was an example of Jesuit efforts to create a native clergy. See the letter on this by Gaspar Coelho, 15 February 1582, cited in Luis, 50, n. 8. (20)"Et de quali [loro precettori et interpetri! havevon grain timore, e non arebbono pur alzati li occhi senza domandarglene licenzia." Letter from Siena written by Marcantonio Tolomei to his brother-in-law. Sanese, 126. (21)"Nesta vizita q fez ao Cardeal, nao houve muito concurso de gente, q os viesse a ver, como nas outras partes; porq come Lixboa esta acostumada a ver diversas nascoes da India, e por haver nella tanto concurso de gente, ano se atenta pelas couzas novas tanto em particlar." Frois, 32. (22) The idea of annual changes in fashions, for example, are discussed at length with regard to clothes; observations about new types of ships, methods of manufacturing, and scientific knowledge are sprinkled throughout. Sande, 92 et passini. (23) Several European accounts confirm that the emissaries took notes on what they saw: "Presero in iscritto tutte le cose notabili di questa nostra citta." "Cronaca di Francesco Settiniani," excerpted in Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 151. (24) Valignano, 1944, chap. 18. (25) "Ladifferenza e poca fra di loro." Conpendio storico delle cose piu notabili di Milano ed in particolare della famiglia Monti in Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano, Ms. P., 248-51. Reprinted in Gutierrez, 68. (26) The emissaries also appear in a fresco commemorating their visit at the Teatro Olinipico in Vicenza and in a fresco of the coronation of Sixtus V in the Vatican Library. illustrations of the emissaries' clothes put them on European-looking models; see Vecellio. For a discussion and some illustrations, see Gunji, 137, 140. (27) Some parts of Europe may have done so more than others. If Giovanbattista Cintio's story of a jealous Moor and his Venetian wife is a guide, it would seem that Italians were less race-conscious and prejudiced than Shakespeare's countrymen; Cintio, Decade 3, Story 7. But even in Mediterranean Europe there were signs of growing racial awareness and negative stereotyping; there were also increasing differences between official policies of toleration and popular racism. This is an enormously complicated problem on which there is little agreement. For England, see for example, Kehler, 124-32; Jolies: and Jordan. Racism among the Portuguese is discussed by Boxer, 84-85. (28) The crucial distinction that emerged between blacks and Moors in the seventeenth century was that the former were enslaved, the latter were not; Jordan, 5-6. Valignano notes that some Portuguese "estan acostumbrados a charmar negros aun a los Chinos y Japones." Cited in Boxer, 460, n. 27. = (29) For the gradual hardening of English attitudes toward blacks over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, see Jordan, 3-25; also see Pieterse. (30) Jordan, 13-17. (31) Gualtieri, 157. (32) In his "Summary of the Things of Japan," Valignano writes, "The people are all white, courteous and highly civilized, so much so that they surpass all the other known races of the world. " He contrasts the "white, civilized Japanese" with the "dark Indians," who like "all these dusky races are very stupid and vicious . . . a 'base and bestial people.'" Cited in Boxer 74, 81. (33) "Perhaps the best evidence we have for Europe's interest in Japan is to be found in the receptions accorded to four youthful Japanese legates." Lach, 689. (34) The motives are recounted by Pedro de Rivadeneira in his life of Ignatius Loyola; Rivadeneira, 105. (35) D'Elia, 533. (36) In a letter of 1552 Francis Xavier describes him and another convert as "homens pobres." He wants them to see many things in Europe so that "tenhao muytas cousas que contar de admiracao"; but "de ver collegios y disputas me parece que se