Crónicas desde las Indias Orientales: Segunda parte da História Eclesiástica de Japão y otros escritos por João Rodrigues “Tsûzu” SJ (c.1561-1633). Ediciòn de Giuseppe Marino. xxii+377 p. (Monumenta Historica S.I. – Nova series, vol. 10). Full price € 60.
The Jesuit mission in Japan began in 1549. A century later, Christianity had been formally eradicated through a series of state persecutions and prohibitions that had effect into modern times. One of the most important witnesses of the so-called “Christian century” in Japan was the Portuguese Jesuit, João Rodrigues “Tsûzu” (c.1561-1633), known by his Japanese moniker, “the Interpreter”. Among his extant writings is an incomplete work about Japan. Of this projected multi-volume História da Igreja do Japão, only the first three books in two parts have come down to the present day. This edition presents book three of the second part, published here for the first time in the Portuguese language and titled, Segunda parte da História Eclesiástica de Japão. The Rodrigues manuscript was written from exile in Macao. It provides an important account of the early history of Christianity in Asia and the first Jesuit efforts to Christianize Japan in the mid-sixteenth century under the leadership of Francis Xavier. It is reproduced in this volume with a number of pertinent letters and papers by Rodrigues.
An extensive Introduction and critical apparatus in the Spanish language accompany the Portuguese-language texts. The edition, further, contains a helpful English-language Preface, while each of the twenty-eight chapters of Rodrigues’ text – together with his papers – contain comprehensive summaries in English.