Ainda de Nagasaki, 05.08.2010.
Ao abrigo de um certo fair use ou fair dealing, e só porque o Inglês suave e cuidado de Boxer guarda um charme e encanto mui recomendáveis a qualquer leitura que nos proponhamos fazer (ajuda, ajuda, a cativar o interesse dos mais cépticos, garanto-vos...), atrevo-me aqui e hoje a transcrever uns quantos parágrafos de um dos livros que me acompanha em todas as horas e que é quase como que um objecto totémico para mim, e para que a história que se segue vos possa ser transmitida como eu gostaria de o fazer — no meu melhor Português — remetendo-vos, no que respeita a outros detalhes de interesse na mesma, para a obra e autor que uma vez mais vos proponho. Os editores de C.R. Boxer que me perdoem e me puxem as orelhas se for caso, lembro só que não faço um tostão com isto e tão só me presto a este desempenho, porque a história que se segue merece mesmo ser contada. E lembrada.
A página que ficou para a História do Japão como o incidente do San Felipe — um imponente e bem recheado galeão oriundo de Manila com destino a Acapulco, que um tufão desviara até à costa do feudo de Tōsa, Shikoku, em Outubro de 1596, e cuja carga deu azo a uma intrincada disputa entre a corte de Toyotomi Hideyoshi [豊臣秀吉] e os seus legítimos proprietários espanhóis —, e que propulsionou os eventos conducentes a ess'outra dos vinte e seis Mártires do Japão, é, na obra que hoje uma vez mais vos deixo por referência, tratada com o devido detalhe e, aos mais interessados, para a mesma remeto.
Em todo o caso, aqui fica aquele que considero ser, porventura, um dos melhores relatos e reflexões sobre essa trágica manhã de 5 de Fevereiro de 1597.
«The Spanish Pilot-Major [of the San Felipe], Francisco de Olandia, in a ill-judged effort to impress the Taikō [太閤 — 'retired Regent' or '(retired) Shogun'] Hideyoshi's commissioners [led by Masuda Nagamori] with the power of the Spanish King [Phillip II], incautiously admitted to Masuda that the Spanish overseas conquests had been greatly facilitated by the Christian "fifth column" (to use modern jargon) formed by the missionary friars before the arrival of the conquistadores themselves. This observation coincided exactly with what the [Buddhist] bonzes had been telling anyone who would listen to them, since 1570 at least. Coming from, as it were, the horse's mouth, it could hardly be ignored by even a confessed anti-Buddhist like Hideyoshi. This allegation either gave him the pretext for which he was seeking, or else (more likely) decided him that Masuda and Seiyakuin [Seiyakuin Zensō Hōin — Hideyoshi's physician and a staunch enemy of the Portuguese Jesuits] were right in their denunciation of the political menace of Christianity.
«In either event, his reaction was swift and decisive. He forthwith sentenced the [Spanish] Franciscans to death by crucifixion at Nagasaki, as violators of the law of the realm and disturbers of the public peace. At first Hideyoshi threatened to include all the missionaries in his condemnation, but he soon thought better of this — mainly because the Jesuits were still regarded as essential intermediaries for the Macao trade — and in the end only a mixed party of six Franciscans, seventeen of their Japanese neophytes, three Japanese Jesuit lay brothers (these last included by mistake) or twenty-six persons in all, were crucified in Japanese fashion at Nagasaki on a cold winter's morning, February 5, 1597, after having been paraded overland from Kyoto via Sakai and exposed to the derision of the populace.
«The foregoing, be it noted, is substantially the Portuguese and Jesuit account of the matter; for the Spaniards and surviving Franciscans roundly declared that it was the Portuguese who denounced the Spaniards as conquistadores, and who instigated the Japanese to confiscate the San Felipe's cargo. Fray Juan Pobre (an eyewitness and passenger in the great galleon), expressly states that Hideyoshi's decision to confiscate the cargo was taken before the pilot's interview with Masuda, and not after it as the Jesuits account imply. The Spaniards further alleged that the Jesuits not only declined to intervene on behalf of the Franciscans when asked to do so, but went so far as to entertain the judge who presided at the execution. Bishop [Pedro] Martins [Portuguese Jesuit Bishop of Japan, 1591-1598] and his compatriots, it is perhaps needless to add, formally denied on oath these and similar accusations; but they were nevertheless widely believed and repeated throughout the Spanish colonial empire, and did a great deal to foster the ill-feeling between Spaniards and Portuguese which was never very far bellow the surface.
