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History and Memories
A recollection of historical and emotional events to my account and other accounts. I've been here for quite a long time to recapture such events.
Portuguese Activity and Japan
Portugal was a small country, but its ships had big cannon of good quality.
The Portuguese increased the artillery capability of their ships beyond what others were doing with gunnery, and the Portuguese had trained gunners of German and Flemish descent.
At sea, the Portuguese had to contend with the Egyptians and their Venetian allies, but they were intent on gaining a monopoly on the spice trade – largely pepper and ginger.

To secure their ability to trade, the Portuguese seized ports and built fortifications on shore along their route to the East.
Portugal had men with a sense of ardor and aggression and an attraction to military escapades – the aristocratic spirit.
These men of daring were led by the resourceful Afonso de Albuquerque, who was chivalrous, presented himself with dignity and believed in tearing down Mosques and cutting off the noses and ears as a way of punishing his enemies.

In 1507 the Portuguese captured the prosperous port city and trading center of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf – a city that was partly Arab and mostly Persian.
In 1509 they defeated a large Muslim fleet in a naval battle in the Arabian Sea off the northwest coast of India, near Diu.
In 1510 Portugal established a port at Goa, on India's western coast, a place that had acquired wealth from trade in horses, the only port in Asia that had adequate dockyard facilities, which also had timber for ship building, and a point from which Muslims had been debarking for pilgrimages to Arabia.
And in 1514 the Portuguese reached Indonesia, the center of spice production.
While China's emperor did not care who dominated the seas of southeast Asia, the Portuguese captured a fort at Malacca, and this gave the Portuguese control over the narrow waterway that was the passage farther east.

The Portuguese benefited from a tenacity of purpose and from the warring of other powers.
The Portuguese were hardly noticed in northern India while rival armies there were contending with each other for power.
The king of Gujarat in northwestern India saw wars at sea as merchant affairs and of no concern of his.
And the Ottoman Empire was busy expanding into the Balkans, against Belgrade, Hungary and Vienna and warring with Persia.

In 1519 a Portuguese expedition, led by Ferdinand Magellan, headed west for the spice islands of Indonesia, a voyage that in three years would circumnavigate the world, proving that the earth was bigger than Columbus had believed.

A Portuguese ship arrived at Canton (Guangzhou) in southern China in 1517, and other ships arrived in years that followed, and the Portuguese annoyed China's imperial authorities by not behaving with the proper deference.
The Portuguese were seen as a crude, barbaric and as thieves.
Contempt for trade as a profession and traders as people still dominated officialdom in China.
The Portuguese were expelled from Canton.
China's monarchy attempted to limit trade with foreigners, especially with Japan, which led to smuggling along China's southern coast, and there the Portuguese continued to trade, receiving silks, porcelain and other goods from Chinese who were willing to defy Chinese law and to bribe local authorities.

In 1542, a storm blew some Portuguese to an island in southern Japan.
Not since Marco Polo had Europe heard anything about Japan, and to the Japanese the red hair and blue eyes of the Portuguese made them appear demonic.
The Portuguese had a matchlock musket with them, and the Japanese were fascinated by it.
They treated the Portuguese with hospitality.
The Portuguese gave the musket to a prince as a gift, and soon the Japanese were making copies of the musket – Japan's first guns.

In 1549 three Catholic priests, Francis Xavier and two companions, arrived with the Portuguese, at Kagoshima in southern Japan.
Frustrated at first, he thought of the Japanese language as having been invented by the devil to prevent him from preaching to the Japanese.
He ventured out among the Japanese without success and learned that his humble dress made a bad impression on those Japanese who were benefiting from the prosperity that this part of Japan was enjoying.
He dressed better and acquired a translator, but the translations were less than perfect and his listeners were inclined to believe he was preaching salvation through a brand of Buddhism.
People patiently listened to the preaching of the Catholic priests.
They were impressed by his remaining undisturbed by abuse hurled at him while he was preaching opposition to worship of gods that they knew.
Enough of them were in search of salvation by whatever means, and around a hundred Japanese converted in the two years that Father Xavier remained in Japan.

Pathetic Fallacies
Community Member
  • 09/29/13 to 09/22/13 (1)
  • 10/07/12 to 09/30/12 (1)
  • 09/30/12 to 09/23/12 (1)

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