2 Jesuit letters from Japan / Virtual Rare Book Fair 106


Description: Jesuit letters from Japan

Cartas que los Padres y Hermanos de la Compañia de Jesus, que andan en los Reynos de Japon[,] escrvieron a los dela misma Compañia, desde el año de mil y quinientos y quare[n]ta y nueve, hasta el de mil y quinientos y setenta y uno. En las quales se da noticia de las varias costumbres y idolatrias de aquella gentilidad: y se cuenta el principio y successo y bondad de los Christianos de aquellas partes

Alcala, Juan Iñiguez de Lequerica, 1575. 4to in 8s. Contemporary limp sheepskin parchment sewn on 3 leather thongs, laced through at the folds, reinforced with 2 pieces from a 16th-century(?) manuscript, remains of leather ties, later manuscript title label. With woodcut of the Crucifixion on the back of the colophon (2Rv, before the table of contents at the end), charming woodcut initials, and 1 page (p. 72) with woodcut Japanese characters for 12 words in text. [10], 315, [5] ll.

First Spanish edition of 82 Portugese letters written by Jesuit missionaries in Japan, first published in Portuguese, at Coimbra in 1570, with ten highly important Jesuit letters added, never published before. Cordier gives a list of these additional letters, dating from 1567 to 1571, written by Luys Froys, Melchior de Figueredo, Luiz de Almeida, Juan Baptista Italiano, Gasper Vilela and Hermano Luys de Almeida. Also newly added are the life of Franciscus Xavier, Relacion de las cosas de la India by Manuel Acosta, and Breve relacion de la Isla y Reynos del Japon. Alt Japan notes an addendum leaf at the end. In our copy it is bound between the preliminaries and the main text, but is also preceded by a conjugate leaf not noted by Alt Japan or the other references: a licensing statement signed by Gonçalo Pumarejo, "secretario del Consejo de su Magestad" at Madrid, 20 November 1575.

With owner's name "Joannes Fischer" and date 1651 on back of last leaf. Title-page somewhat worn, with a marginal chip at the foot and some holes at the upper left restored, at least the former at an early date, the latter slightly affecting 1 letter in the title. Otherwise in good condition, with a defect in the corner of one leaf just touching the text, some slight water stains and spotting. Two bifolia (G3-G6) are bound in reversed.
Alt Japan Kat. 298; Cordier, Japonica, cols. 67-8; Palau 46311; Salva 3282; Streit IV, 1519 (with a full list of all letters).
  • Number: 1060026 (23034)
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum