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Avalokiteśvara's Manifestation as the Virgin Mary: The Jesuit Adaptation and the Visual Conflation in Japanese Catholicism after 1614

  • Junhyoung Michael Shin


Since St. Francis Xavier landed in Kagoshima in 1549, the Jesuit mission in Japan had achieved an amazing number of conversions, even though their activity lasted for merely about fifty years. Their great success came to an abrupt end in 1614 when the Bakufu government began the full proscription and persecution of the religion. An earlier ruler, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, had already banned Christianity and ordered the expulsion of foreign missionaries in 1587, but without strict enforcement. Since the 1630s, the former Christians were required to enroll in local Buddhist temples and annually go through the practice of treading on Christian icons in order to prove their apostasy. However, many Christians secretly retained the faith by disguising their true religious identity with Buddhist paraphernalia. These so-called “underground” (or sempuku) Christians survived more than two hundred years of persecution, and today some groups still continue to practice their own religion, refusing to join the Catholic Church. The present-day religion of the latter, called “hidden” (or kakure) Christians to distinguish them from the former, has drawn the attention of ample anthropological as well as religious studies.



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1 Luis Frois's observation on the Christian converts of western Kyushu in 1587. See Luis Frois, S. J., Nihonshi (History of Japan), trans. and eds. Matsuda, Kiichi et al. (Tokyo: Chuo Koronsha, 1977–1980), 11:160.

2 Terminology referring to early Japanese Christians is not consistent, but I will follow Miyazaki's definitions. The Christians throughout the period of persecution are called underground (sempuku) Christians. After the lift of the ban in 1873, about the half of underground Christians rejoined the Catholic Church. This group is called resurrected (hukkatsu) Christians. The rest of underground Christians refused to return to the Church and continued to practice their own religion. They are called hidden (kakure) Christians. Kakure Kirishitan no Shinko Sekai (Secret Christian's Belief World) (Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 1996), 3034; Miyazaki, Kentaro, “Roman Catholic Mission in Pre-modern Japan,” in Handbook of Christianity in Japan, ed. Mullins, Mark R. (Leiden: Brill, 2003): 45.

3 For the introduction to the history of underground (sempuku) Christians, see Ebisawa, Arimichi, “Crypto-Christianity in Tokugawa Japan,” Japan Quarterly 7 (1960), 288–94; Boxer, C. R., “The Clandestine Catholic Church in Feudal Japan, 1614–1640,” History Today 16 (1966), 5361. For recent studies in Japanese, see Takase, Koichiro, Kirishitan no Seiki, Zabieru no Toichi kara Sakoku made (Christian Century: From the Arrival of St. Xavier to the Closure of Nation) (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1993); Murai, Sanae, Kirishitan Kinsei to Minshu no Shukyo (The Prohibition of Christianity and the Religion of the People) (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 2002); Obashi, Kodai, “Kinsei Nippon Sempuku Kirishitan no Shinko Kyodotai to Seikatsu Kyodotai” (“Early Modern Underground Christians' Religious Community and Life Community”), Chichukai Kenkyusho Kiyo 4 (2006): 111–17.

4 Shinzo Kawamura, S. J., “Making Christian Lay Communities during the “Christian Century” in Japan: a Case Study of Takata District in Bungo” (Ph.D. diss., Georgetown University, 1999), 95; Miyazaki, Kakure Kirishitan, 36–37. The most renowned case is a series of crackdowns in Urakami, near Nagasaki. See Kataoka, Yakichi, Urakami Yonbankuzure: Meiji Seifu no Kirishitan dan'atsu (Four Crackdowns in Urakami: Persecution of Christians by Meiji Government) (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1964), 5267.

