Accorded a State Funeral, Did Spanish Government Consider Takayama as a ‘Filipino’

Blessed Takayama Ukon Blessed by Cardinal Tagle
Image of Blessed Justus Ukon Takayama was installed at the PLM University Chapel on June 29, 2019 by Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. The PLM/Jesuit Compound was where Takayama lived the last 44 days of his life. It was here too where he was entombed till 1889 — when his remains were transferred to the Jesuits’ new San Ignacio Church (II) on Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila.

►Banished from his native Japan, settling in Manila with 350 other Christians deportees, Lord Justus Ukon Takayama (1552 Osaka-1615 Manila; beatified 2017) lived the last 44 days of his life as guest of the Jesuits in Intramuros, and was welcomed as a revered Christian of heroic virtue by the Manila Archdiocese.

The Spanish Governor General, Juan de Silva (r.  April 1609 – April 19, 1616) was “a daily visitor” – to the Jesuits’ guesthouse “Casa San Miguel” at the Jesuit Compound (now the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila [PLM] Campus) in Intramuros where Takayama and his family lived — exploring how Spain might assist the beleaguered Christians in Kyushu – with the assumed military support of the Christian Daimyos in that region. Uh-uh. Ukon replied: You do not understand Japan.

Gov. De Silva was proposing to invade Kyushu with an invasion force of some 6,000 Spanish troops  – under the generalship of Lord Takayama, Japan’s most illustrious Christian samurai. De Silva was under the conceit that one Spaniard was worth 10 Japanese. Wow!

(To understand the martial infrastructure of Japan, when Toyotomi forces (often called the Western Army) battled the Tokugawa Shōgun‘s forces (the Eastern Army) near Osaka on June 5, 1615, Hideyori had 50,000 troops; Tokugawa had 150,000. And Silva proposed to take on Japan through an invasion force of 6,000?)

But Takayama died on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1615 – ending Gov. De Silva’s ardent hopes to liberate Japan for the Spanish crown.

Did Takayama Die as a Filipino?

►“Filipinos” in Takayama’s time (1614-1615) referred to Spaniards born in the Philippines. The Malays — native born inhabitants of the Philippines (today’s Filipinos) — were called “indio” or “indigenta,” and the ArabsJapaneseHan Chinese and Indians who formed part of the population — were “banyaga” (in Sanskrit, Vanijaka (वणिजक), the word for merchant, trader, foreigner.

Before Takayama arrived on Dec. 21, 1614 with 350 “refugees and migrants,” there were already 3,000 Japanese – mostly in Paco, San Roque (in Cavite) and Agoo, La Union. This, according to the first census in the Philippines in 1591, based on tributes collected.

(The tributes count the total founding population of Spanish-Philippines as 667,612 people, of which: some 20,000 were Chinese migrant traders, at different times: around 16,500 individuals were Latino soldier-colonists who were cumulatively sent from Peru and Mexico and they were shipped to the Philippines annually; some 3,000 were Japanese residents, and about 600 were pure Spaniards from Europe. There was also a large but unknown number of Indian Filipinos. The rest of the population were Malays and Negritos. Thus, with merely 667,612 people, during this era, the Philippines was among the most sparsely populated lands in Asia. In contrast, Japan during that era (the 1500s) already had a population of 8 Million, compared to the Philippine’s mere 600,000.)

Though not a “Filipino,” Takayama was certainly a Japanese-born Manila Catholic – absorbed into the Manila Archdiocese. Under the Church’s rubrics, “where a person dies is where he is born to Heaven.” By that was meant that, the Manila Archdiocese considered Ukon as a “Son of Manila” – a Manila Catholic – and therefore, proceeded to propose Ukon to the Vatican as the first candidate for sainthood from the Manila Archdiocese.#

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

 

Blessed Takayama Augurs Well for Future of Philippine-Japanese Relations – Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda

“Today’s unveiling of Blessed Takayama’s statue and historical markers is an initiative that will resurrect memories of the common history we share… We sincerely hope that the installation of the statue and markers of Blessed Takayama Ukon here will attract more Japanese tourists to take part in history-walks around Intramuros.” — Ambassador Koji Haneda

TAKAYAMA STATUE AT PLM CHAPEL
Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle blesses the altar-statue of Blessed Takayama at the PLM University Chapel on June 29, 2019

Remarks of Ambassador Koji Haneda

*Delivered at the installation of a statue of Blessed Takayama on June 29, 2019 — with Japanese missionaries in the Metro-Manila in attendance.

Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.

I am pleased to join you this afternoon in honoring Blessed Takayama Ukon with the unveiling of his statue and historical markers at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

The name Takayama Ukon is well known in Japanese history school textbooks as a Christian landlord who abandoned his status and devoted himself to his faith. However, it’s not so well known that he was exiled in the Philippines. Where we are now is the place he was allowed to stay until he passed away in 1615. Today’s unveiling of his statue and historical markers is an initiative that will resurrect memories of the common history we share. I would like to thank all those who have engaged in this historic gesture.

