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Eras Journal - Thomas Barker

Abstract of "Pulling the Spanish out of the 'Christian Century': Re-evaluating Spanish–Japanese relations during the seventeenth century"

This article re-evaluates Spanish–Japanese relations during the seventeenth century by showing how previous scholarship regarding Spanish and Portuguese policies towards Japan has incorrectly applied the same conclusions to both groups. Instead Spanish policies were aimed at protecting the Pacific trade, which included the maintaining of Manila, rather than trade and the propagation of the Christian faith in Japan that has been associated with Portuguese policies. Spanish–Japanese interactions during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries can be divided into three periods, each with a specific theme. This article focuses on the period between 1609–1616, which was the height of Spanish–Japanese relations, and demonstrates how officials who were in Spain, the Americas and Manila influenced the policies adopted by the Spanish.