5 Ebisawa, “Crypto-Christianity,” 288.

6 Even after the enforced deportation of foreign priests in 1614, Catholic priests including the Franciscans and the Dominicans secretly remained or reentered as late as 1639. See Boxer, “Clandestine Christians,” 61. The Jesuits' annual reports on Japan, though written from Macao after 1614, continued to 1625. They recount ample stories of martyrdom, return from apostasy, and even miracle. See Matsuda, Kiichi et al. , trans. and ed., Juroku-shichiseiki Iezusukai Nihon Hokokushu (Sixteenth–Seventeenth Century Jesuits' Japan Reports) (Kyoto: Dohosha Shuppan, 1990), part 2, vol. 2 (1613–1618) and vol. 3 (1619–1625).

7 Whelan suggests that this kind lay-oriented system could have resulted in the incomplete indoctrination of converts even in the pre-persecution period. See Whelan, Christal, trans. et. nota., The Beginning of Heaven and Earth: The Sacred Book of Japan's Hidden Christian (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996), 11, 2223.

8 Higashibaba, Ikuo, Christianity in Early Modern Japan: Kirishitan Belief and Practice (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 7681. Though rarely, Shinto icons were also adopted by underground Christians. But the main elements of Shintoism appropriated by underground and hidden Christians were, for example, purification rites or commemoration of the dead rather than the major deities of worship. See Harrington, Ann, “The Kakure Kirishitan and Their Place in Japan's Religious Tradition,” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 7, no. 4 (December 1980): 319–36; Turnbull, Stephen, “From Catechist to Kami: Martyrs and Mythology among the Kakure Kirishitan,” Japanese Religions 19 (1994), 5881.

9 Higashibaba indicates that Christian symbols in Japan were indeed perceived and functioned in the context of Japanese syncretistic religious system, which does not completely agree with the Europeans'. Christianity in Early Modern Japan, 30–36.

10 Nishimura, Tei, Namban Bijutsu (Namban Art) (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1958), 4849.

11 For example, see Tokyo Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan Zuhan Mokuroku: Kirishitan Kankei Ihin Hen (Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum: Objects relating to early Christian Faith in Japan) (Tokyo National Museum, 1972), cat. no. 47.

12 I primarily relied on Alfred Bohner's German translation and original Japanese text therein, and Christal Whelan's translation and detailed annotations. Whelan also provides the listing of THK manuscripts and their genealogy in her book on xi–xii, 18–20. I also referred to Kenichi Tanigawa's modern Japanese rendition and notes. See Bohner, Alfred, trans. et nota., “Tenchi Hajimari no Koto. Wie Himmel und Erde entstanden,” Monumenta Nipponica 1, no. 2 (July 1938): 465514; Whelan, Heaven and Earth; Tanigawa, Kenichi, trans. et nota., “Tenchi Hajimari no Koto,” in Kakure Kirishitan no Seiga (The Paintings of Hidden Christian) (Tokyo: Shogakukan, 1999).

13 Miyazaki, “Roman Catholic,” 7; Nosco, Peter, “Secrecy and Transmission of Tradition: Issues in the Study of the ‘Underground’ Christians,” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 20, no. 1 (1993): 5.

14 Bailey, Gauvin Alexander, Art on the Jesuit Missions in Asia and Latin America: 1542–1773 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), 57.

15 Boxer, C. R., The Christian Century in Japan 1549–1650 (Berkeley: University of California Press), 79.

16 Boxer, “Clandestine Catholic Church,” 55; Kawamura, “Christian Lay Communities,” 179–80.

17 Ebisawa, “Crypto-Christianity,” 291; Kawamura, “Christian Lay Communities,” 195–99.; Obashi, “Kinsei Nippon Sempuku Kirishitan,” 113–14; Tahoku, Koya, “Sempuku Kirishitan ni okeru Kyokai Soshiki oyobi Tenrei no Henyo” (“The Transformation of Church Organization and Ritual among Underground Christians”), Kirisutokyo Shigaku 7 (1956): 3233. Such lay confraternities, as well as the mission activities in general, were also presided by other religious orders such as the Dominicans and the Franciscans. However, I will limit my discussion to the case of the Jesuits, since their accommodation policy seems to have opened a way for religious fusion with Buddhism.