ao muyto de espantar. " Xavier, 357-58. Since Bernard was not well educated, the Jesuits did not think to teach him Latin until well after he arrived in Rome, when he asked to learn it. But his ill health and death shortly afterward would have made instruction sporadic. It is not clear in what language Bernard communicated; he may have picked up some Portuguese and Italian. None of his European chaperones spoke Japanese. D'Elia, 530. (37) Frois, 75. (38) Wright, 166-67. The religious, economic, and national politics of Europeans in Japan are examined in Boxer, 117-21, 152-160; also Cooper, 120-26. The latter makes clear that national politics also caused deep splits within the Jesuit order. (39) Gualtieri, the quasi official chronicler of the embassy for the pope, writes that Gregory determino riceverli non gia com'essi s'erano imaaginati con una privata udienza, ma nel publico Consistoro, e cio nella Sala Regia, giudicando che quest' honore non solo era dovuto all'officio per cui venivano, ma sarebbe anco risultato in gloria maggior di questa Santa Sede, quanto un tal'atto si ficesse piu palesamente, d'onde sene spargesse per tutto la fama a confusione, et abbattimento degli ostinati heretici" (77-78.). (40) Ibid., 182-83. (41) On greeting the ambassadors. Francesco said "che stimava particolar gratia di Dio che fra tutti i Principi d'Italia fosse a lui toccata questa buona sorte d'esser il primo a ricevere nello stato e casa sua tali Signori." Ibid., 74. (42) Frois. 228. (43) The ambivalence of the Venetian reception and Priuli's remarks are discussed by Boscaro, 1965, 26-27. (44) Ceard, in passim. (45) Gualtieri, 57. (46) "Ancora subito dopo l'arrivo, fece far' a ciascun di loro tre sorti d'honorevolissimi vestimenti all'Italiana, uno di corto, gl'altre due lunghi di vellutto nero, trinato tutto d'oro, e di damasco colorato parimente, con le trine d'oro, e una zimarra per casa pur dello stesso, e col medesimo ornamento." Gualtieri also comments that after the initial ceremonies in Rome, the emissaries discarded the use of their Japanese clothes "per esser tanto diverso dal nostro." Ibid., 88-89. (47) Cooper, 76, 104. (48) Gualtieri, 84. (49) Ibid., 83-84. (50) Ibid., 101. (51) They are to be found in the Archivio di Stato of Florence (henceforward ASF), Miscellanea Medicea 295, ins. 9. (52) Letter by Raffaello de' Medici, 8 March 1585, ASF, Misc. Med. 295, ins. 9. (53) "Quando hiao fora dos pacos erao acomipanhados pela Cidade com toda sua guarda . . . e quando tornavao os vinhao esperar muitos Senhores as portas da Cidade; e todas as noites dormiao na recamara homes fidalgos da guarda do Grao Duque vigiandoos aos quartos." Frois, 136. (54) The 1588 report of the Venetian ambassador suggests that the plight of the poor had become worse, particularly in the 1570s: "Il popolo povero ed estenuato . . . si va continuamente consumando, come fu massime al tempo del granduca Francesco, il quale . . . ha ridotto la citta a gran miseria." (55) Villari. (56) "Et poi cominciare a vedere quello che ci e degno di mano in mano." Letter of Raffaello de' Medici to Antonio Serguidi, 8 March 1585. ASF.. Misc, Med., 295, ins. 9. (57) Ibid., letter of Giovanbattista di Cerreto, 11 March 1585. (58) Gualtieri, 73. (59) Muratori, 324-25. (60) De Sande, 215-16. (61) "Tra le cose rare et superbe che ha visto Don Mancio nella Camerina non ce cosa che piu l'aggradisca ch' uno ritratto di rilievo di S.A. Et questo desidera portarne al Giappan per memoria della cortesia ricevuta delle Altezze loro . . . si ancora perche nel paese suo le donne possonno vedere quanto queste sopr'avanzanno le loro in bellezza et foggia d'acconcio." Letter of Antonio Inglese, 11 March 1585, ASF, Misc. Med., 295, ins. 9. (62) Francesco's scientific interests are explored in Berti. (63) Sande, 222-31. (64) Letter of