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Revisión actual - 17:37 16 jun 2022
The Monk and the Heretics: A Reappraisal of Sessō Sōsai’s Anti-Christian Documents (Mid-Seventeenth Century)
(p. 60) In 1642 and 1643, the Society of Jesus sent two groups of priests, brothers, and catechists to Kyushu (the Rubino groups), whose aim it was, among other things, to revive the Japanese mission and make contact with the apostate Jesuit Cristóvão Ferreira (ca. 1580–1650). Last but not least, on the other side of the world, the Iberian Union ended in December 1640, and the King of Portugal decided to send an official embassy to the bakufu; it arrived in Nagasaki in July 1647.
Buddhist studies specialists have thoroughly examined the arguments of the anti-Christian treatises written in the 1640s by the Zen monks Suzuki Shōsan 鈴 木正三 (1579–1655) of the Sōtō 曹洞 sect and Sessō Sōsai 雪窓宗崔 (1589–1649) of the Rinzai 臨済 sect, locating them within the context of seventeenth-century Japanese religious thought.2 The former penned Ha Kirishitan 破吉利支丹 (Christians countered) in the 1640s (published in Kyoto in Kanbun 寛文 2 (1662));3 the latter wrote Taiji jashū ron 対治邪執論 (A refutation of the evil teachings) in Shōhō 正保 5 (1648).4 Kiri Paramore, in his study of anti-Christian discourse in early modern Japan, has emphasized the political nature of such discourse and argued that it was primarily aimed at asserting the legitimacy of the Tokugawa.
(61) in the years following the revolt, the bakufu systematized, on a national scale, the religious inspection system centered on Buddhist temples (tera’uke 寺請) and the “five-household groups” (gonin-gumi 五人組).
the bakufu was convinced that the enforcement of formal control over religious affiliation was not alone sufficient to solve the “Christian issue.” Instead, what was now required was a better understanding of Christian tenets. For both the first and last time during the Edo period, Baba Toshishige 馬場利重 (?–1657; governor of Nagasaki from 1636 to 1652) and the aforementioned Inoue Masashige endeavored to use their knowledge of Christianity to influence directly the inner beliefs of the remaining hidden Christians.
(62) some of my conclusions differ from those of Elison, the author of Deus Destroyed. The main difference between us lies in our perceptions of the bakufu authorities. For Elison, they were all-powerful and seemingly implemented the anti-Christian measures according to an established plan.10 By contrast, I will argue that they were far from sure about the effectiveness of their policies, and remained wary about the possible reaction of the hidden Christians.
Sessō Sōsai. The Nagasaki authorities summoned him to preach in front of the port town’s inhabitants around the fifth & 6 month of Shōhō 4 (June-Julio 1647), ante la inminente llegada de una embajada portuguesa.
the bakufu leaders considered the ordinary citizens of Nagasaki, a majority of whom were apostate Christians (korobi Kirishitan 転びキリシタン), as a potential threat that needed to be tamed. They were unsure about the real feelings of Nagasaki’s citizens towards the forbidden religion.
In order to reveal the falsehood of Christianity, they resorted to a counter-narrative of the history of this religion, and concentrated their attacks on God’s alleged omnipotence.
(63) 76 páginas. La obra de Rinzai era para ser leído por monjes budistas (se entiende que esta en cambio para más gente). 4 sermones. Después del 1er sermón recibieron los "preceptos" 1.520 personas y después del 3º 21.300. O sea asistió la mayoría de los 30.000 habitantes de Nagasaki.
(64) Mientras que están escritas en kanbun (chino clásico) las partes que explican el budismo Zen, Nichiren y del País Puro, hay 10 páginas escritas en japonés sobre cristianismo, para que todos lo entiendan.
El 17 de julio de 1647 visitó el barco de los holandeses en Deshima para explicarles que había venido a convencer a los seguidores del Papa que quedaran.
(65) Es predicador de su majestad en la corte, era gordo como un buda viviente.