We’ve Come a Long Way Since Takayama Arrived

Japan and the Philippines’ partnership has come a long way since the era of Blessed Takayama Ukon. Our cooperative bond has expanded beyond trade, investment, and development matters—encompassing wider cultural and people-to-people exchanges, including tourism. The number of Filipino visitors to Japan increased sixfold to 504,000 over the last six years and is still growing. Likewise, Japanese visitors to the Philippines are on the rise, reaching 631,000 in 2018.

ambassador haneda
Ambassador Koji Haneda receives Plaque of Apprciation on behalf of the “Takayama ·Ukon ·& ·His ·Wife ·Honoring ·Association” (高山右近夫妻顕彰会) of Toyono-cho (Osaka Prefecture, Japan), which gifted the PLM with the Takayama statue

In a sense, Blessed Takayama Ukon was among the pioneering Japanese visitors to the Philippines. When he arrived here over four centuries ago, I am sure he was welcomed with the warmest Filipino hospitality. Unbeknown to Blessed Takayama Ukon, he may have helped plant a seed of friendship that has grown a lot in time. Forty years have passed since the Sister City Partnership was forged between the Cities of Manila and Takatsuki in Osaka—the place where Blessed Takayama Ukon ruled as landlord. In addition, Toyono Town in Osaka, his birthplace, has been accepting Filipino English teachers since last year through the Japanese government’s Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. These are definitely sterling examples of a bond worth emulating.

Christianity … Is ‘Our Shared History’

It now seems that, through Christianity, Japan and the Philippines may be able to revisit our shared history. Last year, the “Hidden Christian” Sites in the Nagasaki Region were registered as UNESCO World Heritage. Nagasaki is the place where St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino and Asian Saint, died as a martyr. As such, we are positive that this could spark interest and encourage more Filipinos to visit Nagasaki. In the same way, we sincerely hope that the installation of the statue and markers of Blessed Takayama Ukon here will attract more Japanese tourists to take part in history-walks around Intramuros.

TWO BRONZE TAKAUAMA MARKERS AT PLM CHAPEL
Two markers — in English and Kanji — explain the historical importance of the PLM/Jesuit Compound. These were unveiled by Ambassador Haneda and the Apostolic Nuncio Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps

Finally, I would like to reiterate my deepest gratitude to everyone who has endeavoured to make today’s event possible. With people like you, we can be certain of an even brighter future for the close friendship between Japan and the Philippines.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay po kayo.#

Capsule History of Dilao – First Japanese ‘Nihon-machi’ in the Philippines

►THOUGH it is only a small patch of earth, Plaza Dilao was significant in the shared history of Philippine-Japanese relations (1593-2018):

Baluarte de San Francisco de Dilao, Intramuros, Manila — Built in 1592 by the Spanish government to deter threats and invasion by Hideyoshi. Renovated in 1622. Restored by the Intramuros Administration after its desctruction during the Battle for Manila (Feb. 3-March 3, 1945)

1593 – It memorializes the Dilao of old, which was the first nihon-machi of the early Japanese. The old Dilao, which was originally located just outside Intramuros (at the site now occupied by the Manila City Hall) was established in 1593 by the Spanish colonial government as the first district for Japanese residents of Manila – merchants, mercenaries, sailors, castaways, and survivors of shipwrecks. The Japanese Christians among them were placed in the care of Franciscan missionaries.

“UNDER THE GUN” — Dilao was under eight cannons of the Baluarte de San Francisco de Dilao, Intramuros, Manila — to quell any possible uprisings by the Japanese population

1603 — The districts of Dilao, San Miguel and Bagumbayan are in flames because of the Chinese rebellion. The Spaniards were joined by Tagalog and Japanese fighters in quelling the uprising. The rebellion was then quelled by the Spaniards, together with the support of Filipinos and the Japanese in the settlement of Dilao. The Japanese especially showed no mercy in the repression. Altogether 20,000 Chinese were killed. In 1603, there was a large massacre of around 20,000 Chinese, mostly of Fujianese Hoklo descent. The location was in Manila’s Parian de los Sangleyes (the Chinese quarter). Most of the San Miguel district, including its chapel was destroyed during the Chinese uprising of 1603.

Cannon points directly at the Manila City Hall, attesting that the original site of the Japanese “nihon-machi” was the City Hall area

1611 – Manila Archbishop Diego Vázquez de Mercado (1533 – 1616; r. June 13, 1604- June 12, 1616) constituted the San Miguel parish and assigned it to the Jesuits.

1611 — Andrea Caro described Manila in 1611: “Chinese without number, Japanese, East Indians, people of Malacca and Java, a great many Portuguese, French, Dutch, Flemings, immigrants from Italian, Greek and Sicilian cities, all these in addition to the natives of various tongues, tribes and islands, and the Spaniards, both men and women.”

The exile boat of Lord Takayama was a Portuguese-captained multi-masted Chinese junk — with a Japanese and Chinese crew of some 30 sailors

1614 – It memorializes the “350 Christians” from Japan who rather than abjure their Catholic religion, came to live in Manila. In December 1613, the governor of Kyoto started drawing up a list of Christians to expel. The Nagasaki government – run by the anti-Christian bugyo (governor) Hasegawa Fujihiro Sahyoe (1568-1617) — also had a “passenger list” of those to be exiled, but in the scramble for berths to Macau and Manila, they lost track of who was going where. Then, there were clandestine debarkations at “Dos Caballos” islands in the middle of Nagasaki Bay. Then came “fake news” – of this or that noble (including Takayama’s wife, Justa Kuroda Takayama) falling overboard and drowning, meaning: Don’t look for them anymore! As a passenger manifest, the Nagasaki list (of which there are many versions) was useless. But the list definitely included 23 Jesuit missionaries (15 Japanese and eight Europeans, minus Fr. Antonio Francisco Critana, SJ, who died on board the exile ship) and 15 Jesuit dojuku (Japanese male catechists).

The precious Marian icon – “Our Lady of the Rosary” — more popularly known as “La Japona” which had accompanied the first Dominican missionaries to Satsuma in 1602 – was entrusted to the care of Dom Justo Ukon Takayama – on the exile voyage to Manila in 1614. “La Japona” continues to be enshrined at the Santo Domingo Priory in Quezon City, Philippines.