18 Kawamura, “Christian Lay Communities,” 315–37.

19 Higashibaba introduces the well-known case of Omura clan with specific numbers in his Christianity in Early Modern Japan, 39–40.

20 Boxer, Christian Century, 448.

21 Bailey, Jesuit Missions, 54, 81.

22 China in the Sixteenth Century: the Journals of Matthew Ricci: 1583–1610, trans. Gallagher, L. J., S.J. (New York: Random House, 1942), 99.

23 Boxer, Christian Century, 66.

24 Boxer, Christian Century, 70.

25 Ross, Andrew, A Vision Betrayed: the Jesuits in Japan and China, 1542–1742 (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1994), 29; Notto R. Thelle, “The Christian Encounter with Japanese Buddhism,” in Handbook, 228–29.

26 In comparison to the China mission, where almost all the theological terms were translated in Chinese, it is relatively true that the Jesuits in Japan relied more on the transliterations than translation of terms. However, Suzuki observes that the Jesuits and Japanese Christians continued to explore the translation of theological terms such as corpora and carne by resorting to analogical terms from Buddhism. See Suzuki, Hiromitsu, “Kirishitan Shukyosho ni okeru Bukkyogo Mondai” (“The Issue of Buddhist terms found in Christian Literature”), Nagoya Daigaku Bungakubu Kenkyu Ronshu 109 (March 1991): 48.

27 Ebisawa, “Crypto-Christianity,” 288–89.

28 Ross, Vision Betrayed, 86.

29 Bailey, Jesuit Missions, 54.

30 Bailey, Jesuit Missions, 55; Ross, Vision Betrayed, 3–4; Boxer, Christian Century, 44.

31 Boxer, Christian Century, 209.

32 Ross, Vision Betrayed, 5, 95; Bailey, Jesuit Missions, 55.

33 Andrews, Allan A., “Honen and Popular Pure Land Piety: Assimilation and Transformation,” The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 17 (1994): 96110.

34 For a general introduction to Nichiren School, see Yoshiro, Tamura, “The New Buddhism of Kamakura and Nichiren,” Acta Asiatica 20 (1971): 4557.

35 The belief in the power of this sutra spawned ample miracle stories. See Dykstra, Yoshiko, “Miraculous Tales of the Lotus Sutra. The Danihonkoku Hokkegenki,” Monumenta Nipponica 32, no. 2 (Summer 1977): 189210.

36 For consistency of terms, all the scriptural citations in this essay are translated by author. I tried to make the translations as literal as possible, strictly conforming to the original Chinese.

37 Taisho Tripitaka, T262: 54b.

38 The worship of Amida and Kannon was not limited to Pure Land Buddhism but truly a pan-Buddhist phenomenon in Japan. Their worship in Japan was greatly enhanced by Tendai school monk Genshin's Essentials of Rebirth Pure Land 往生要集 (985), teaching the blissful Pure Land of Amida and Kannon's salvific intervention. Zen Buddhism also fostered the iconic worship of Amida and Kannon. See MacWilliams, Mark, “Living Icons: Reizo Myths of the Saikoku Kannon Pilgrimage,” Monumenta Nipponica 59, no. 1 (Spring 2004), 36, 41.

39 Bailey, Jesuit Missions, 61.

40 Moran, J. F., The Japanese and the Jesuits: Alessandro Valignano in Sixteenth-Century Japan (London: Routledge, 1993), 54; Boxer, Christian Century, 83.

41 Boxer, Christian Century, 78.

42 Boxer, Christian Century, 39, 87, 116.

43 Bailey, Jesuit Missions, 62; Boxer, Christian Century, 221.

44 Kasahara, Kazuo, ed., A History of Japanese Religion, trans. McCarthy, P. et al. . (Tokyo: Kosei, 2001), 208, 388–89; Moran, Jesuits and Japanese, 56–57.

