The Tenshō Embassy: A Diplomatic Mission between Japan and Europe in the 16th Century

TLDR The Tenshō embassy, a diplomatic mission from Japan to Europe in the late 16th century, aimed to improve Japan's perception and showcase the accomplishments of the Christian world. Although it had little long-term impact, the embassy successfully traveled through Europe, meeting with key figures and receiving grand receptions along the way.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 A Japanese nobleman sent a group of envoys to Europe in 1582, hoping to revolutionize relations between Europe and Japan.
02:25 The accidental arrival of Portuguese sailors in Japan in 1543 led to the introduction of firearms, trade, and Christianity, with the Jesuits eventually sending missionaries to Japan who initially struggled with adapting to local customs and the Japanese language.
04:34 The Jesuits in Japan, led by Alessandro Valignano, successfully adapted to Japanese customs and language in their efforts to convert the Japanese to Christianity and establish the Catholic Church in Japan, gaining support from key feudal lords and receiving a silk tapestry as a gift from Oda Nobunaga to showcase the cultural achievements of Japan.
06:34 A group of Japanese Christians, including four young men, embarked on a diplomatic mission known as the Tencho Embassy to Europe, with the goal of improving Japan's perception and showcasing the accomplishments of the Christian world, ultimately arriving in Lisbon after two and a half years in transit.
08:41 In Lisbon, the boys were given a grand reception, visited various landmarks, and met with Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, where they unveiled a silk tapestry sent from Odu Nobunaga; they then traveled to Spain, met with King Philip II, and became a sensation in Madrid before continuing their journey to Italy.
10:46 The four Japanese boys arrived in Rome and were given a grand reception by Pope Gregory XIII, who was determined to meet them despite being ill, and they were later honored by the new Pope Sixtus V, before continuing their travels through Italy, Spain, and Portugal, and finally returning to Japan in 1590.
13:01 The Tenshō embassy had very little long-term impact on Japan or Europe, as Japan closed off from the outside world and there wouldn't be another formal delegation sent to Europe for over 250 years.
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