But the historian and statesman Yosaburo Takekoshi (1865-1950), writing in The Economic Aspects of the History of the Civilization of Japan  (London: George Allen, 1930; Routledge: 2004) summarizes — without citing his source: “In all, there were 117 [nobles and missionaries – not counting the ship’s crew], and 200 students of theological schools” – which conforms with the generally-accepted ballpark figure of “350 Christian exiles” stated in Colin/Pastells.

In 1614, Manila welcomed “with a charity approaching veneration a fragment of the heroic church of Japan.” (Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ).

The first boat of Japanese exiles contained some 350 Christians who were banished for refusing to adjure their Catholic faith

◘◘◘ — Takayama’s group included his family – his wife Doña Justa Kuroda Takayama (who returned to Kanazawa before June 1616, with a bone relic of Takayama Ukon); a daughter, Lucia Yokoyama (wife of Yokoyama Daizen Yasuharu, 1590-1645, a high-ranked governor who remained in Kanazawa – in one Jesuit account, “at the explicit wish of Ukon”; but another Jesuit writes Yokoyama had apostatized “outwardly” to protect his position, greatly distressing Ukon who did not want his daughter Lucia to be living with “that apostate”); five (not three) grandchildren (aged 8-16), all surnamed Takayama, as they were children of Ukon’s son, Jujiro Takayama (d. 1608), and one nephew, Benedict Sandeyu.

◘◘◘ — Lord Juan Tocuan Naito (内藤 如安, 1550-1626), also known as Tadatoshi Naito, or Yukiyasu Naito, former lord of Kameyama and Yagi castles in Tanba, which he lost in 1573 for siding with Shogun Yoshiaki. During the Korean War, he fought under the command of Admiral Konishi Yukinaga; and served as Hideyoshi’s ambassador to the Ming Court in China (1594-1596) on account of his knowledge of Chinese characters. Though he was only two years older than Ukon, Naito was described in a Jesuit account as “already old and sickly.” He was accompanied by his wife, who outlived him; two sons, one of whom was identified as the samurai Thome Naito (who returned to Osaka in mid-1615 and was given command of 300 men at the epic Summer Campaign between Hideyori and Ieyasu), and Naito’s daughters. (The second son and a nephew were ordained priests in Manila; two daughters became Santa Clara nuns.) At the time of the expulsion, Lord Naito, described as “a distinguished soldier under Ieyasu,” and son Thome had been retainers of the Maeda clan in Kanazawa for 14 years. But they had criticized the severe anti-Christian measures of the Tokugawa Shogunate, so Ieyasu ordered their names added to the exile list.

◘◘◘ — Members of the first Japanese religious congregation for women, the Jesuit-chaplained Beatas de Meaco [Kyoto] or Miyako no Bikuni (Nuns of Kyoto, 1615-1656), led by Prioress Julia Naito (Lord Naito’s younger sister, and 14 other nuns, including Doña Mencia (1574-1641), second superior of the Beatas, after Mother Julia died in 1627; and Doña Tecla Ignacia (1579-1656), third superior of the Beatas, after Doña Mencia died. Other nuns include Doña Maria Iga; Doña Maria Muni (d. 1640, mother of Doña Tecla Ignacia); Doña Maria Park (a Korean noblewoman, c1572-1636); Doña Magdalena Nagashima, first cousin of Julia (c1577-1622), and Doña Luzia de la Cruz (1580-1656) — the last Japanese cloistered nun to die.

◘◘◘ — Mother Julia Naito had been widowed at 22, and became a Buddhist nun (later abbess of a Jodo-shu monastery.). In 1596, after hearing a sermon of Bro. Hoin Vicente Vilela (not to be confused with P. Gaspar Vilela, SJ), she received Baptism from Fr. Organtino, and took the name Julia. In 1606, she organized a women’s congregation devoted to catechetical work in Kyoto and environs which she called “Miyako no Bikuni” – under the care of Fr. Organtino and Fr. Pedro Morejon, SJ. By 1613, the Beatas had 18 nuns. At the start of the general persecution in 1614, Mother Julia hid the nine younger Beatas, while she and eight other well-born Beatas surrendered to authorities. They were subjected to the “tawarazume torture” wherein they were stripped naked, placed into old rice-bags tied tightly with rope, paraded around town, threatened to be brought to a brothel, then piled on top of each other on the banks of a river. This torture lasted nine days, but all the Beatas survived it without any of them apostatizing.

(This Japanese pioneering congregation preceded — by six years — the arrival of the Poor Clares (officially, the Order of Saint Clare) or the Spanish Clarissas, who arrived in Manila on August 5, 1621. The Spanish congregation of 10 nuns was led by Mother Jerónima de la Asunción (1555–1630) who was declared by the Vatican as a “Servant of God” in 1734. Since 1621, the Real Monasterio de Santa Clara (Royal Monastery of Saint Clare) has continually existed and still serves an active community of nuns.)

There were several dozen Japanese nobles, but their names have not surfaced yet. Those who have been identified were:

►Ukita Hisayasu (related to, but not a son of, Lord Ukita Hideie [1573-1655], member of The Council of Five Elders), who ruled from Okayama Castle over Bizen, Mimasaka, and part of Bitchu of provinces (with an estate of around 575,000 koku);

►*** Ukita Kyukan (with an estate of 1,500 koku);

►***Shinagawa Uhei [Hayakawa Uhyoe?] (1,000 koku);

►***Shibayama Gombei [Shinagawa Gombei] (500 koku),

►and an unnamed Christian daughter of the multi-married Daimyo of Bungo, Dom Francisco ŌTOMO Sōrin.

