# 17466

AMATI, Scipione; HENDSCHEL, Tobias (translator); [SOTELO, Luis, 1574-1624]

Relation und gründtlicher Bericht von dess Königreichs Voxu im Japonischen Keyserthumb gottseliger Bekehrung und dessentwegen außgefertigter Ambasciada : an Päbst. Heil. gen Rom Paulum den fünfften, und an die Cathol. May. Philip. den dritten König in Hispania etc. Anno 1615. durch Ludovicum Sotelum S. Francisci Ordens … und … Don: Rocuyemon Faxecura …

Ingolstadt: in der Ederischen Truckerey, bey Elisabeth Angermayrin, Wittib, 1617. Small quarto, recent straight grain morocco with ornamental gilt borders, spine with raised bands lettered and decorated in gilt, pp [8] (including engraved title and frontispiece portrait of Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga), 292, 109 (Englischen Liebbrinnendten S. Francisci Ordens); head- and tailpieces, historiated intitials; occasional browning and spotting, a fine copy; housed in a handsome custom clamshell box.

First edition in German of the interpreter Scipione Amati’s account of the second Japanese mission to Europe, the so-called Keichō Embassy, in 1614-15. First published in Italian in Rome in 1615, the work was translated by Tobias Hendschel.

The embassy representing Date Masamune (1567-1636), daimyō of Oshu in the Tōhoku region of Japan, was brought to Europe by the Spanish Franciscan missionary Luis Sotelo (1574-1624). Its titular head was Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga (1571-1622), Date’s retainer, and it comprised a large retinue of Japanese merchants and attendants. Departing from Japan in October 1613, the mission sailed for Spain by way of Manila, Acapulco, and Mexico City, finally arriving in Seville in October 1614. The embassy was received by Philip III in Madrid, where it proposed a treaty of perpetual friendship with Spain and indicated a renewed desire to introduce Christianity to Japan, following a period which had seen the persecution of Kirishitan (Japanese Christians) and missionaries. A request was also made for the Spanish to send shipbuilders and navigators with a view to inaugurating an annual voyage between Seville and Sendai, the chief port of Oshu. The daimyō’s proposals were unenthusiastically received. The mission toured Italy in late 1614 and 1615, and was granted an audience with Pope Paul V. By this time, however, news had begun to reach Europe of the recent flare-up of hostilities towards the Kirishitan, as well as of Tokugawa Hidetada’s proclamation announcing his intention to expel all Catholic missionaries from Japan. Hasekura eventually arrived back in Japan in 1620, to a cold reception. Having delayed his return until 1622, Sotelo was imprisoned immediately upon his arrival by the Tokugawa Hidetada, and was martyred by being burned alive at the stake, along with four other missionaries, at Ōmura in 1624.

Cordier, Japonica, 283; Sabin, 31333; Streit V, 1157.