Sessō was, for sure, no ordinary monk.25 Born in Bungo in Tenshō 天正 17 (1589), he initially trained in the True Pure Land tradition in the town of Usuki, but became dissatisfied with the exclusivist stance of his sect. In Keichō 慶長 18 (1613), he joined the Rinzai sect temple, Tafukuji. From the first year of Genna 元和 (1615), in order to complete his training, he started to travel around Honshu beginning with Edo. There he met monks like Suzuki Shōsan, and promised to strive for the revival of Zen Buddhism. He became abbot of Tafukuji in Kan’ei 8 (1631). At that time, his fame was already established. He not only had contacts with prestigious monks but also with important figures like Hoshina Masayuki 保科正之 (1611–1672), the daimyo of Aizu 会津 domain from 1643. In Kan’ei 17 (1640), the imperial court even summoned him to preach to the retired emperor Gomizuno’o 後水尾 (r. 1611–1629), probably the “Majesty” mentioned in the office diary of Deshima.
(66) “[Missionaries] preach that those who believe fervently in the Lord of Heaven (Tenshu 天主) and do not regress in their faith (shinjin 信心), will be reborn in heaven (ten 天) after death, where they will enjoy unlimited bliss.” Missionaries, he affirms, do not understand the eternal nature of the Tathātā (shin’nyo 真如)—the ultimate reality—or of the karmic law (inga 因果). Therefore, they mislead ordinary people (bonbu 凡夫) with a counterfeit doctrine (gihō 偽法), and the converts end up helping the missionaries to conquer new lands. Sessō then explains that the founder (shoso 初祖) of Christianity, Jesus, learned the Buddhist Law (buppō 仏法) from a monk (shamon 沙門), but intentionally changed its nature to accomplish his plots (keiryaku 計略). Christianity, argues Sessō, is rooted in the teachings of the Six Heretical Masters (Rokushi gedō 六師外道).29 These masters and thus the missionaries, too, are at fault for “not understanding the principle that the Three Worlds are [the emanation] of one’s heart,” and for inciting their followers to believe in things exterior to them such as a wondrous heaven (shōmyōten 勝妙天) or a creator. The ideas expressed in the preface are similar to those in Ha Kirishitan. Sessō Sōsai and Suzuki Shōsan both contend that Christians perceive the phenomenal world as the single reality and thus search outside themselves for the means of salvation. For these monks, however, only the improvement of one’s mind (kokoro 心) and the detachment from material reality can bring relief in this world and lead sentient beings to salvation. What is more, in seventeenth-century Japan, a growing number of Confucian literati and Zen monks also partook of the discourse on the perfection of the mind.30 Nor is the idea of Christianity as a deviant law (gedō 外道), or a Buddhist heresy, an invention of Sessō Sōsai. Suzuki Shōsan also devotes a long passage to this topic.31 In this regard, Sueki Fumihiko 末木文未士 has argued that the two monks denied Christianity its distinctiveness, and transformed it into a familiar and easy-to-refute doctrine.32
(67) The missionaries criticize Zen for its lack of a creator, and Nichiren and Pure Land Buddhism for the fact that “the Pure Land of the West and the blissful Land of Tranquil Light are part of the lower world, and that [A]mida and Shaka are [mere] humans.”35
He refers to the original sin committed by Adam and Eve; he says the missionaries link it to the descent of Jesus Christ (Zezu Kirishito ゼズキリシト) into the lower world (gekai 下界) for the salvation of humans (shujō 衆生). He contends that the church manipulates the minds of ordinary people through its discourse on Paradise (Haraizo ハライゾ), Hell (Inuheruno イヌヘル野) and Purgatory (Furukatōriya フルカタウリヤ). Sessō’s understanding of Christianity is accurate so far as it goes.
La apostasía (escribe en kanbun para que solo entiendan los monjes) no basta, hace falta que la gente crea el budismo.
(68) son inútiles los de las sectas Pure Land y Nichiren, que se dedican a discutir cual de las dos es mejor, así no enseñan la “correct law” (shōbō 正法) of Shaka. Vuelve al japonés para explicar el origen del cristianismo: Italia, donde vivía María, madre de Jesús, que estudió budismo con un monje y luego predicó para conquistar países. En uno de ellos, Judea, las autoridades se enteraron del golpe (hakarigoto 謀) que Jesús preparaba. Las autoridades lo mataron, los discípulos se escondieron y animaban a la gente a seguirles, así conquistaron Roma y otros países con ayuda de las conspiraciones que esta religión permite, incluso en cuatro o cinco ocasiones trataron de conquistar Japón. Nació hace 1.600 años, cuando en India India (Tenjiku 天竺) el budismo había caído en decadencia. Lo que el monje enseñó a Jesús combinaba el budismo con el camino torcido y Jesús no fue capaz de distinguirlos, solo entendió la superficie y no la esencia de la ley budista.