The three underlined names are mentioned in “Mitsubo Kikigaki” – an archival document in Kanazawa Bibliotheca — as among 70 Japanese nobles, Christian knights allied with Takayama Ukon, exiled to Tsugaru region on April 13, 1614.

But Papinot (1910) identifies three names in BOLDFACE as Ukon’s companions-in-exile in Manila.

Yosaburo Takekoshi (1930) likewise lists three names with asterisks (***) as Manila exiles.

(For both “Mitsubo Kikigaki” and Papinot / Yosaburo to be right, the three Tsugaru exiles – all faithful knights of Takayama for at least 12 years — would have hurried to join up with Takayama at Nagasaki for the voyage to Manila.)

The faithful Christian “ronin” accompanied Takayama on the exile voyage to Manila

◘◘◘ — Another fellow-exile was Diego Yuki Ryosetsu (a seminarian ordained as a Jesuit priest in Manila in 1615, and martyred in “the pit” in Osaka in 1635. He has come to recent recognition by being among 188 Japanese martyrs beatified in Nagasaki in 2008.

Blessed Diego Yuki Ryosetsu (1574-Feb. 16, 1636) arrived in Manila with Lord Justo Ukon Takayama’s exile group of 350 Japanese Christian deportees on Dec. 21, 1614. He completed his seminary studies at the San Jose Seminary (now relocated in Loyola Heights, Quezon City), where he was ordained. Knowing full well the risks of martyrdom, he returned to Japan to profess his ministry.

1615 — The Jesuit Church and the Jesuit residence in San Miguel district becomes a center for Japanese Christians.

1615-1626 – Lord Juan Tocuan Naito became Regidor of Dilao (first nihon-machi established in 1593) and San Miguel (second nihon-machi populated by Kirishitan exiles in 1614), collecting tributes for the Manila government from residents in these districts. Naito worked at translating Chinese medical  books (which he collected when he was an envoy in Peking) into Japanese, and applied his knowledge to cure the sick.

1616 — A Spaniard kills a Japanese in a brawl. A Japanese crowd started arming themselves, demanding justice. But Fr. Pedro de Montes, SJ, rector of the Jesuit College, manages to calm the Japanese.

1617 – The Japanese of Dilao take up arms against the government. After this was quelled, the government decided to raze Dilao and disperse its 1,500 residents to other suburbs.

1620 – There are 2,000 Japanese residents in Manila.

1621 – A new group of Japanese nobles, numbering some 200, arrive in Manila.

1621 — Archbishop Miguel Garcia Serrano, OESA (r. 1620-1629), reported to the king of Spain in 1621 that there are “more than 1,500 [Japanese] Christians … in the parochial church of Santiago, and in the villages of Dilao and San Miguel, which are suburbs of Manila, and in the port of Cavite” — but he pointed out that this was not a fixed population “because they are a people who go to and fro” to Japan.

1623 — Archbishop Garcia Serrano receives a request from Nagasaki Christians to establish a Japanese College in Manila. Gov. Alonso Fajardo sets aside a lot for this college. In 1636, the plan to build a seminary for Japanese seminarians was again considered, but dropped as an unnecessary aggravation to the Tokugawa Shogunate.

1626 — This is the year Lord Naito died in San Miguel. Balete ceased to be an independent municipality and was reincorporated into the town of Dilao. Thus, Balete has been forgotten, and it is Dilao — now known as Paco — that has remained through the years.

1627 – Prioress Julia Naito dies.

1632 — The third Tokugawa Shogun of Japan – Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651; r. 1623-1651) — loaded 134 “converted Christians” on a ship and sent them to the Spanish authorities in Manila with a letter saying: “If it is converts you want, begin with these.” They turned out to be lepers, who soon spread the disease in the Philippines. Time Magazine remarked (in “Religion: Lepers”): “Before 1632 there was no leprosy in the Philippines.” (But the  Franciscan archivist,  Fr. Pedro Ruano, OFM, disputes this; Franciscan doctors encountered cases of leprosy in Manila soon after their arrival in 1578, when they established – in keeping with their healing ministry — a medical center and dispensary in Intramuros run by the lay Brother, Juan Clemente, OFM. The Franciscan dispensary had run for 56 years when Iemitsu’s lepers arrived.

The Japanese lepers became a part of Dilao history when the Franciscans sheltered them in a large compound they built in Dilao with government support, which they called San Lazaro – after St. Lazarus, patron saint for lepers. It was only in 1785 – 151 years later — that the leprosarium was transferred to Hacienda Mayhaligue, the site that the present-day San Lazaro Hospital, now a Special National Hospital Medical Center for Infectious Diseases, occupies in Rizal Avenue, Santa Cruz district, Manila.

1635 – A new shipload of Japanese Christians arrives from Japan.

1637 –The number of Japanese tribute payers was listed as 218 which, at an average of four members per household, translated to some 872 Japanese residents. This conforms to a report of the Japanese in Cambodia that the size of the Japanese community in Manila was some 800 in 1637. (Seiichi Iwao, Early Japanese Settlers in the Philippines.)

1638 — After the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637, many Japanese were deported to Macau or to the Spanish Philippines. Many Macanese and Japanese Mestizos are the mixed-race descendants of the deported Japanese Catholics. Some 400 were officially deported by the government to Macau and Manila, but thousands of Japanese were pressured into moving voluntarily. “About 10,000 Macanese and 3,000 Japanese were moved to Manila.”

