Monday, May 22, 2006

"Silence" by Shusaku Endo Review, General Timeline

Relevant Timeline in Japan:

1579 – some 150000 Xtians w/ ‘sterling qualities and deep faith” according to Valignano ("Silence", p. viii)

1570 – 1619 – Jesuit missionaries have great favor w/ the court of the shoguns (Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, Ieyasu) (p. ix). Hideyoshi was even known for strolling thru his palace wearing Portuguese dress and a rosary

1597 – Hideyoshi executes 26 Xtians, European and Japanese, at Nagasaki

1610 – "Rodrigues" is born

1614 – Ieyasu begins persecution, afraid of the idea of missionaries preceding Spanish/Portuguese armed invasion and such. At this time, 300,000 Xtians out of 20 million Japanese.
His successors stopped giving glorious martyrdoms to the believers and tried to get them to apostate w/ by hanging them by the feet head-first into a pit of dead bodies and excrement, but no missionary did apostatise until Christovao Ferreira in 1632, leader of the mission. (p. xii)

1627 – Rodrigues enters religious life at age 17

1637 – Garrpe, Santa Marta and Rodrigues leave Portugal

Jan 1637 – 35,000 Xtians participate in armed insurrection at Shimabara, inviting bloody repression

1638-9 or so - Rodrigues and Garrpe arrive in Japan

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