The Tomb of Lord Justo Takayama in Intramuros, Manila

►No illustration or artwork about the original Takayama tomb at the Jesuit church in Intramuros – the Santa Ana Church — has surfaced so far.

From Jesuit chronicles, we know only that Lord Takayama was buried in a side room near the main altar – much like the Legazpi Tomb at the San Agustin Church.

Lord Justo Ukon Takayama was buried “with great lamentation and sorrow” near the High Altar of the Santa Ana Church – where the Fathers Superior of the Society of Jesus were also interred — in the expectation that Ukon would one day be raised to the ranks of the Saints.
What did Takayama’s tomb look like?

No Illustration

No sketch has been found to give an idea.

The grandest tomb in Manila at that time was that of El Adelantado, the Spanish Governor-General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (1502-1572), who died 43 years earlier. Legazpi’s body was entombed at the Capilla de Legazpi near the main altar of San Agustin Church, its top slab covered by a bas relief of Legazpi – a grand tomb worth replicating. Across four centuries, neither earthquakes nor howitzer shells nor grave robbers have damaged it. (The Legazpi tomb is still there today!)

Common Tomb

But Karl Aguilar (“The Urban Roamer”) corrects that claim “It must be clarified that despite the presence of a ‘tombstone’ with Legazpi depicted in repose, it is not actually the tomb of Legazpi himself. It is actually a common tomb where Legazpi, along with the remains of his grandsons Juan de Salcedo and, possibly, Juan’s brother Felipe, (possibly) former Governor General Guido de Lavezares, Blessed Pedro de Zuniga, and a few others [repose].

Originally, they had their own tombs but their remains were disturbed (by predatory British grave-robbers) when the British took control of San Agustin Church during the British Occupation of 1762-1764 as they were looking for treasure [to enrich the coffers of the British Empire].

“When the Augustinians regained control of the church, they decided to gather all the remains and place them in the spot where they are located today.”◘

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

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