1645 – A grievous earthquake shakes Manila (on Nov. 30) – lasting as long as four times the recital of the “Credo.”  The Jesuit church and Residence at San Miguel collapses. In Manila, damage was severe: it almost “crumbled” ten newly constructed churches in the capital, residential villas and other buildings. An estimated number of 600 Spanish people were killed, and about 3,000 Spanish were injured

1656 — The last Japanese cloistered nun – Doña Luzia de la Cruz — of the Beatas de Miyako (“Miyako no Bikuni“) dies four decades after their arrival in Manila. This marks the end of the cloistered Japanese nunnery as they had refused to admit Japanese or Tagalog additions to their ranks, including a Naito daughter who instead joined the Clarissas, and after she died, was replaced by another Naito relative.

1656 – San Miguel is listed as having 140 families, representing 560 people.

1720 — Fulminating against the expected ordination of Filipino priests, Fray Gaspar de San Agustin warns against the chastisement “of flourishing Christian communities by placing them in the  hands of natives ordained to the priesthood.” His objection: Filipinos’ pride “will be aggravated by their elevation to a sublime state; their avarice with the increased opportunities of pretoing on others; their sloth with their never having to work for a living; and their vanity with the adulation that they will necessarily seek; desiring to be served by those whom in another state in life they would have to respect and obey….”

c1724 — First Filipino is admitted to the priesthood.

1762 – As the Japanese population dwindled, the Dilao settlement moved to the site now occupied by the Paco Railroad Station and Plaza Dilao, according to Felix de Huerta. Medina notes: “As part of the war preparations against the British in 1762, the authorities moved Paco [as Dilao was then more popularly known] and located it between the city moat and the Pasig. The site constituted the land occupied before by the Bateria de Carlos IV, lying between Baluarte de Dilao and Puerta de Recoletos.”

1768 – San Miguel (the Kirishitan district) burns down. It is relocated near the Malacanan area.

1791 — The three towns of Dilao, Santiago and Pena de Francia were amalgamated into a new town collectively known as San Fernando de Dilao. The popular name — Dilao — now referred to the expanded area.

1898 – Plaza Dilao was the area proposed by the Philippine Historical Markers’ Committee in 1943 to commemorate the 25 Japanese volunteers who assisted Filipinos in their uprising against Spain in 1898.

1945 — During the Liberation of Manila (February 3 – March 3, 1945), 300 Japanese soldiers lost their lives defending the Paco Railway Station and the adjoining Plaza Dilao, to prevent American troops from advancing to South Manila. The battle for the Paco Railway Station changed hands three times during the fighting from Feb. 7-11, 1945. The battle ended on Feb. 11, 1945 – Kigensetsu Day (National Foundation Day of Japan) — when the 37th Infantry Division finally annihilated the Japanese defenders. The citations for the four Medals of Honor awarded to American soldiers confirmed the number of Japanese soldiers killed: 300.

Other World War II numbers:

◘◘◘ — More Than One Million Filipinos Dead: The Japanese Occupation cost the Philippines over 1,000,000 lives of its 17 million pre-war population.

◘◘◘ — Over 100,000 Filipinos Dead During Liberation Battle: The Battle for Manila (February 3 to March 3, 1945) caused over 100,000 deaths.

◘◘◘ — Death Toll of the Philippine Church: During the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines (1942-1945), the Philippine Church lost one Bishop; 62 secular clergy; 88 religious priests; nine chaplains; four deacons and scholastics; 37 Brothers and 86 Sisters. Total war casualties: 289.

(In Manila, the Church of Japan lost two priests: ● Fr. Joseph Isamu Ikeda, who studied at the UST Interdiocesan Seminary and was ordained a priest on Jan. 5, 1945 by Manila Archbishop Michael J. O’Doherty – d. March or April, 1945; and ● Fr. Haruo Sugiyama [a priest impressed as a soldier into the Japanese military], who was waylaid on P. Noval St., Sampaloc, after visiting Father Ikeda at the UST Seminary – d. Jan. 10, 1945.

If major seminarians are included in the death count, as is the practice in the Philippine Church — then the Don Bosco seminarians, ● Sebastian Masaji Maki <d. Nov. 1944>, and ● John Shigeru Nishimura <d. Feb. 1945> would also be listed among the Japanese Church’s war deaths.)

Takayama Memorial at Plaza Dilao in 1977

1977 – Plaza Dilao memorializes the checkered Philippine-Japanese history that has spanned four centuries – with Lord Justus Takayama Ukon (高山右近) as the best exemplar of friendship and amity between the two peoples.

Plaza Dilao — as renovated in 2019

1992 – The Takayama Memorial is declared a National Monument by the National Historical Commission (predecessor of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NCHP).#

Compiled by Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

Manila Declares Dec. 21 Every Year ‘Blessed Takayama Ukon Day’

The first boatload of 350 Japanese Christians fleeing religious persecution in Tokugawa Japan arrived in Manila on Sunday, Dec. 21, 1614. As they disembarked at “Postigo del Palacio” in Intramuros within sight of Manila Cathedral (III), the bells of Intramuros’ six churches rang, the cannons of Fort Santiago roared in welcome. After 43 days at sea, the Japanese reached their new home at last!

RESOLUTION DECLARING THE 21ST DAY OF DECEMBER OF EVERY YEAR AS “BLESSED TAKAYAMA UKON DAY”
— in commemoration of the exile from Japan and arrival of Lord Justo Takayama Ukon in Manila on December 21, 1614.

