Letter from Japan to Europe by St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier, during his missionary in Asia, saw in Japan an impressive cultural, economic and social potential. He valued Japan more than any of the nations discovered.

St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) was the Jesuit Missionary who introduced Christianity to Japan in 1549. He was personally selected by Ignatius de Loyola to be the head of missions to Asia for the Jesuits. After seven years of service in India, Malaysia and the Spice Islands, he set sail from Goa for Japan on April 15, 1549.

“I have learnt from good authorities that there is a country near China called Japan, the inhabitants of which are all heathen, quite untouched by Muslims or Jews, and very eager to learn what they do not know both in things divine ad things natural, I have determined to go thither as soon as I can…” (A letter of St Francis Xavier to St. Ignatius de Loyola, 15 April 1549)
What struck Xavier enough to write bout the Japanese were “their sense of honor, honesty, moderation, the monogamous relationships, the high literacy, and highly developed rationality.”

“The Japanese are certainly of remarkably good dispositions, and follow reason wonderfully.” (Xavier letter from Japan to Jesuits at Goa, 1551)

 “The Japanese are very curious by nature, and as desirous of learning as any people ever were. So they go on perpetually telling other people about their questions and our answers. They desire very much to hear novelties, especially about religion.” (Letter, 1551)

“The Japanese are very ambitious of honors and distinctions, and think themselves superior to all nations in military glory and valor.” (Xavier letter from Japan to the Society of Jesus in Europe, 1552)