ORIGINAL TITLE Title: Report of Delegation from Portugal and Their Execution
PRONUNCIATION: Report of Delegation from Portugal and Their Execution
MATERIAL: Hand-Written/Painted
TYPE: Manuscript
DIMENSIONS: Volume measures 7 3/4 X 10 1/2 inches (closed)
COMPONENTS: 33 pages
NOTES: Previously unseen and very rare original.
ITEM ID: 3974
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Japanese Hand-Written Manuscript Book

DATE
Year: 1646
Decade: 1640s
Century: 17th (1601-1700)
Notes: Shoho 4 = 1646

This report covers the Portuguese delegation from Macao that reached Japan in Kan’ei 17 (1640). This was in the wake of the Christian revolt of 1637-38 and all 61 members of the Portuguese delegation were executed by decapitation with their heads displayed on poles as a warning to Japanese not to take up the faith of Christianity.

The report also covers the formation of a navy to protect Japan from foreign invasion with Daimyo forces listed. For example the Matsudaira clan had 10,730 soldiers and 111 ships and the Kosokawa clan had 11,301 samurai and 243 ships.

According to scholar Martin Nogueira Ramos, “This document is not about the Macao embassy of 1640, but reports about the Portuguese embassy sent by João IV, which arrived in summer of Shoho 4 (1647). The aim of the embassy was to obtain the reopening of the Luso-Japanese trade (like in 1640). The Portuguese stayed in their vessels in the bay of Nagasaki for two months waiting for the (negative) reply of the shogunate.

By the way, the huge mobilization of troops was for the second embassy of 1647. Historians think that up to 50,000 men gathered in and around the port of Nagasaki.”