Principal Authors: Hon Louisito N. Chua and Hon. Rolando M. Valeriano, Minority Floor Leader

►WHEREAS, Japan ordered the deportation of Lord Justo Takayama Ukon for his refusal to renounce his Catholic religion, resulting in his forced exile and arrival in Manila on December 21, 1614;

►WHEREAS, Lord Justo Takayama Ukon, as well as his followers found refuge and acceptance in Manila as a land of religious freedom, which led to their local integration and the birth of the early stages of Philippine-Japanese relations;

►WHEREAS, Lord Justo Takayama Ukon, considered as an adopted “Son of Manila,” died a devout Catholic which led to his beatification;

►WHEREAS, consistent with the policy of maintaining ties between Manila and Japan, the Manila City Council expresses its unanimous and genuine support for the declaration of December 21 of every year as a special day of commemoration of Blessed Takayama Ukon;

►NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the City Council of Manila to declare, as it hereby declares, the 21st day of December every year as “Blessed Takayama Ukon Day” in commemoration of the exile from Japan and arrival of Lord Takayama Ukon in Manila on December 21, 1614.

Presided by: Maria Sheilah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan, MD, FPDS / Vice Mayor and Presiding Officer, City Council Manila

►This Resolution No. 273, Series of 2018, was adopted by the City Council of Manila at its regular session on December 10, 2018.

ATTESTED: Josue R. Santiago, MPMG / City Government Assistant Department Head III / Assistant Secretary of the City Council #

● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Message from Cardinal Maeda

Even before he received news from Manila about its unanimous city council resolution, Cardinal Maeda sent a message to ◘ Manila Mayor Joseph Marcelo Ejercito Estrada and ◘ Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle:

✠ May the peace of the Lord be with you.

Osaka Cardinal Manyo Maeda – before the new Takayama altar-statue, donated by the Trustees of the Blessed Justo Takayama Canonization Movement, headed by Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro

Greetings on the 404th Anniversary of Justo Ukon Takayama’s landing in Intramuros.

Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama was exiled to Manila by the Edo Shogunate’s order prohibiting the Christian religion in 1614. He then died in Manila on the 3rd of February of 1615. His footsteps of forty-four (44) days still remain in Intramuros. For preserving and maintaining Intramuros in its splendid state, I am grateful, first, to the Manila City Mayor, and also, to the Archbishop of Manila.

After Ukon Takayama’s beatification in Osaka on February 7, 2017, we continue to look forward to your continuous love and support for him.

I pray that the merciful God bless all of you abundantly.#

✠ Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda, Archbishop of Osaka

Manila City Hall

Posted  by: Dr.  Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

 

Revisiting the Takayama Memorial (1977) that’s the Centerpiece of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park at Plaza Dilao

The Takayama Memorial — installed in 1977 — was the centerpiece of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park at Plaza Dilao, Paco, Manila

►TO SUPPORT the call of the Philippines’ First Lady, Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos (1929- ), for a beautification program for Metro-Manila at the start of Martial Law (1972-1981), Manila Mayor Ramon D. Bagatsing (1916-2006) organized on Feb. 1, 1973, the Kababaihan sa Pagpapaganda ng Lungsod ng Maynila [Ladies’ Committee for the Beautification of the City of Manila].

Their assignment: Beatify the parks and open spaces  that dot Metro-Manila. Their first priority: Beautify Plaza Dilao which visiting VIPs pass by in their motorcade from the Manila airport to Malacanan Palace.

Ladies’ Committee for the Beautification of Manila

The members of the Kababaihan were: Mrs. Julita C. Benedicto (wife of Philippine Ambassador to Tokyo, Roberto S. Benedicto), chairman; Mrs. Purita Ponce-Enrile, co-chairman; Mrs. Leonora Pascual, co-chairman; Mrs. Elisa Abello (wife of Philippine Ambassador to Washington, Emilio Abello), vice-chairman, and Miss Lourdes R. Caruncho, executive secretary. Members were Mrs. Carmen P. Caro; Ms Mariquita Castelo; Ms Remedios Francisco (historian); Mrs. Leticia de Guzman; Mrs. Minerva G. Laudico; Mrs. Milagros Sumulong; Ms Albina Tuason, and Ms Juanita Valera.

When the ladies’ research indicated that the Dilao area – the old site, that is — had been reserved by the Spanish colonial government for Manila’s Japanese population in 1592, finally relocating at the Plaza Dilao area in Paco in 1762, the Japanese element crept in. Perhaps a Japanese garden – “with plenty of plants and benches for people to rest and relax especially during the evening when traffic is less” — could be developed?

Former Japanese Settlement — Requiring Japanese Motif?

They decided to consult Japanese Ambassador Toshio Urabe (1969-1974) about the possibilities.

Not readily recognized by the Manila ladies at that time, Ambassador Urabe was the longest-serving Japanese diplomat engaged in rebuilding postwar Philippine-Japanese relations. Ambassador Urabe was a veteran Philippine hand, having been first assigned to Manila in 1953 as Counsellor of the Japanese Overseas Liaison Office. He led the team that negotiated the Philippine-Japanese Reparations Agreement that was ratified by the Philippine Senate in 1956. He was returned to Manila in 1964 as Ambassador, staying on till 1974.

In 1973, Ambassador Urabe – who is credited with the Japanese Garden at the Rizal Park and the Japanese Memorial Garden in Caliraya (Laguna) — discouraged the “garden” idea. He was not being a killjoy. Being located at a very busy traffic intersection, he thought “a Japanese garden would not be safe for residents to relax in.”

The Manila ladies countered that, whatever project was suitable, this could be jointly undertaken by the cities of Manila and Yokohama (Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken), a sister city of Manila since July 1, 1965.

Urabe assured the ladies that he would contact the City of Yokohama for funding support, but — now he wanted to enlarge the base of Japanese public involvement and support — “he was quite vocal in saying that Manila’s sister city Yokohama should not be the only one to help in this project, but the other cities of Japan as well,” the Kababaihan reported to the Manila mayor.