1) Jesús y María eran descendientes de reyes 2) usaron la religión para conquistar países 3) tras su muerte sus seguidores continuaron su obra maléfica, 4) él distorsionó el budismo para forjar su credo. Es una copia errónea.
(69) Principal acusación: los cristianos ignoran la ley del karma y buscan fuera de sí mismos (confiando en Dios) la salvación.
El primer sermón vuelve al kanbun para criticar el nichirenismo (por el monje Nichiren del siglo XIII, según el cual todos los seres sensibles poseen una naturaleza búdica y pueden alcanzar la budeidad en esta vida) y el de Tierra Pura (o "campo de Buda", reino no samsárico, no terrestre, donde se puede alcanzar la budeidad). [Solo queda como bueno el budismo zen o arte de ver en la propia naturaleza la vía hacia la perfección]. En consecuencia 1.520 ciudadanos, aspirantes a la iluminación (hotsubodaishin 発菩提心) recibieron los 5 preceptos tras el sermón.
9 días después de la mención a Sessô en el diario de los holandeses, el 26 de julio de 1647 (Shôhô 4.6.24) llegaron dos carracas portuguesas con 400 personas, primera embajada oficial dirigida por Gonçalo de Siqueira de Souza (?–1648), nombrado embajador en diciembre de 1643 por el nuevo rey Juan IV (1640-1656). Desde 1642 había tregua de 10 años con los holandeses, lo que preocupó en Japón, pues esperaban venganza por lo de 1640.
(70) El bakufu había enviado instrucciones en 1640 a los señores para estar armados en caso de que los portugueses suscitaran levantamientos de cristianos ocultos. Matsuo Shin’ichi 松尾晋一 estima que el bakufu movilizó 50.000 soldados en torno a Nagasaki. En agosto el gobernador cerró la bahía con un puente de barcas. Se prohibió a los habitantes salir de sus casas y preguntar a los portugueses sobre los signos cristianos de sus barcos. La reacción fue de pánico: la población huyó a los montes. En 1658 el gobernador escribirá a los jefes de Edo que había que evitar que los barcos pasaran más allá de la isla de Iōjima 伊王島, porque los habitantes del puerto de Nagasaki "eran todos cristianos apóstatas" y ante la mera vista de un barco portugués se volverían "locos" (kichigai 気違い = enojados). 28 de agosto se negó la reapertura del comercio con Macao, en respuesta firmada por todos los jefes del bakufu, que criticaban al cristianismo por:
-Su propensión a organizar revueltas.
-Sus tendencias imperialistas. La religión era un pretexto para conquistar países y los jefes lo sabían gracias a la confesión (hakujō 白状) of the “Southern barbarian apostate priests.” This might be a reference to the apostate Jesuit Cristóvão Ferreira or to the members of the two Rubino groups, the majority of whom renounced (71) their faith under torture.51 On 4 September, the governor of Nagasaki instructed Gonçalo de Siqueira de Souza and his men to leave Japan.
(73) entre la documentación que consultó Sessô está el Kirishitan kanagaki y dos rollos; el primero tiene 50 argumentos contra el cristianismo; en el segundo hay una vida de: Marcello Mastrilli (1603– 1637), a Neapolitan Jesuit who died as a martyr in Nagasaki in the fall of Kan’ei 14 (1637). Mastrilli, who believed he had recovered from a severe wound thanks to the intervention of Francis Xavier, made a vow to reach Japan and preach the Gospel there like his eminent predecessor.57 The author of the scroll saturates his story with reports of divine interventions and miracles; it seems to be a Japanese translation of a hagiography compiled by Mastrilli’s fellow Jesuits after his death.58 The Kirisuto-ki contains a very similar biography of Mastrilli, in addition to comparable testimonies (compiled in Meireki 明暦 4 (1658) ) by apostate priests and catechists. See ZGR, pp. 652–654 for the testimonies and pp. 654–655 for the biography of Mastrilli. It appears that Inoue Masashige considered it vital to refute the stories that had spread concerning this Italian Jesuit.