45 Moran, Jesuits and Japanese, 70; Boxer, Christian Century, 64.

46 Iezusukai Nihon Hokokushu, part 2, 3:152–53.

47 Okazaki, Joji, Pure Land Buddhist Painting (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1992), 139–46.

48 Ross, Vision Betrayed, 106.

49 Takemura, Satoru, Kirishitan Ibutsu no Kenkyu (Studies on Early Christian Objects) (Tokyo: Kaibunsha, 1964), 102; Chizawa, Teiji et al. , Kirishitan no Bijutsu (Early Christian Art) (Tokyo: Hobunsha, 1961), 182; Ross, Vision Betrayed, 107.

50 Takemura, Kirishitan Ibutsu, 102–5; Chizawa, Kirishitan no Bijutsu, 182–85; Kirishitan Kankei Ihin Hen, 6; Kentaro Miyazaki, “The Kakure Kirishitan Tradition,” in Handbook, 28; Nosco, “Secrecy and Transmission,” 14.

51 Bailey, Jesuit Missions, 84. For the feminization of Guanyin in China, see , Chün-fang, Kuan-yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokiteśvara (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), 191, 186–87, 293–94;, Chün-fang, “A Sutra Promoting the White-robed Guanyin as Giver of Sons,” in Religions of Asia in Practice: An Anthology, ed. Lopez, D. S. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), 350–51.

52 On Giulio Aleni's mission in Fujian, see Lippiello, Tiziana and Malek, Roman, eds., “Scholar from the West”: Giulio Aleni S.J. (1582–1649) and the Dialogue between Christianity and China (Nettetal: Steyler Verlag, 1997). On the Songzi Guanyin figure or its importation into Kyushu, see Yü, Kuan-yin, 126–30; Kirishitan Kankei Ihin Hen, 6; Miyazaki, “Kakure Kirishitan,” 28.

53 Takemura, Kirishitan Ibutsu, 102–3.

54 Takemura, Kirishitan Ibutsu, 103–4.

55 Chizawa, Kirishitan no Bijutsu, 185.

56 Ebisawa suggests the assimilation of Mary and Kannon in this aspect. See “Crypto-Christianity,” 292.

57 Nosco, “Secrecy and Transmission,” 13n19.

58 Whelan, Heaven and Earth, 11, 22–23. See note 7.

59 Higashibaba, Christianity in Early Modern Japan, 90–91.; Ebisawa also points out that the Japanese have traditionally regarded various religions as the different expressions of basically the same truth. Thus their co-existence and blending were not unusual in Japanese culture. See “Crypto-Christianity,” 288.

60 Whelan also observes that a similar process can explain the syncretism of Buddhism and Christianity in THK. Heaven and Earth, 28.

61 Frois, Nihonshi, 9:143–44.

62 Ross, Vision Betrayed, 106.

63 Whelan also observes such a possibility in Whelan, Christal, “The Kakure Kirishitan on Narushima,” Monumenta Nipponica, 47, no. 3 (Fall 1992): 371.

64 Chizawa, Kirishitan no Bijutsu, 140–41.

65 MacWilliams, “Living Icons,” 64, 68.

66 Dykstra, Yoshiko, “Miraculous Tales of the Hasedera Kannon,” Religions of Japan in Practice, ed. Tanabe, G. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), 116–19;Dykstra, Yoshiko, “Tales of the Compassionate Kannon: The Hasedera Kannon Genki,” Monumenta Nipponica 31, no. 2 (Summer 1976): 113–17; Also see her Japanese Stories about Avalokiteśvara and the Lotus Sutra,” Studies in Indo-Asian Art and Culture 6 (1980): 71109.

67 Shinran did not regard marriage as an obstacle to enlightenment and boldly broke the traditional rule of celibacy for monks, which became a unique feature of Japanese Buddhism up to date. See Arai, Toshikazu, “The Meaning and Role of the Boddhisattva in Shinran's Pure Land Tradition,” Horin: Vergleichende Studien zur japanischen Kultur 10 (2003), 194.

68 Graham, Patricia J., Faith and Power in Japanese Buddhist Art: 1600–2005 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2007), 153–54. I thank Dr. Fusae Kanda of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for bringing to my attention current studies on the early modern Buddhist art of Japan.

