How will these resources help you?
This topic may not be an obvious one, yet it sheds light on how Catholicism spread over the world. The experiences of the Jesuits in Japan are also interesting as they show just how complex cross-cultural encounters were at the time. When the first Jesuit missionaries arrived in Japan in 1549, they found a highly developed society. Many of the people held Shinto or Buddhist beliefs that were part of their daily lives. Francis Xavier, a Navarrese Catholic missionary who was co-founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), established himself in Japan (and other parts of Asia) with the aim of converting local populations to Christianity. Under his leadership, Catholicism spread on the island, but it was not an easy process and was met with resistance. Tensions rose between the Japanese state and the Jesuits. Japanese people who converted to Catholicism were seen as traitors and persecuted alongside the Jesuits. Using these fascinating resources, which consider both the European and Japanese perspectives, you can start interesting discussions on cross-religious and cultural encounters during the early modern period.