Japanese Civic Groups and Christian Breakfast Prayer Groups Pitch In

AMBASSADOR URABE could not believe his luck. Only 28 years after the war (and only 17 years after the Philippine ratification of the Reparations Agreement), the Manila ladies — entirely on their own initiative — were proposing a joint people-to-people endeavor that the Japanese themselves had not even thought of.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs then logically turned to the Japanese sector most concerned: the small minority of Japanese Christians who comprised less than one percent of Japan’s total population. The Gaimusho contacted the Southeast Asian Friendship and Culture Association (SEAFCULA), whose founder and managing director was Rev. Ryoichi Katoh, minister of the Tokyo Ikebukuro Church, an affiliate of the United Church of Christ in Japan (KYO-DAN). Providentially, the SEAFCULA had been founded “on the concept of ‘Redemption’ for the wrongful deeds committed during World War II against the Asian nations.” They set to work at once.

“When they [the Foreign Ministry] approached us, requesting our cooperation on the matter, we were of course glad and ready to accept their proposal, since we thought it proper to cooperate with them fully on the project, as part of the said redeeming activities,” Katoh would recall four years later.

Gravitating Towards Ukon Takayama as the ‘Epitome of the Japanese Spirit’

After Rev. Katoh conferred with Archbishop Paul Yoshigoro Taguchi in Osaka, a memorial to Ukon Takayama became central to the SEAFCULA’s beautification plans.

The “Prospectus for the Construction of a Statue of Ukon Takayama and a Memorial Japanese Garden at Manila (SEAFCULA 73-142),” confirms that in Japan, Pastor Ryoichi Katoh and Archbishop Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, archbishop of Tokyo and chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, agreed to sponsor the memorial project “as an ecumenical effort of Protestants and Catholics in Japan and the Philippines.” Certainly, at that time, it was most audacious to propose to the Philippines to erect a memorial to a Japanese personality — a samurai at that! — a scant 32 years after the brutal Japanese occupation of the Philippines.

Manila Ladies Propose Ukon Takayama as the Personification of Philippine-Japanese Amity

In Manila, the Kababaihan sa Pagpapaganda ng Lungsod ng Maynila, after studying the possibilities, proposed on March 28, 1973, to Mayor Bagatsing:

“We women recommend that a memorial monument be constructed to honor the Christian feudal lord Takayama at a site of 2,000-square meters in front of Paco Station of the Manila Railroad in Plaza Dilao. This land had been assigned by the former Spanish government to the Japanese refugees. The realization of this plan should pave the way not only for closer fellowship between Japanese and Philippine churches, but also promote better friendship between the two countries.”

With the guaranteed financial support of SEAFCULA; the Executive Committee of Takatsuki City; the Keizai-Doyukai [the Japanese Council for Economic Development]; and Catholic and Protestant churches in Japan, the Kababaihan now proceeded with the project.

Japanese Sculptor Nishimori Commissioned to Erect Statue

AS AGREED UPON, the city of Manila provided the land and the labor, while Japanese sponsors contributed to provide the memorial. The Takayama statue, sculpted by the Christian convert Johannes Masaaki Nishimori (1939-), would be donated by the people of Takatsuki. Nishimori, then still known as Johannes Masaaki Nishimori (but today as Houshoo Nishimori), was a distinguished sculptor of international repute. Even the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo had commissioned Nishimori to sculpt “Sho Kannon” for the Embassy in 1974.

Nishimori spent several months at the Plaza Dilao area, figuring out what sort of memorial he would construct for Takayama. But as photographs of the Takayama statue in Takatsuki had been used to secure the approval of Philippine officials, it was decided that the self-same statue could be installed in Manila. Thus, the Takayama statue at Plaza Dilao was cast from the same mold as the original at the Shiroato Historical Park in Takatsuki City (Osaka Prefecture) in 1972. Other Takayama “twins” are in Takaoka (Toyama Prefecture) – at Kojyo Park — whose castle had been repaired by Takayama, while he was in the employ of the Maeda clan, and in Takamatsu – at the entrance of the Shodoshima Sonosho Catholic Church of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus.

As the work of Nishimori was explained by Fr. Hubert Cieslik, SJ, Lord Takayama’s hand, “horizontal over the sword, is a symbol of peace and justice,” at the same time, “the sword, forming a part of the long-beam of the Cross, is a symbol of a Christian samurai.”

Plaza Dilao Devolopment Suspended

BUT AS AMBASSADOR URABE had expected when the project was first discussed in 1973, there was some grumbling from war veterans’ groups, though these were never officially ventilated. As the project took shape, it was apparent that the memories of World War II and the atrocities committed by the Japanese were still fresh in some people’s mind. Unruly student demonstrations at the United States Embassy on Roxas Boulevard were a weekly occurrence in Manila at that time. The possibility that they might divert their considerable energies to the Plaza Dilao memorial honoring a Japanese delayed the construction of the plaza.

The Metro Manila Commission, headed by Mrs. Marcos, now cautioned the Manila Mayor on the prudence of installing the memorial at that time. The work was abruptly stopped. The inauguration scheduled for October 1, 1976 was indefinitely postponed.

WHEN PRESIDENT FERDINAND E. MARCOS (1917-1989) decided to proceed to Tokyo on a state visit on April 25-28, 1977, Rev. Katoh considered this a great opportunity to get him to reconsider the stopping of the project. In desperation at the stalemate in Manila, Katoh sent a three-page letter to President and Mrs. Marcos, petitioning to be allowed to complete the project. He said 104 Christian Breakfast Prayer Groups in Japan were praying for the successful completion of this project:

“Takayama, who was unmistakably a great Christian figure in respect to his culture and humanity, has served as a bridge established between the two countries in terms of friendship and culture to be fostered mutually.”

