In 1613, four low-ranking Japanese samurai, accompanied by a Spanish priest who was to act as interpreter, set sail for Mexico on an unprecedented mission to bargain for a Catholic crusade through Japan in exchange for Japanese trading rights with the west. The chief envoy Samurai, Hasekura Rokuemon, is determined to please his feudal overlords. The samurai for their part, have no choice in the matter but hope to gain favour by the success of their efforts. The priest, Father Pedro Velasco is, however, ambitious and manipulative. It is his zealous hope that he will become primate over all Japan. They arrive in Spain to be amongst the first Japanese to set foot in Europe. They travel to Rome and an audience with the Pope. They are baptised in the hope that this will gain the trust of the Europeans. But when they return to Japan they find that the shogunate policy has reverted to isolationism and rigorous persecution of Christianity. Their seven-year mission has been in vain; they are disgraced and duly sacrificed. For Hasekura, the most reluctant convert, his appalling suffering causes him to identify most truly with Christ on the cross, an effigy earlier reviled in his own spiritual journey. An ambitious and powerful examination of fate and faith, THE SAMURAI is a novel based on historical fact that reveals how people react to events and how these events impact on their personalities and beliefs - or lack of them.
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The Samurai, without doubt one of the late Shusaku Endo's finest works, seamlessly combines historical fact with novelist's imaginings. Set in the period preceding the Christian persecutions in Japan, The Samurai traces the steps of some of the first Japanese to set foot on European soil. Rokuemon Hasekura, a low-ranking warrior, is chosen as one of Japan's envoys to the Viceroy of Mexico and Pope Paul V. The emissaries set sail in 1613, accompanied by an ambitious Franciscan missionary who hopes to bargain trading privileges with the West for the right to head his order in Japan. The arduous journey lasts four years, and the Japanese travel from Mexico to Rome, where they are persuaded that the success of their mission depends on their conversion willy-nilly to Christianity. In fact, the enterprise has been futile from the start and the mission returns to Japan where the political tides have shifted: the authorities are pursuing an isolationist policy and a ruthless stamping out of all Western influences. In the face of disillusionment and death, samurai Rokuemon's only support and solace come from the spiritual lord he is not even sure he believes in.About the Author:
Shūsaku Endō (遠藤 周作 Endō Shūsaku) was a renowned 20th century Japanese author who wrote from the unusual perspective of being bothJ apanese and Catholic. (The population of Christians in Japan is less than 1%.) Together with Junnosuke Yoshiyuki, Shotaro Yasuoka, Junzo Shono, Hiroyuki Agawa, Ayako Sono, and Shumon Miura, Endo is categorized as one of the "Third Generation," the third major group of writers who appeared after the Second World War. His books reflect many of his childhood experiences. These include the stigma of being an outsider, the experience of being a foreigner, the life of a hospital patient, and the struggle with tuberculosis. However, his books mainly deal with the moral fabric of life. His Catholic faith can be seen at some level in all of his books, and it is often a central feature.
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Descripción HarperCollins Publishers. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0068598521 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0022040
Descripción HarperCollins Publishers, 1982. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110068598521
Descripción HarperCollins Publishers, 1982. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. First American Edition. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0068598521