In October 1613, of northeastern Japan sailed a boat, San Juan Bautista "for Mexico and Spain that would become the first Japanese official mission between America and Europe. Although there were previous contacts between Spain and Japan, dating back to the evangelizing work of St. Francis Xavier in those lands decades earlier, the expedition meant four centuries ago the germ of future diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Known as the "Embassy Keicho", It was commanded by the samurai Hasekura and formed by Tsunenaga 180 men. These included the Spanish missionary Luis Sotelo and marine Sebastian Vizcaino, Japanese who helped build the galleon which undertake such a long journey: "San Juan Bautista".
After the catastrophe which claimed almost 19.000 lives and resulted in the Fukushima the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, a replica of the galleon was repaired (construido en 1993, amazingly he withstood the tsunami), of 55 meters long and two masts reaching a 30 meters. This wooden boat shows inside the details of an adventure full of adventures that joined Japan and Spain.
In 1609, another Spanish galleon, "San Francisco" foundered near the coast of Tokyo, He is rescued by the Japanese. Captain, Rodrigo de Vivero, He met with Tokugawa Ieyasu, facilitating the signing of a collaboration agreement between the Spanish and the Japanese nation, where the approach of the Spanish ships allowed the archipelago and, also, serve to send a Japanese diplomatic mission to the Spanish Court. Spain, thus, He gained some ground with respect to the plans of the Portuguese and the Dutch to take over all the Japanese trade.
The galleon San Francisco was built around 1585. Its characteristics were: 915 tonnes, 35 meters long and 10 mts sleeve. He was armed with 22 guns (18 bronze and 6 of iron) and its crew was 67 seamen and 127 soldiers. It was requisitioned for the Grand Army of 1588 and he was in command of Martin de Lizardi. the squadron of Andalusia He joined (11 ships) Pedro Valdes as admiral ship. He participated in four days of fighting in the channel during which he made 242 shots against the English ships. When the flagship of Pedro de Valdes was captured with him aboard, San Francisco became the flagship of the fleet in Andalusia, at that time under the command of Diego Enriquez. After making the return trip via Scotland and the Atlantic entered the port of Santander 20 September of 1588.
Getting back, as I said before, to October 1613, the galleon San Juan Bautista set sail from the port of Sendai -Japón-, with a crew of 180 native and 50 Spanish sailors. Their destination was the Cadiz port of San Lucar de Barrameda; and its mission was to get King Philip III signed the necessary agreements that allow direct trade between Japan and Spain, mission that failed.
In the early seventeenth, Japan lived a time of progress, boom and openness to the West, was known as Keicho. The territory was divided into small kingdoms and the Japanese emperor delegated administration and defense of the country in the local kings. Among them, one of the highlights was Data Masamune, the Kingdom of boju and founder of the city of Sendai, its capital and seaport. One of the main concerns I had was arrumbar Japanese and foreign trade, sobre todo, the interests of the viceroys of the Spanish colonies of the Philippines and New Spain -Mexico-, that hindered relations with the metropolis and direct negotiation with the Crown. Therefore, He decided to unleash his ambition and Madrid sent a diplomatic expedition unprecedented, to obtain a solution of King Philip III.
The success of the risky plan Masamune stood on three pillars: a head of sly expedition, prepared, prudent, tenacious and good negotiator; a loyal translator and who knew the culture, Spanish customs and politics; and a means of transport capable of crossing half the world.
Sotelo and Hasekura arrived in Sanlucar de Barrameda (Cádiz) October 1614 after a year of travel by the Spanish route, which included passing through America. “Hasekura was the first Japanese to cross the Pacific”, indica Yayoi Kawamura. Until then, Japanese numbered who had arrived to Europe had done by the Portuguese route, namely, by the Atlantic and Indian.
The expedition sailed up the Guadalquivir and became one of the most important ports of the time, the Seville. The City Council received them with honors. The expedition had letters written in Japanese feudal lord of Sendai to present their claims in the West. Also a message for the mayor of Seville in which he told her he wanted to have a business relationship and demanded that the Spanish navigators teach them to navigate routes from Japan to Spain.
The meeting with King Felipe III came in January 1615. And after the audience with the monarch, embassy headed to Italy to meet the second objective, religious. In November 1615, Pope Paul V received them, but, as in the case of Philip III, travelers did not achieve a definitive answer to their demands. Sotelo and Hasekura decided to return to Sevilla.
But, while touring Europe, They changed many things. Just as they were in full embassy, the Japanese government declared the ban of Christianity. News and then traveled fast. They came to Madrid and Rome and dashed the aspirations of the embassy Keicho.
