Joao Rodrigues's Account of Sixteenth-Century Japan (Hakluyt Society Third Series No. 7)

Joao Rodrigues's Account of Sixteenth-Century Japan (Hakluyt Society Third Series No. 7)

By: Joao Rodrigues (author), Michael Cooper (translator), Michael Cooper (volume_editor)Hardback

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JoAGBPo Rodrigues sailed from Portugal to Japan in 1577, and there entered the Jesuit novitiate and was ordained priest. He met Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the virtual ruler of Japan, in 1591, and from that time became the missionaries' spokesman in dealings with Japanese authorities. He was also involved in negotiations concerning the bulk sale of Chinese silk in Japan, and commercial and political rivalries led to his eventual expulsion from the country in 1610. Rodrigues spent the rest of his life in Macao and the interior of China, dying in 1633. Renowned for his fluency in spoken Japanese, Rodrigues earned a place in the history of Japanese-European cultural relations by publishing a Portuguese grammar of the Japanese language (Nagasaki, 1604-1608), followed by a revised edition (Macao, 1620). Both works provide valuable information about Japanese spoken in the early 17th century. Rodrigues also provided the draft used as a basis for the official history of the Christian mission in Japan. To set this work in context he composed two books on various aspects of Japanese life - geography, customs, clothing, science, architecture, art, and, above all, the tea ceremony. The present volume provides annotated translations of these two books, together with an introduction assessing Rodrigues's contribution to the understanding of Japanese life and culture in the early 17th century.

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About Author

Michael Cooper


Contents: Introduction; Preface to the reader; Book I: A general description of Asia and the islands of this oriental sea; Description, position, and various names ot the islands of Japan in general; The antiquity of Japan, and the nation to which the Japanese may belong; Whether Europeans knew abouth these islands in ancient times, and when they were first discovered by the Portuguese; A specific description of some of the principal islands of Japan, and their division into regions; The division of Japan into provinces, kingdoms, or states, and some of the more notable mountains, rivers, and lakes therein; The quality and climate of Japan, and the fruits that the land produces; The measurement of roads, and the method of measuring lands in respect to rent, and the varoius kinds of measurements of the kingdom; Japanese linear measurements; The features, talents, and dispositions of the Japanese; There is no contradiction, although there may appear to be, in the many things written abouth the customs, government, nobility, and wealth of Japan, and the reasons thereof; The method of Japanese building; The City of Miyako in particular; The ancient Royal Palace called Taidairi; The customs and manners of the Japanese in general; The dress and garments of the Japanese; The Japanese manner of paying visits, and the regular times and occasions for this; The ceremonies and entertainment provided for guests who visit the Master of the House at New Year; The other festivals held during the year when they also pay visits; Other occasions on which they are accustomed to visiting certain persons; The gifts that are given, and the manner in which they are offered and received; The courtesies, bows, and obeisances in use among the Chinese, from which the Japanese have taken most of their etiquette; The courtesies and ceremonies of the Japanese in general; The courtesies paid by the Japanese when they meet on the road; The manner of receiving a guest in the house, and the hospitality and banquet given him until he departs; The manner of entertaining the guest with wine and sakana, which is the first and principal courtesy paid to a guest on these visits; The manner of giving and taking sakana for noble, common, and lowly people; The warm and cold wine served on these visits, and how the Japanese make it; The banquets held by the Japanese, and how they entertain their guests at them; The banquets of the Japanese, and firstly the different kinds of banquets; Their manner of inviting guests to banquets; Their manner of entertaining with the drink of cha, and a description of cha and of this ceremony so highly esteemed by the Japanese; The general way in which the Japanese entertain with cha; How guests are especially entertained with cha in the suki house; The aim to which they aspire in suki, and the benefits resulting therefrom; Book 2: The liberal and mechanical arts of Japan in general and their division; Some mechanical arts of Japan, and firstly their pictures; Their other mechanical arts; The liberal arts of Japan, and firstly the art of letters; Another sort of letters, like the European alphabet of separate letters, which the Japanese use for certain purposes; The paper, ink, and other instruments used in writing; Their manner of printing; The mathematical arts of Japan and also of China, whence the Japanese received them; Chinese and Japanese astrology in particular; Heaven in particular, and the degrees into which they divide it; The degrees and signs into which they divide the sky, and the equinox; The eclipses of the sun and the moon; The stars and their constellations, the number of stars, and the order in which they distribute them on their celestial sphere; Earth and water, their shape, and the degrees of elevation in which they are said to be; The Japanese and Chinese divisions of time; The practical judicial astronomy of these nations, and the various superstitions contained therein; Bibliography; Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 28/11/2001
  • ISBN13: 9780904180732
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 490
  • ID: 9780904180732
  • weight: 1110
  • ISBN10: 0904180735
  • translations: Portuguese

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