The second part, which is incomplete, claims that Mastrilli’s story is a lie propagated by the Jesuits. The author explains that the four catechists (dōjuku 同宿) and the brother (iruman いるまん), who had accompanied the priests of the two Rubino groups in 1642 and 1643 before apostatizing under torture, testified to this fact.
El Kirishitan kanagaki tiene 230 páginas, 50.000 caracteres. Like the well-known Kirishitan monogatari 吉利支丹物語 (Tales of the Christians; Kan’ei 16 , reprinted in Kanbun 5  with illustrations), it amounts to a compilation of short stories on the (wicked) deeds of the Christians. 60 For an English translation, see Elison (1973) 1988, pp. 329–374. Elison has argued that the Kirishitan monogatari was part of a propagandist strategy on the part of the Tokugawa regime to instill the idea among the lower classes that Christianity represented a foreign threat. On the contrary, Jan Leuchtenberger has defended the theory that this text was linked to the blossoming commercial publishing industry of the mid-seventeenth century and thus reflected the image of Christianity in Japan at the time (2013, pp. 45–49).
(74) Refieriéndose a la tercera parte del Kirishitan kanagaki, única conocida hasta que Ôkuwa Hitoshi descubrió los documentos de Tafukuji: Sakamoto Masayoshi 坂本正義 considers the text, despite its fictitious elements, as a more or less reliable source on the Jesuit presence in Japan, as well as evidence that Christianity projected a negative image there in the early seventeenth century. For him, it is proof that many Japanese saw missionaries as the forerunners to a territorial invasion by the “Southern Barbarians.”63
The Kirishitan kanagaki manuscript held by Tafukuji is in three parts. Only the second bears a title: Kirishitan jūni monpa no koto きりしたん十二問派之事 (About the twelve orders of Christianity).64 The first and the third parts recount, chronologically, both fictive and actual events related to Christianity, from Adam and Eve to the first decade of the seventeenth century.65 It contains long passages on the life of Jesus, Mary, the apostles (Peter, Paul, John, James, and Matthew), and finally saints (Lucy, Clare, and Lawrence, for example). After describing four fictive attempts by the missionaries to conquer Japan— note that the same number occurs in the first sermon of the Nagasaki Kōfukuji hikki—the manuscript ends by mentioning the ban on Christianity in Ōmura in Keichō 11 (1606).66
(75) The Jesuits were highly successful there in the latter part of the sixteenth century, winning the conversion of its lord, Ōmura Sumitada 大村純忠 (1533–1587), who subsequently spread the new faith among his retainers and subjects.67 The author also explains, with some accuracy, certain doctrinal aspects of Christianity, like the creation, the redemption, and the seven sacraments. The second part concerns, as its title suggests, various real and fictive religious orders or religious organizations within the Church. Among those which exist in reality are the Jesuits, the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Augustinians, and the brotherhood system. The orders of Saint Michael (San Mikeru), Saint Lawrence (San Rorenso), and a certain Santa Narisha are however, fictitious. In comparison with the first and third parts, the second is mostly imaginary. The author of the Kirishitan kanagaki is unknown. Jurgis Elisonas attributes its authorship to Chijiwa Seizaemon 千々石清左衛門 (1569–1633?), better known as Miguel Chijiwa, one of the four envoys of the Tenshō embassy, sent to Rome and the Iberian Union by three Christian feudal lords of Kyushu under close Jesuit supervision.68 Unlike the other envoys, Miguel left the seminary and renounced his faith at the beginning of the
(76) seventeenth century.69 However, none of the evidence Elisonas provides is decisive, and there remains no consensus among scholars about the authorship.70 Whatever the identity of the author, we can say with certainty that he possessed an extensive knowledge of Christian doctrine, its hagiography, and the Portuguese language. The Kirishitan kanagaki mimics the hybrid style of the Jesuit press in Japan (Kirishitan-ban キリ シタン版) brilliantly.71 Furthermore, the author knew the names of many Jesuits active in the Japanese archipelago, from the pioneers of the mission such as Francis Xavier (1506–1552) and Cosme de Torres (1510–1570) to Japanese priests and brothers like Lourenço Ryōsai (1526– 1592), Vincente Tōin (1540–1609), Sebastião Kimura (1565–1622), and Fukansai Fabian.72
the Taiji jashū ron, a treatise written entirely in kanbun, presumably as a vade mecum for the monks close to Sessō, a significant part of the text consists of narrative elements related to an “alternative” history of Christianity and the life of Jesus.73 The Taiji jashū ron thus differs from Suzuki Shōsan’s Ha Kirishitan. The latter does not explain the wicked nature of the forbidden religion by invoking historical facts; it arises, so to speak, ex nihilo. By contrast, Sessō connects all the alleged evils of Christianity to the “original sin” of Jesus, who wilfully transformed the teaching of the Buddha in order to engage in his misdeeds.