69 MacWilliams, “Living Icons,” 51.

70 Whelan, Heaven and Earth, 63.

71 Shin, Junhyoung Michael, “The Reception of Evangelicae Historiae Imagines in Late Ming China: Visualizing Holy Topography in Jesuit Spirituality and Pure Land Buddhism,” Sixteenth Century Journal 40, no. 2 (Summer 2009), 303, 306.

72 Miyazaki, “Kaukure Kirishitan,” 21, 28; Nishimura, Namban Bijutsu, 18; Miyazaki, , “Tenchi Hajimari no Koto ni miru Sempuku Kirishitan no Kyusaikan” (“The View on Salvation found in Tenchi Hajimari no Koto”), Shukyo Kenkyu 70 (1996), 80, 93.

73 Konchirisan no Ryaku is published with notes in Ebisawa, Arimich et al. , trans. and eds., Kirishitansho, Haiyasho (Kirishitan Literature and Anti-Christian Literature), (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1970), see 377.

74 Whelan, Heaven and Earth, 79n16.

75 Miyazaki, “Tenchi Hajimari,” 74; Turnbull, Stephen, “Acculturation among the Kakure Kirishitan: Some Conclusions from the Tenchi Hajimari no Koto,” in Japan and Christianity: Impacts and Responses (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996), 66.

76 Bohner, “THK,” 494n91.

77 Bohner, “THK,” original Japanese text on 509.

78 Bailey, Jesuit Missions, 57; Nosco, “Secrecy and Transmissions,” 8.

79 Miyazaki, “Kaukure Kirishitan,” 20; Obashi, “Kinsei Nippon Sempuku Kirishitan,” 112. It is true that the Dominicans highly underscored the rosary prayer and its confraternity due to their traditional claim for the origin of the prayer. However, already by the late medieval period, the rosary prayer had become a pan-Catholic practice fervently practiced by all religious orders including the Jesuits. For the Dominican's rosary brotherhood in Japan, see Boxer, “Clandestine Catholic Church,” 60; Boxer, Christian Century, 356.

80 Nishimura, Namban Bijutsu, 42. For the critical modern edition of Doctrina Christan, see Kirishitansho, ed. Ebisawa et al.

81 Turnbull observes that another feature of THK is the strong reminder of holy images, a trace of Jesuit pedagogy. Turnbull, “Acculturation,” 71.

82 Chizawa, Kirishitan no Bijutsu, 78–79; Okamoto, Yoshitomo, Namban Art of Japan (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1972), 147.

83 Nishimura, Namban Bijutsu, 48–49; For Taima Mandara and its distinction from Esoteric Mandala, see Grotenhuis, Elizabeth ten, Japanese Mandalas: Representations of Sacred Geography (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999), 124.

84 Grotenhuis observes that, even in the late nineteenth century, Japanese village people tore up the boundaries of Taima Mandara hanging on their house walls, and ate them as medicine for plague. Grotenhuis, Japanese Mandalas, 13.

85 Hung, Wu, “Reborn in Paradise: A Case Study of Dunhuang Sutra painting and its Religious, Ritual and Artistic Context,” Orientations, 23, no. 5 (May 1992), 57.

86 Arai, “Shinran's Pure Land Tradition,” 191.

87 Andrews, “Popular Pure Land Piety,” 98–99.

88 Grotenhuis, Japanese Mandalas, 13, 19, 125–27.

89 For the pictorial traditions, both artistic and mental, of the rosary, see Winston-Allen, Anne, Stories of the Rose: the Making of the Rosary in the Middle Ages (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), chapter 2.

90 Smith, Jeffrey Chipps, Sensuous Worship: Jesuit and the Art of Early Catholic Reformation in Germany (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002), 36. On Pseudo-Bonaventure's method, see Shin, Junhyoung Michael, Et in picturam et in sanctitatem: Operating Albrecht Dürer's Marienleben (Berlin: Verlag für Wissenschaft und Forschung, 2003), 75.

