Roman Catholic Missions — November 6, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Xavier on the way to Kyoto to see the Emperor!


The missionaries remained about two months in Yamaguchi and because the results of their labor was small, they started towards Kyoto at the end of December. The weather seemed very severe for someone that lived in India and had spent the previous winter in the mild climate of Kagoshima.Sometimes they had to ford rivers where the icy water was waist deep.They were ignorant of the roads and the country was in a confused state of civil wars.An influential man who became interested in the travelers gave them a letter to a friend in the city of Sakai. When they presented this letter to the addressee, he entertained them hospitably and made arrangements for them to travel with a nobleman, who was on the way to the capital.


Mount Hiei (比叡山, Hiei-zan?) is a mountain to the northeast of Kyoto, lying on the border between the Kyoto and Shiga prefectures, Japan. The temple of Enryaku-ji, the first Japanese outpost of Tendai sect of Buddhism, was founded atop Mount Hiei by Saichō in 788. Both Nichiren and Honen studied at the temple before leaving to start their own practices. The temple complex was razed by Oda Nobunaga in 1571 to quell the rising power of the Tendai's warrior monks (sōhei), but it was rebuilt and remains the Tendai headquarters to this day.

They reached Kyoto in January, a month when the winds, sweeping down from the snow covered mountains north of the city, are cold and piercing. They did not succeed in obtaining an audience with the Mikado. Xavier became convinced that the most powerful man was the lord of Yamaguchi. Xavier wrote:” Arriving in Meaco (ancient name for Kyoto), we passed some days making an attempt to have an interview with the king in order to demand permission to publish the Divine Law in his kingdom; but in this we failed, and since we did not find among the people any disposition to listen to the proclamation of the gospel, wars or other obstacles standing in the way, we returned to Yamaguchi”. They only remained in Kyoto for 11 days. Retracing their way to Sakai, Xavier and his companions went from there to Hirado by sea.

Muromachi period
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Muromachi period (室町時代, Muromachi jidai?, also known as the Muromachi era, the Muromachi bakufu, the Ashikaga era, the Ashikaga period, or the Ashikaga bakufu) was a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1336 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji. The period ended in 1573 when the 15th and last shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, was driven out of the capital in Kyoto by Oda Nobunaga.

The early years from 1336 to 1392 of the Muromachi period are known as the Nanboku-chō or Northern and Southern Court period. The years from 1467 to the end of the Muromachi period are also known as the Sengoku period or Warring States period.

Ashikaga_Takauji (Small)

Ashikaga Takauji, founder of the Ashikaga dynasty

Ashikaga Yoshiaki (足利 義昭?, December 5, 1537—October 9, 1597) was the 15th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate in Japan who reigned from 1568 to 1573.[1] His father, Ashikaga Yoshiharu was the twelfth shogun, and his brother, Ashikaga Yoshiteru was the thirteenth shogun.[2]

The absence of an effective central authority in the capital of Japan had lasted until the warlord Oda Nobunaga’s armies entered Kyoto in 1568, re-establishing the Muromachi Shogunate under the puppet shogun Ashikaga Yoshiaki to begin the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Ashikaga Yoshihide, the fourteenth shogun, was deposed without ever entering the capital.

Most historians consider 1573 to have been the year in which the Ashikaga shogunate ended. The power of the Ashikaga was effectively destroyed in August 27, 1573 when Oda Nobunaga drove Yoshiaki out of Kyoto. Yoshiaki became a Buddhist monk, shaving his head and taking the name Sho-san, which he later changed to Rei-o In.[3]

Some note that Yoshiaki did not formally relinquish his empty title; and for this reason, the empty shell of the shogunate could be said to have continued for several more years. Despite a renewed central authority in Kyoto and Nobunaga’s attempt to unify the country, the struggle for power among warring states continued until unification and final peace was achieved long after his assassination in 1582.

Yoshiaki (Small)

Ashikaga Yoshiaki (足利 義昭?, December 5, 1537—October 9, 1597) was the 15th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate in Japan who reigned from 1568 to 1573

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  1. Pingback: Important Periods in the History of Japan | world travel tours

    • Thanks for the interest for my blog, although it is more religious in content, feel free to link to my blog. I do live in Kyoto and my wife is Japanese. If we can be of any assistance to you, don’t hesitate to contact us! Best regards and have a great week, Micah

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