Katanacenter on the antique way of a millenary common tradition

The art of the sword in Japan and Spain an unknown common knowledge

The first Samurai in Europe and his influence on the blacksmiths of Toledo and Seville to this day.

Hasekura Tsunenaga from Japan to Spain and Italy.

Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga ("Philip Francis Faxicura", baptized as "Francisco Felipe de Faxicura", in Spain) (1571–1622) (Japanese: 支倉六右衛門常長, also spelled Faxecura Rocuyemon in period European various sources, reflecting the contemporary pronunciation of Japanese) was a Japanese samurai and retainer of Date Masamune, the daimyō of Sendai of Japanese imperial descent with ancestral ties to the Japanese Emperor Kanmu.

In the years 1613 through 1620, Hasekura headed a diplomatic mission to Spain and the Pope of Rome (Italy), traveling through Acapulco (New Spain, now Mexico). This historic mission is called the Keichō Embassy (慶長使節), and follows the Tenshō embassy (天正使節) of 1582. On the return trip (even though many of his Samurai companions and yours servants settled in Seville), Hasekura re-traced their route across New Spain in 1619, sailing from Acapulco for Manila, and then sailing north to Japan in 1620. He is conventionally considered the first Japanese ambassador in America and Europe through the Spanish Empire (Spain was at that time the world hegemonic power).

The Samurai brought their swords and to serve as models in an exchange of knowledge with the smiths of Seville and Toledo.
Some of the Katana that the Japanese brought in that travel are still preserved in Seville along with others already forged in Spain being the union of the two great traditions in the manufacture of swords on the all world, Spain and Japan.

Japan and Spain have a more than millenary tradition in the forge of swords that reached its maximum quality since hundreds of years ago in the Japanese Schools and in the Spanish forges of Seville and Toledo the two countries has make the best swords on the world then, and they continue making them now.

In Coria Del Rio (Seville) hundreds of neighbors carry the surname “Japon” (Japanese), and many thousands more throughout Spain. They are the descendants of those samurai.

Japan's next embassy to Europe would only occur more than 200 years later, following two centuries of isolation, with the "First Japanese Embassy to Europe" in 1862.

The very existence of the travels of Hasekura was forgotten in Japan until the reopening of the country after the Sakoku policy of isolation. In 1873, a Japanese embassy to Europe (the Iwakura mission) headed by Iwakura Tomomi heard for the first time of the travels of Hasekura when shown documents during their visit to Italy.

Hasekura today:

There are statues of Hasekura Tsunenaga in the outskirts of Acapulco in Mexico, at the entrance of Havana Bay in Cuba, in Coria del Río (Seville) in Spain, in the Church of Civitavecchia in Italy, in Tsukinoura, near Ishinomaki, and two in Osato town in Miyagi.

Thousands of Spanish people have the surname Japón (originally Hasekura de Japón), identifying them as descendants of the members of Hasekura Tsunenaga's delegation.

A theme park describing the embassy and displaying a replica of the "San Juan Bautista" Spanish Galeon ship was established in the harbour of Ishinomaki, from which Hasekura initially departed on his voyage.

Today there stands a statue of Hasekura in a park in Manila, the Philippines.

Shūsaku Endō wrote a 1980 novel, titled The Samurai, a fictitious account relating the travels of Hasekura.

The 1991 film Journey of Honor (aka Kabuto, aka Shogun Mayeda) starring Sho Kosugi was loosely based on Hasekura's expedition and recounts the adventures of a samurai journey from Japan to Spain.

A 2005 animation film produced in Spain and titled Gisaku relates the adventures of a young Japanese samurai named Yohei who visited Spain in the 17th century, in a story loosely taking its inspiration from the travels of Hasekura.

 

 

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Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga statue Coria del Rio - Seville (Spain)

There live hundreds of descendants of those Japanese and many thousands more throughout Spain

 

 

 

Index: Katana - Wakizashi - Tanto - Kogatana

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