91 Ignatius of Loyola: Spiritual Exercises and Selected Works, ed. Ganss, G. E., S.J. (New York: Paulist, 1991), 136.

92 Spiritual Exercises, 150.

93 Nishimura, Namban Bijutsu, 146.

94 Ebisawa, Arimichi, ed., Spiritsuaru Shugyo (Spriritval Xuguio) (Tokyo: Kyobunkan, 1994), 15.

95 Nishimura, Namban Bijutsu, 43.

96 Andrews, “Popular Pure Land Piety,” 102.

97 Wu Hung, “Reborn in Paradise,” 57.

98 T365: 342a.

99 Shin, “Reception of Evangelicae Historiae Imagines,” 309–10.

100 T365: 344c.

101 Grotenhuis, Japanese Mandalas, 13, 125–27; Wu Hung, “Reborn in Paradise,” 57.

102 Shin, “Reception of Evangelicae Historiae Imagines,” 309–10.

103 Higashibaba, Christianity in Early Modern Japan, 120.; Kawamura compares Nembutsu to Catholic prayers. See “Christian Lay Communities,” 305–14.

104 MacWilliams, “Living Icons,” 49.

105 MacWilliams, “Living Icons,” 41, 75. The central focus in the Saikoku pilgrimage was after all salvation and rebirth in the Pure Land through the absolutional help of Kannon.

106 Graham, Faith and Power, for Saikoku pilgrimage, see 77, and for Senju worship and image production, see 151; MacWilliams, “Living Icons,” 63, 70.

107 MacWilliams, “Living Icons,” 71.

108 Kirishitan Kankei Ihin Hen, cat. no. 47; These Buddha statuettes have been hardly discussed by art historians of underground Christian art.

109 Chizawa, Kirishitan no Bijutsu, 140–41.

110 Both Kawamura and Ebisawa compare this aspect of Amida to the similar role of Christian God. Kawamura, “Christian Lay Communities,” 278–90; Ebisawa, “Crypto-Christianity,” 292.

111 McCallum, Donald, “The Replication of Miraculous Icons: The Zenkoji Amida and the Seiryoji Shaka,” in Images, Miracles, and Authority in Asian Religious Traditions, ed. Davis, Richard (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1998), 209.

112 Since the idea of salvation depending on the other supreme being differs drastically from Indian Buddhism, Amida Buddhism is believed to have originated in central Asia rather than India proper, and emerged in contact with Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism. According to this theory, Pure Land Buddhist scriptures were probably first written in central Asia, and their Sanskrit versions are not originals but later translations. See Machida, Soho, Life and Light, the Infinite: A Historical and Philological Analysis of the Amida Cult, Sino-platonic papers, no. 9 (Philadelphia: Dept. of Oriental Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1980), 1921, 29–31.

113 Sutra of Infinite Life 無量壽經, T360: 268b. It was his twentieth vow as bodhisattva.

114 Japanese believed that the degenerate age of law, mappo jidai, began in 1052. MacWilliams, Mark, “Kannon Engi: The Reijo and the Concept of Kechien as Strategies of Indigenization in Buddhist Sacred Narrative,” Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan 5 (1990), 58.

115 This idea of complete reliance on Amida reminded the contemporary Jesuits of the Protestant doctrine of sola fide and they even thought Protestantism had reached Japan before they did. Also today's scholars of comparative religion see the close analogy between Amida Buddhism and Protestantism. See J. N. Jennings, “Theology in Japan,” in Handbook, 183; Notto Thelle, “The Christian Encounter with Japanese Buddhism,” in Handbook, 229; Langer-Kaneko, Christiane, Das reine Land: zur Begegnung von Amida-Buddhismus und Christentum (Leiden: Brill, 1986), 114, 125–26.

116 Higashibaba, Christianity in Early Modern Japan, 89.

117 See his twentieth vow cited below and the eighteenth vow, in which the line reads “excluded are only those who committed five treacherous sins and blasphemed the true dharma” 唯除五逆誹謗正法. Taisho Tripitaka. T360: 268a.