Narrative aspect of the Taiji jashū ron. The text begins with the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries in Japan and their first successes. This opening represents a summary of the information found within the Kirishitan kanagaki, including its mistakes.74 According to the Taiji jashū ron, at the end of the Tenbun 天文 era (1532–1555), two priests (bateren 頗姪連) and one brother (iruman 由婁漫) arrived in Bungo from the capital (kyō/miyako 京) of Rome. The priests were San Furanshisuko Shabieru (Francis Xavier) and Gasuparu (possibly Gaspar Vilela (1526–1572),
(77) a Jesuit who arrived in Japan in 1556).75 The brother was a certain Rorenso, probably the blind biwa player Lourenço Ryōsai, the first-ever Japanese to join the Society of Jesus. Sessō depicts him as a man born in the Kinai 畿内 region who studied the teaching of the Lord of Heaven (Tenshukyō 天主教) in Rome.76 After that, Sessō leaves aside Japan to focus on the life of Jesus (Zezusu 是寸須) who, after having learned the doctrine of Shaka, transformed it into a deviant law (gedō) and a set of evil views (jaken 邪見) to steal foreign countries.77 Sessō claims that he bases his knowledge on the evil books (jasho 邪書) he has consulted.78 Then, in a long passage, he introduces some of the essential doctrinal elements of Christianity: the creation by God, the fall of Lucifer, the original sin of Adam and Eve, the incarnation of Jesus, the betrayal of Judas, the death and resurrection of Jesus.79 Finally, Sessō emphasizes that creation is a groundless theory (okusetsu 憶説) preached by Jesus, and that the extraordinary deeds (kimyō 奇妙) he allegedly performed are the ingenious inventions (kōken 巧見) of Ewanzerishita 恵 椀是利志多 (John the Evangelist?).80 As we shall see, this is precisely the view held by the author of the Kirishitan kanagaki.
(1) miraculous or supernatural stories seem likely to have exerted a significant influence on the Japanese; and (2) Buddhist and Christian priests considered narratives and counter-narratives as an effective means to convey religious ideas and to attack one another’s religion.
(78) Importancia de las vidas de santos: And, in 1591, the first book they printed was a collection of saints’ lives, in the Roman alphabet: Sanctos no Gosagueo no Uchinuqigaqi / Santosu no gosagyō no uchinukigaki サントスの御作業の内抜書 (Abridged version of the acts of the saints).84
Sessō and others relied upon their memory of Mastrilli’s execution to demonstrate that Christian discourse was, as a whole, mendacious. One entry argues that, since no extraordinary event actually occurred during his execution in Nagasaki, contrary to what Christian documents affirm about him, “the deeds (sagyō 作業) of the past [which the Church propagates] are all fabricated lies (itsuwari 偽).”86 Ōkuwa 1984, pp. 172–173.
