THE JAPANESE TENSHŌ EMBASSY AND THE POPE –
NO COPIES RECORDED IN THE US
Orationes sex, sex presbyterorum societatis Iesu.
Milan, ex officina typographica haer. Pacifico Da Ponte, 1598.
FIRST EDITION, second issue. 4to. pp. (viii) 69 (iii). Roman letter. Large woodcut device of Society of Jesus to t-p, decorated initials and ornaments. Slight, mainly marginal, spots or marks to a handful of ll., fore-edges untrimmed and a little dusty, minor paper flaw to lower outer blank corner of F1. A very good, largely uncut, copy in modern wrappers, the odd early ink doodle.
Scarce Japonicum—including an account of the famous Japanese Tenshō embassy and its introduction to the Pope. This is the second issue, the first dated 1597 on the t-p. This copy was probably never bound in anything else but paper wrappers; with its untrimmed fore-edge and partly crudely cut lower edge, it looks just as it would have done then, fresh from the press. Dating from 1585-95, the six orations, on subjects spanning papal funerals and theology, include one delivered by Gaspare Consalvi—only published in this edition—on the arrival of the Tenshō embassy in Rome in 1585. First planned by the Jesuit Alessandro Valignano and headed by the nobleman Mancio Itō, it was sent by the Christian Lord Ōtomo Sōrin in 1582. In the course of eight years, it visited Portugal, Spain and Italy, meeting Philip II, Francesco de’ Medici, Pope Gregory XIII and, after his death in the same year as the oration was written, Sixtus V. Consalvi’s oration introduced the legation to Gregory XIII remarking on the distance separating Japan and Rome, on the cultural differences, but also on the religious devotion of those new, remote Catholics. A scarce, important text.
No copies recorded in the US.
USTC 832514; Sommervogel I, 64; Pagès, Bib. Japonaise, 24. Not in Cordier, Bib. Japonica, Brunet or BM STC It.