118 For the scriptural sources asserting the power of chanting Nembutsu and dharani, see Shin, Junhyoung Michael, “Iconographic Surrogates: Contemplating Amitabha Images in the late Koryo Dynasty,” Archives of Asian Art 55 (2005), 1011.

119 Japanese Religion, 193.

120 Japanese Religion, 193–94 (emphasis added).

121 Andrews, “Popular Pure Land Piety,” 99.

122 Higashibaba, Christianity in Early Modern Japan, 100, 122.

123 Langer-Kaneko, Das reine Land, 113.

124 Higashibaba, Christianity in Early Modern Japan, 77–85; Ebisawa, “Crypto-Christianity,” 292.

125 Shin, “Iconographic Surrogates,” 2–3.

126 Langer-Kaneko, Das reine Land, 113.

127 Langer-Kaneko, Das reine Land, 102.

128 Moran, Japanese and Jesuits, 76.

129 Graham, Faith and Power, 172.

130 T360: 268a.

131 Frois, Nihonshi, 8:51.

132 Frois, Nihonshi, 8:55–56. A similar story of a woman bidding farewell to Amida and asking his permission before conversion appears in vol. 10:220–21.

133 Turnbull, “Acculturation,” 63.

134 Turnbull, “Acculturation,” 66.

135 Whelan, Heaven and Earth, 22.

136 I agree with Whelan in that the adoption of signs, that is, Buddhist terms in this case, inevitably bring in their rich connotations and eventually affect the signified. Thus, the ample adoption of Buddhist terms in THK cannot be underestimated as simply nominal.

137 Bohner, “THK,” original Japanese text respectively on 504, 510, 513, 511 (see also 498n203), 513.

138 Bohner, “THK,” German trans. 468, original Japanese 500. From here and after, citations from THK are author's translation from Bohner's German version in comparison with original Japanese text included therein.

139 Tagita relates the idea of different forms of God and angels to Kannon's 33 manifestations. See Tagita, Koya, “Meeting of Religions in the Tenchi Hajimari no Koto,” Doho Gakuho 16 (1967): 5. In addition to the forms or manifestations, there are also ample mentioning of ranks (so) of God and angels. Both Tagita and Whelan observe that this idea originated in the Buddhist concept of Buddha's thirty-two physical marks (so). See Whelan 75–76n3.

140 Bohner, “THK,” 500.

141 The miracle of snow in the summer originates in a fourth-century Italian legend concerning the site of St. Maria Maggiore. The day of Our Lady of Snow, Yuki no Santa Maria in Japanese, was celebrated by underground Christians. See Whelan, Heaven and Earth, 89n37.

142 Bohner, “THK,” G. 476, J. 505.

143 Tanigawa, “THK,” 160n192.

144 Whelan relates this motif of flower to Mary's Assumption. See Whelan, Heaven and Earth, 90n38.

145 Bohner, “THK,” G. 489, J. 514.

146 Bohner, “THK,” G. 481–82, J. 509.

147 Scripture says “meets with Buddhas,” which must include Amida. However in visual tradition, the moment was depicted exclusively as the receiving from Amida. See the Saifuku-ji Bianxiang Tu discussed in Shin, “Iconographic Surrogates.”

148 Ebisawa also observes the assimilation of Christian paradise with the Buddhist Pure Land. “Crypto-Christianity,” 292.

149 Whelan, Heaven and Earth, 66, 112n108.

150 Shirane, Haruo, ed., Traditional Japanese Literature: an Anthology, beginning to 1600 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), 221. I changed the translated words from “saints” to “holy ones”; from “assembling” to “joining”; and from “holy family” to “holy assembly.”

151 Bohner, “THK,” 509.

152 Bohner, “THK,” G. 483, J. 510.

153 Miyazaki, “Tenchi Hajimari,” 87–88.

154 Nishimura, Namban Bijutsu, 12.

155 Ebisawa, “Crypto-Cristianity,” 288.

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