The century of the Portuguese presence in Japan (c.1543-c.1539), which coincides with the country’s unification, defines a field in which intercultural rivalry, discussion and exchange can be studied in detail. The project we present aims at promoting a comprehensive research on the way Southern Europeans and Japanese confronted each other, interacted and mutually experienced religious “otherness” through the study of the composite cultural heritage, mostly created in Japan, by both European and Japanese. Through the analysis of sources almost never associated – manuscript and printed texts written in both European languages and Japanese, paintings, engravings, maps, ceramics – a new insight will be given to this important moment in global cultural history. The arrival of European traders, mercenaries and well-trained members of religious orders in East Asia prompted a wave of debate, studies and controversies between Buddhist monks and their Western counterparts. At this regard, Jesuits played a major role in this global enterprise and, contrary to their policies in China, in Japan started to interact with the composite Buddhist clergies and the political elite. Relations between religions, strategies of interpretation and accommodation are the main fields in which intercultural contacts can be observed.
European and Asian Interactions: The Buddhist Sects in Japan and the Jesuit Mission circa 1600. Angelo Cattaneo, Alexandra Curvelo Centro de Historia de Alem-Mar Faculdade de Ciencias Sociais e Humanas - Universidade Nova de Lisboa