«It may be asked what justification did the Japanese have for their suspicions of European aggression by or through the missionaries? The answer is that they had more excuse than reason. Christian religious propaganda was (and is) in the nature of things difficult, if not impossible, to disentangle from the political affiliations of those who support it. Thus [Pierre François Xavier de] Charlevoix, the Jesuit historian of the Society's activities in Canada as well as in Japan, pays his colleagues the somewhat dubious compliment that they taught their Red Indian converts to mingle Christ and France together in their affections. Without suggesting that they proceed on exact parallel lines in Japan, it is worth noting that the Jesuit padre, Balthazar Gago, writing from Hirado to his patron King João III of Portugal in September 1555, claims credit for teaching his neophytes to pray for the Lusitanian monarch as their potential protector (...)
«It is true that experience of the warlike nature of the Japanese speedily disillusioned the vast majority of the Jesuits from any notions they might ever have harbored about the feasibility of the conquest of Japan by [a] Catholic King, and [Alessandro] Valignano was at pains to stress repeatedly the vital necessity of respecting Japanese national independence.
«But it was the father-superior, Gaspar Coelho, a responsible and withal avowedly pro-Japanese Jesuit, who admitted more native novices into the Society than any of his predecessors or successors, who had warmly advocated the conversion of Nagasaki into a strongly fortified point d'appui, and even suggested Spanish military aid for the Christian daimyo of Kyushu.
«It is true that Valignano sharply rejected these dangerous suggestions. But he and Bishop Martins were both at one in urging King Felipe to order the cancellation of the Great Ship's annual voyage from Macao to Nagasaki, after the martyrdom of 1597, in order to cause an economic crisis and general unrest in Japan.
«They considered that this situation would bring about either the overthrow of Hideyoshi, or induce him to accord official recognition to Christianity in his domains. Bishop Martins pointed out that the regent was particularly vulnerable to this form of economic sanctions, since he was at war with China, and deliberately broken with his only other overseas market in the Philippines.
«The advice was not taken, and Hideyoshi's death the next year rendered it unnecessary; but it is interesting as showing how inextricably mixed were religious, political, and economic motives in the Jesuit Japan mission.
«That the Japanese were by no means so ignorant of the state of affairs in Europe, as the Jesuits sometimes seem to have imagined, can be seen from Hideyoshi's correspondence with the Governor of the Philippines, Don Francisco Tello.
«The governor had sent an envoy, Don Luis Navarrete, to claim the confiscated cargo of the San Felipe, and to ask why the Franciscans had been executed.
«Hideyoshi in his reply, drafted in a spirit more of sorrow than of anger, explained that Shintō (there is no mention of Buddhism, be it noted) was the pith and core of the Japanese social structure. He went on to point out that the friars threatened to upset the whole national fabric with their subversive Christian propaganda,
«“And if perchance, either religious or secular Japanese proceeded to your kingdoms and preached the law of Shintō therein, disquieting and disturbing the public peace and tranquility thereby, would you, as lord of the soil, be pleased thereat? Certainly not; and therefore by this you can judge what I have done.”
«The logic of this retort is indeed unanswerable; although there is no need to suppose that it carried the slightest conviction to the closed mind of a Roman Catholic conquistador, who naturally considered that the activities of the Franciscans were inspired by God, and therefore above human interference, whereas those of the Shintō priests were motivated by the Devil, and as such entitled to be forcibly suppressed.»*
*in "The Christian Century in Japan 1549 - 1650", C. R. Boxer, Manchester 1993.
Mais, ici, en Français, se for da vossa preferência.