Raffaello de' Medici, 13 March 1585. ASF, Misc. Med. 295, ins. 9. (65) "Il Cavaliere Bailli ha usato l'autorita di S.A. in il riparare alle demande importunte delle mancie et ha ratione perche la cosa era troppo vituperosa et alla scoperta." Letter to Antollio Sergudi, 11 March 1585, ASF, Misc. Med. 295 ins. 9. (66) Baccio Carnesecchi wrote that during the plague of 1529, the government ordered the Virgin of the Annunziata to be showin "affine che da tutto il popolo . . . fussi con devotione vista, cosa non forse piu nella cipta usata sendosi insino allora e di poi tenuto gran conto di vederla ne si mostrando se non a grandissimi personaggi." Carnesecchi, 108. (67) Letter of 11 March 1585, ASF, Misc, Med. 295, ins. 9. (68) "Dalla qual baruffa spaventato il Padre Rettore del Collegio di S. Giovanino, che era con noi, si discosto tanto, che io, il quale ero restato fuori a posta, per far passar tutti li ser.i loro, che restavano impediti dalla calca, non lo riveddi quando doppo haver cio fatto ero sollecitato dal Capitano a riserrami dentro, avanti che la furia del popolo ci crescessi piu addosso, et per cio mi pareve che poi a Pratolino facesse un poco l'intronfiato, perche non volse mangiare a tavola. " Letter from Raffaello de' Medici, 13 March 1585; ASF, Misc, Med. 295, ins. 9. (69) "Et questi Signori poi da ieri in qua, m'hanno fatto instanza grandissima per poterla veder di nuovo . . . della qual cosa, havendo io parlato col Guardaroba, al quale non pareva che la sua commessione si estendesse a mostrarla due volte, m'ingegnai farli capaci, che qui noji era chi havesse questa autorita et che non sarebbe alcuno cosi ardito che presumesse di pigliarsela, massimamente in cosa della quale non ci era memoria di esempio alcuno, che ne a re ne a imperatori grandissimi si fusse mostra mai piu d'una volta, se bene credevamo che S.A., se ci fusse stata, per compiacerli non harebbe guardato a questo. Ma pero tanto grande il desiderio che n'havevano, che non possetti pero quetarli, in modo che non volesino farne circa battaglia da per loro col Guardaroba; et poi questa mattina di nuovo comme non parendo lo possibile d'haversi a partire senza cavarsi questa voglia, allegandomi per ultimo che S.A. haveva offerto loro che per il suo stato harebbon potuto pigliar ogni sicurta come la persona sua propria, et che sapevano che noi havevamo questa commisione, al che io risposi che era vero, et che sin qui ci eramo sforzati d'eseguirla, ma che questa toccava in particolare al Guardaroba, al quale non pareva una cosa tanto straordinaria si potesse comprendere sotto questa generalita, et che percio ero forzato con le lagrime agli occhi a sentir molto magior dolore di questa negativa che loro . . . sendo io restato sodisfattissimo per haver conosciuto in loro una vera bonta con benignissima natura, con vivaciti d'ingegnio, et nobilita d'animo generoso, senza alcuna mescolanza di maniere o di costumi barbari. Letter of Raffaelle de' Medici, 13 March 1585, ASF, Misc. Med. 295, ins. 9. (70) Letter of Giovanbattista da Cerreto., 15 March 1585, ASF, Misc. Med. 295, ins. 9. (71) "Partirno a due hore di sole, con questa sola mala sodisfazione . . . Et io li accompagniai un miglio fuor della porte; havendo per tutto usato l'autorita et il nome di S.A. per difenderli il piti che ho posuto dall'importunita di quelli che sfacciatissimamente chieggon le mancie." Letter of Raffaello de'Medici, 13 March 1585, ASF, Misc. Med. 295, ins. 9. (72) Boxer, 240-41; Cooper, 122-23 (73) Cited in Boxer, 314. (74) The documents about the Mexican segment of the journey are in Nunez Ortega. (75) Nunez Ortega, 98-99; Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 191-92, 196-07/ (76) Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 1991. (77) Ibid., 185. (78) Letter of Simon Contarini, Rome, 31 October 1615; reproduced