Without having met its goals, Hasekura his men decided to return to Japan in July 1617. But historian Victor Valencia Japan, Natural Coria del Río, It's located in the documentation of the time a mismatch between the number of Japanese who came to Spain and those who left for their country three years later. According Valencia Japan, the numbers do not match, so it must be assumed that some of them died, or maybe they stayed in Spain. It is known that the expedition were staying a while in Coria. And it is precisely the early seventeenth century when the first references to Japan name appear in the archives of Coria del Rio. The oldest you found this historian is a testament to 1642. It is assumed that the descendants of those were put expeditionary surname Japan.
This Sevillian town, it has great ties with Japan is a small town in Andalusia located 12 kilometers from Seville, and with an estimated population of 30.000 people. The curious thing about this town is not that it is twinned with the Japanese city of Sendai, but between 600 and 700 Villagers carry surnamed Japan. This is the basis of the hypothesis about the possible origin of the name Japan currently carrying more than 300 people as a first name and a 250 people as second surname. These facts are dated documents of the year 1622, after the arrival of the Japanese mission to Coria del Rio, preserved in the Archive of the Indies and in which a reference appears for the first time this name. Some people with the surname Japan have already visited the Japanese city of Sendai, birthplace of Catholic samurai Hasekura. Sendai is located in Miyagi Prefecture (northern Japan) and he donated in 1992 the Seville town of Coria del Rio samurai statue so that it reserved in the city park and so remember this historic event. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, NOBUTAKA MACHIMURA, awarded the prize to D. MANUEL CARVAJAL JAPAN, former President of the Association Hispano-Japanese Hasekura.
Interestingly the history of Japan was lost in the centuries. Sevillian knew it was a surname Coria, but no one suspected such battles. "They did not know, US Niether", Suarez admits Japan, During the Expo 92 was Minister of Culture of the Andalusian. "Our name was normal. Llegabas to school and had another twenty like you. In the late eighties, following the novel 'The Samurai', de Shusaku Endo, We began to suspect ". Suarez's uncle Japan, Virginio Carvajal Japan, I began to investigate and found the link to the land of the rising sun. The village was filled with researchers, Spanish scholars and travelers. "Tourists would visit my mother Carmen, I had dark hair and white skin. They said it was like a Japanese and took photos like crazy ".
Doubts about the origin of the name could be completely cleared if the project finally Toshimichi Yamamoto takes place, Nagoya University. This research aims to cross the DNA corianos so that the last name of the residents of Sendai to search for matches. It is not yet known when it will begin to collect samples on this genetic fingerprint of the embassy Keicho.
One of the youngest of the Japanese Coria is called Carmen. He was born 10 March 2013 and is the daughter of Juan Francisco Japan Carvajal, President from 2005 the Hispano-Japanese Association Hasekura Tsunenaga. This association was born when started in the eighties relations between Sendai and Seville. “Now many Japanese tourists come”, Japan argues Carvajal, who also he participated in the meeting with the crown prince.
Another example is Maria Jose Suarez, descendant of Japan and Miss Spain, equipped with an undeniable oriental beauty. "I say it many times', she admits. The model bears the name in third place and did not know the story until winning Miss Spain in 1996 He was invited by the embassy to know the country for a month with his mother.
Former football referee José Japan Sevilla says some of his male cousins have slanted eyes. At school they picked on his name. "They did not know that for me was a pride", while imagining admits his ancestor as "an adventurer, a samurai with a great sense of honor, a brave fighter ". Anyway, Joseph is more than meat sushi, but he admits that increasingly feels more identified with Japanese culture, he has known in recent years during visits to the embassy in Madrid, on the occasion of the national day of the country. "For me they are a good reference. I would look in the mirror ".
But, What happened with Hasekura and Sotelo? The samurai came to Japan in 1620 and, two years later, passed away. Sotelo also decided to return disguised as a merchant. He had already decreed the veto to the Catholic religion, but the friar ventured back. Franciscan was burned alive in Omura 1624 (two centuries later was beatified). Whereas, Japan was veering toward isolationism. A partir de 1640 the policy was in force sakoku, that prevented foreigners entering the country and led to the expulsion of Western. The lock did not open until well into the nineteenth century.
Highlight to end that the people of Coria has been in the news this summer for a very different story. The City Council of Seville town of Coria del Rio held a protest rally against the film 'elite corps', because it, according to the consistory, They pour sentences against future employment of women corianas.
So in two weeks!