Kirishitan kanagaki’s aims is clearly to debunk some of the core narratives of Christianity. The word itsuwari itself appears in multiple passages, especially in the early sections on the life of Jesus. The author dismisses the Annunciation as “an unbelievable lie.” The birth of Jesus, which was marked by the coming of angels, “is also a real lie.” 87 The star of Bethlehem, proof of Jesus’ coming for the Three Wise Men, is a deception: “[What they say about] this star is, as with other things, only a lie.”88
79 primeras páginas de Kirishitan kanagaki
In the past, in Itariya [Italy], there was a place called Tamaseina [Damascus?], where Atan [Adam] and Ewa [Eve] lived. They were descendants of the kings (ōson 王孫) of this country [Itariya].89 However, their parents died when they were young; they became orphans. They were expelled [from Tamaseina] and exiled to Ashisu [Assisi?], a place situated in the same country. After, Atan had three sons. His sons wished ardently to retrieve their home country. [One day,] they declared: “We are only concerned with the fact that one of our descendants shall rise again to the throne.” Then, months and years passed, and Atan [and Ewa] died; generations of descendants followed until a certain Monsesu [Moses?] appeared. As he was skilled in the literary and military arts, he finally ascended the throne (ōi 王位) thanks to a plot (bōryaku 謀略). Some six thousand years after Atan, there was a royal descendant called Jōchin [Joachim], and his wife’s name was Anna. At that time, the people of this country considered that those who had no children contravened human relations. Thus, Anna and Jōchin, since they had no children, were not allowed to succeed to the throne (teiō 帝王). They were exiled to a place called Zeruzaren [Jerusalem]. Soon after that, a man named Seizaru Agusuto [Cesar Augustus] inherited the throne. At that moment, Jōchin prayed the Way of Heaven (Tendō 天道), saying: “I was blessed to be born in a royal family (ōin 王院). Nevertheless, since I had no children, I was exiled. Here is my wish: whether a boy or a girl, give me a descendant.” He addressed his prayer with such dedication that his wife Anna soon became pregnant. In the ninth month, she gave birth. They discovered that the child was a daughter. They called her Santa Mariya [Saint Mary].90
A los 19 años, un monje habría dado a Jesús la idea de escribir un texto para ganar apoyo popular y derrocar a César Augusto:
He became the disciple of this monk, and, for three years, he traveled to other countries. At the age of twenty-two, he returned to his home village. He reflected a lot [and said to himself as follows]: “Although I am a descendant of kings, it is highly regrettable that [my place in society] is so low because of the poor karmic retribution I have inherited from my ancestors. However wide is my knowledge, I will not be able to wipe out Seizaru Agusuto only with military strategy or bravery in battle. Here is what I will do: I will fabricate a sacred text and tell everyone that I am Heaven’s emissary (Tendō no tsukai 天道の使); then, I will exhort them to believe in me, and I will gain the support of high and low people. After that, it will be easy for me to wipe out Seizaru Agusuto; I will become the king of this country (kokuō 国王) [of Rome].” Following this plan, on
(80) the eighth day of the eighth month of his twentieth year [sic], Jesus started for the first time to fabricate a sacred text.91
The Kirishitan kanagaki goes on to discuss some of the key elements of Jesus’ “fabricated sacred text”: the Trinity, the creation, the angels and Lucifer, and the story of Adam and Eve. As for Jesus’ condemnation to death and his resurrection, the author protests that these were inventions of one of his disciples, John the Evangelist (Juwan Ewanserishita 寿庵ゑわんせりした).92 For the author of Kirishitan kanagaki, Christians are nevertheless more than liars who take advantage of fools. Indeed, although he depicts Christ and John the Evangelist— and, more broadly speaking, the clergy—as conspirators with very mundane goals, he also portrays them as men who can control the sacred to unleash extramundane powers. As we witnessed in the previous two passages, Joachim successfully addresses prayers to the Way of Heaven (Tendō), and Jesus studies with a monk. In other passages, the wording is more trenchant. The author depicts the followers of Jesus as sorcerers who use magic (mahō 魔法) to gain the support of malevolent divinities (kijin 鬼神). In other words, they are practitioners of an evil way or law (jadō 邪道; jahō 邪 法) and, therefore, possess the vices typically attributed to such people in medieval and early modern Japan. They also engage in the same wicked deeds: necromancy, sexual perversion, and the manipulation of the demons. Drawing on Elisonas’ research, Jason A. Josephson considers the rhetoric of Kirishitan kanagaki as a perfect example of “heretical anthropology,” or, put differently, a discourse that primarily aims to discredit religious adversaries by blaming them for all of the world’s evils.93 Concerning the discourse on heresy in medieval and early modern Japan, see Josephson 2012, chapters 1 and 2. For his comments on Kirishitan kanagaki, see pp. 46–49. For a representative case study related to medieval Shingon, see Gaétan Rappo (2017) on the monk Monkan 文観 (1278–1357).