in ibid., 193-94. (79) Letter of Simon Contarini, Rome 9 January 1616; in ibid., 197. (80) A small pamhplet desribing the visit, apparently compiled from a letter by Luis Sotelo, was printed at the time. It is reproduced in Nunez Ortega, 94-97. (81) There are several disccounts of the reception in Rome. Not surprisingly, the one by Luis Sotelo emphasizes the enthusiasm of the welcome; Nunez Ortega, 100-02. The Venetian ambassador describes a more reticent reception; Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 194. (82) "Si tiene per i piu questo till negozio che mal s'habbia ad intenderne il proprio, e che sotto vi sieno degli interessi." Letter of Simon Contarini, Rome, 7 November 1615, ibid., 194. (83) In an acceptance speech, surely crafted by their Jesuit chaperones, the emissaries replied that in the past Ronic claimed with good reason to be mistress of the World, first by way of arms, then by way of the holy faith, but now its greatness also grew because it reached as far as Japan. Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 162-64; Gualtieri, 97. (84) Interest in having access to religious objects usually barred to them also appears to have been a factor in the size of the crowds in Rome: "S'accrebbe poi la festa dalla gran moltitudiine di gente, che continuamente la seguito appresso, altri in carrozza, altri anco a piedi, quantunque andassero di buoi, passo, parte per veder loro, parte per veder con si buon' occasione le reliquie." Gualtieri, 91. (85) The limits of European udnerstanding of Japanese culture are also noted by Yasunori Gunji, La prillia allibasccria. (86) "Sono di buon ingegno e di prudenza senile, et molto accorti," say a typical account. Alessandro Benacci, Avisi venuti novamente da Roma, text reproduced in Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 153. "Sono benissimo creati, et ornati di nobilissimi costumi, molto modesti et riverenti, et in tutto il tenipo che sono stati in questa cita non si e veduta alcuna leggerezza ne operazione giovanile." "Cerimoniale" of Venice, in ibid., 174. (87) "Nelle maniere sono civili, cortesi e modesti. . . . Sanno sonare di cembalo, di chitarra, di lira . . . . Giuocano al trucco, et sanno anche ballare. " Benacci, in ibid., 152-53 (88) "Tutti restarono molto sodisfatti d'ogni lor portamento, et specialmente della prudenza nel parlare, e della politezza e modestia nel mangiare." Gualtieri, 87. Benacci observes: "Nel mangiare sono modestamente liberi . . . sono parchi et politi, non toc- cando colle mani altro cibo che il pane, non bevotio vino, ma acqua ben tepida secondo l'usanza del Giappone." Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 152-53. (89) They were "senza alcuna mescolanza di maniere o di costumi barbari." Letter of 13 March 1585, ASF, Misc. Med. 295, ins. 9. (90) "Come se fossero stati per gran tempo nudriti in una Corte delle nostre." Gualtieri, 160. (91) "Hanno tante creanze che paiono allevati in Italia." Benacci, in Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 153. (92) "Notano bene ogni cosa che veggon, ma non si mara vigliano molto, in che mostrano animo grande et nobile." Benacci, in ibid., 153. (93) The one notable exception was the acute observer Alessandro Valignano, who had lived in Japan but did not travel with the embassy in Europe. Yet even Valignano's interest in Japanese culture was strictly instrumental--he wanted to facilitate the spread of Christianity in Japan. See Elison, 55-62, 71-74. (94) Hasekura's appearance and clothing were described by a Genoese observer and by the Venetian ambassador in Rome. Berchet, [1877.sup.2], 190.


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Author:Brown, Judith C.
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Date:Dec 22, 1994
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