Sessô Sôsai y sus patrones querían lograr la apostasía sincera.
(81) Era importante que la gente rechazara la idea de Dios y su capacidad de hacer milagros. 8 de 10 argumentos tratan de atacar las cualidades de Dios: omnisciencia, omnipotencia, gracia y poder creador. La entrada 4 ridiculiza su incapacidad de gobernar Japón, la 5 duda de su misericordia por expulsar del paraíso a Adán y Eva y permitir que la mayoría vaya al infierno, la 6 lo acusa de sadismo por crear gente retrógrada parecida a las bestias, las 7, 13 y 14 consideran inconsistente la misericordia con la predestinación, la última ve contradicción entre omnipotencia y su incapacidad de convertir a más de 1 de cada 100.
Estos argumentos del memorando Kirishitan kanagaki pasarán a todos los textos anticristianos: Ha Daiusu by Fukansai Fabian to Suzuki Shōsan’s Ha Kirishitan, así como en Kengiroku, Kirisuto-ki, and Taiji jashū ron— three documents penned by men of the bakufu.
The idea that the Japanese have a pantheistic or immanent perception of the world incompatible with Western transcendentalism is a cultural stereotype. It is epitomized in the famous novel Chinmoku 沈黙 (Silence; 1966), by Endō Shūsaku 遠藤周作 (1923–1996). However, we should not forget that from the beginning of the mission, the Jesuits strove to propagate the notion of a unique creator deity as a source of salvation. Though this exclusivist stance provoked criticism,98 the idea of Deus as the organizer of the universe
(82) For Japanese Christians, God was not an abstract being remote from everyday life. He continually acted in the world. This fact is evident in Kirisuto-ki, where the reader frequently encounters words such as meiyo 名誉 or fushigi 不思議, which refer to something extraordinary or, put simply, miraculous. In a section of the text entitled “Shūmon sensaku kokoromochi” 宗門穿鑿心持 (Things to keep in mind when you scrutinize [the Christian] religion), Inoue Masashige reports that apprehended Christians hoped that miracles (meiyo) would save them. However, “since [the Church] only preaches lies (itsuwari), nothing extraordinary ( fushigi) happens.”101 The Great Inspector was undoubtedly aware that in Christian hagiography, God used to act when Christians were on the verge of suffering for their faith: The priests teach [their f lock] that, when interrogating Christians, even wise commissioners (bugyō), able to distinguish truth from falsity, have their judgment blurred and lose their eloquence. [They] also teach that, thanks to the miracles which Deus provides [to those who believe in Him] (Deusu no meiyo デウスノ名誉), those who are devoid of intelligence and eloquence become intelligent and can express themselves clearly. Since [the priests indoctrinate Christians in this way], the latter say that such things happen. He then adds that some Christians, convinced that God would protect them and reward them with salvation, tried to imitate Christ and the “holy martyrs” by showing excessive emotional detachment and even politeness towards their persecutors when facing them.102 In a section devoted to the apostasy of priests (which he may also have intended to apply to Japanese lay Christians), Inoue writes that if God is the “creator of Heaven and Earth (tenchi no sakusha 天地ノ作者)” and free to act at will (jiyū jizai 自由自在), he should have used miracles to come to the aid of his flock in both the Shimabara-Amakusa revolt and the executions in 1640 of the members of the Macao embassy. The Great Inspector took God’s silence to be proof of either his inexistence or, at least, of his powerlessness, but the sharp emphasis which the Kirisuto-ki places on the idea of God suggests that many hidden Christians had not drawn the same conclusion.103 101 ZGR (ZGR Zokuzoku gunsho ruijū 続々群書類従, vol. 12, Shūkyō-bu 宗教部, part 2. Kokusho Kankōkai, 1907.), p. 636. 102 ZGR, p. 637. 103 ZGR, p. 650.
God’s apparent silence after the beginning of the ban on Christianity was a cause for anxiety among both the missionaries and their flock. As has already been shown, anti- Christian polemicists used God’s impotence as an argument to rebuke Christianity. The missionaries were aware of this seeming contradiction between an omnipotent creator
(83) and their wretched condition in Japan. In their writings, they explained to their flock that persecution was a means chosen by God to distinguish good and bad Christians, and, in the long term, to strengthen the position of the Church within Japan: the blood of the martyrs would become the seed of its triumph. This rationalization was not specific to the Japanese context: Christian apologists had used the same arguments at the time of the Roman Empire.104
Recent research has revealed that even before the revolt, the authorities in some domains were already aware of the limits of the anti-Christian measures since former apostates could, at any moment, return to Christianity. In his biography of Tokugawa Iemitsu 徳川家光 (1604–1651; r. 1623–1651), Nomura Gen 野村玄 has argued that such was the case with the shogun, as well as with figures like the daimyo of Kumamoto Hosokawa Tadatoshi 細川忠利 (1586–1641).107 Case studies of the implementation of the tera’uke system in different feudal domains testify to this anxiety. For example, in Kan’ei 10 (1633), following the arrest of a priest (bateren) nearby, the inhabitants of Takahama 高浜 village in Amakusa had to swear an oath confirming that they would not return to Christianity “even if, in secret, they had received [the sacrament of] forgiveness (yurushi ゆるし) from the priest [in question].” The following year, in Kumamoto, the authorities asked officers to
(84) double-check suspicious apostates by ordering them to tread upon a sacred image (miei 御影) with “the shape of the Way of Heaven [i.e., God] (Tendō no katachi 天道の形).”108 After the revolt, such fears only increased. Inoue Masashige made various recommendations to his successor regarding how to uncover the remaining practitioners of the prohibited religion. For him, Christianity was an invisible threat because, in most cases, external evidence did not reveal the real religious feelings of the people: as the Kirisuto-ki records, the hidden Christians concealed their objects of piety and buried their true emotions when facing the authorities.109
Sessō Sōsai, an essential figure in early modern Zen Buddhism. Until now, scholars have generally focused on his definitive work on Christianity, the Taiji jashū ron, and largely overlooked the working papers he received from Inoue Masashige and Baba Toshishige, as well as the sermons he delivered in Nagasaki in mid-1647.
1. In the 1640s, the representatives of the bakufu in Nagasaki felt that the anti-Christian measures had reached a deadlock, because of the very real potential for alleged apostates or “neo-Buddhists” to return suddenly to their previous faith. The revolt of 1637–1638 was still vivid in their memories. The return to Japan of the Portuguese undoubtedly increased the anxiety of the bakufu representatives, as they were unable to predict the reaction of the apostate Christians (korobi Kirishitan). However, it is difficult to judge whether the anti- Christian sermons which the authorities organized for the general populace were merely a sign of caution or whether they signaled genuine fear of a new uprising in Kyushu. 2. Whatever the extent of their fear, it seems probable that Sessō Sōsai and his patrons had deeply reflected on the lived experience of the hidden Christians. In doing so, they concluded that the aim of religious inspection was not merely to require any remaining hidden Christians to adhere to the law by publicly renouncing their religion, but also to convince them truly to abandon their Christian faith. They also identified key aspects of their faith, such as the belief in miracles and God’s omnipotence, the better to attack them. I argue that they propagated a counter-narrative of the history of Christianity as a means to weaken the legitimacy and credibility of the Church. Pero hace falta investigar más:
(85) No sabemos cómo reaccionó la gente. First, it is necessary to determine more precisely the scope and impact of the documents written, or consulted, by Sessō Sōsai.
Tampoco sabemos qué impacto tuvo en los cristianos escondidos: las autoridades detuvieron a 2.000 en la 2ª mitad del XVII. The best-documented case is the dismantling of the community of Kōri (Kōri kuzure 郡崩れ) in Ōmura domain between 1657 and 1658.110 Shimizu 1981, pp. 214–223. For a brief discussion of the Kōri kuzure, see pp. 218–219.
Tampoco conocemos las diferencias entre los atacantes: For instance, Inoue Masashige, on the one hand, and the two Zen monks, Sessō Sōsai and Suzuki Shōsan plus the author of Kirishitan kanagaki, on the other, regarded miracles differently. While the former denied their possibility, the latter instead questioned their origin (black magic) and aim (of deceiving people). Of special relevance here are the reflections of Sueki Fumihiko on how Japanese have historically viewed the relationship between the phenomenal world (ken 顕) and the unseen world of the divinities (myō 冥).111