Katoh outlined for President Marcos “the life of martyrdom” that Takayama endured, recalling his exile and death in a foreign land: “Takayama had also come to lead a lonely life in exile, forsaking everything to include his brilliant social status and fame as a feudal lord, to say nothing of his great assets, being warmly tended for by your generous compassionate people….” Takayama was fated to die “an exile in another land,” a most painful destiny, Katoh reminded Marcos.

Mutual Expressions of Friendship and Amity

WHEN THE Sculptor Nishimori returned to Manila to look into the progress of the construction in June 1977, he brought a note — in English — from Takatsuki Mayor Fumitoshi Nishijima to Mayor Bagatsing, thanking him “from the bottom of my heart” for showing “consideration to our Takatsuki City.” Mayor Nishijima expressed himself superbly:

This winter, the coldest since ten and several years, has gone at last; flowers bloom all around, and fresh greens are in bud now…. I, and also 340 thousand citizenry, have no words to express our gratitude for your endeavors to erect in Plaza Dilao … [the] monument of Lord Justo Takayama…. I believe [this will] strengthen the ties of international friendship between Manila and Takatsuki still more, and also between the Philippines and Japan….

Mayor Bagatsing responded in kind:

[The memorial] is certainly a fitting memory to one who established the nucleus of a very warm friendship between our two peoples… That monument will ever remain a living reminder that peace can be achieved where there is a common bond of brotherhood.

Inauguration on Nov. 17, 1977

WHEN THE MARCOSES were abroad, and Cardinal Jaime Sin was in Mexico, the Takayama Memorial was inaugurated, with the tacit consent of Mrs. Marcos — otherwise the Kababaihan would not have dared to proceed.

The invitations indicated that Manila Auxiliary Bishop Amado H. Paulino (Parish Priest of Tondo, 1972–1985) would bless the Takayama Memorial at its inauguration on Nov. 17, 1977. But it as actually Rev. Fr. Toru A. Nishimoto, CSsR, chaplain of Japanese nationals in the Archdiocese of Manila, who offered the invocation:

“Almighty God, who sent Ukon Takayama to Manila to wipe away malicious intentions and deeds of the Japanese during his time, let this statue of Ukon Takayama be a great symbol of goodwill of the Japanese people in Asia, especially in the Philippines.”

Ambassador Kiyohisa Mikanagi, the third Japanese ambassador to be involved in the project, and Mayor Bagatsing of Manila, were the main guests. Rev. Katoh led a delegation of 35 from Tokyo; five from Takatsuki and 22 persons from the Tea Ceremony group. The Mayor of Takatsuki City, Hon. Fumitoshi Nishijima, and Speaker Hideyo Omae of Takatsuki were both present. Masaaki Nishimori, sculptor of the bronze statue, was also present.

Other guests were officers of the Japanese Club, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation, represented by Ambassador Jose S. Laurel, III, and the Philippines-Japan Society. Others invited were officers of the Federation of Former Students to Japan, headed by Leocadio de Asis; key officials of the Japanese Embassy in Manila, and Japanese news correspondents, based in Manila.

Mrs. Julita C. Benedicto, and the Japanese Ambassador’s lady, Mrs. K. Mikanagi unveiled the statue. Then the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park was presented by the Ladies’ Committee to the City of Manila.

Augury for a Future Dedicated to Friendship and Amity

WHEN ONE CONSIDERS that Manila was the most war-ravaged city in the world during World War II — at the hands of the Japanese military — the story of the Memorial’s establishment is nothing short of a miracle. When one considers further that the statue was erected only 32 years after the end of the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines — barely a generation! — then the Memorial is truly unique.

On February 28, 1978, three months after Rev. Katoh had recounted to him the inauguration of the Takayama Memorial, Osaka Cardinal Paul Yoshigoro Taguchi (1902-1978) passed away, happy that the Japanese Historical Committee had at last completed the Takayama papers (1975) and forwarded these to the Vatican, and satisfied that the Takayama Memorial now stood in Manila. From 1937 to 1977 – Cardinal Taguchi had dedicated the years to promoting the ‘Cause’ of Takayama.#

Across the Years, the Takayama Memorial Has Been a Destination of Japanese Pilgrims

From one jeep-full to three busloads, Japanese Christians and Buddhists, visit Manila to trace to footsteps of their exiled countryman, Lord Justo Ukon Takayama.

Takayama Trustees welcome Japanese visitors to Plaza Dilao — in this 1988 photo, pilgrims from Takatsuki, Kanazawa, and Okayama. Some Japanese visitors bring scholarships for Filipino schoolchildren.
All Manila Mayors have accorded Japanese delegations with the traditional courtesies of Manila — including a symbolic ‘Key to the City’

TAKAYAMA MEMORIAL IS DECLARED A NATIONAL MONUMENT (1992) – On Nov. 17, 1992 — on the 400th anniversary of the Dilao settlement (1592-1992), and the 15th anniversary of the Takayama Memorial at Plaza Dilao (1977-1992) — the National Historical Institute (now known as the National Historical Commission of the Philippines – NHCP), headed by Chairman Serafin D. Quiason (1930-2016), on the representations of the Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation, installed at last a marker making the Takayama Memorial a national monument.

Former Mayor Ramon Bagatsing (1916-2006; Mayor of Manila 1971-1986) seconded the Takayama Foundation’s request: The Takayama Memorial “is an enduring symbol of Filipino-Japanese amity that dates back to 1600s,” he wrote. Additional endorsements were made by Prof. Mutsuhiko Miki, chairman of the PJCI, and Atty. Leocadio de Asis, adviser of the Philippine Federation of Japan & ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni, and director, Philippines-Japan Society.

The bronze markers were blessed by His Eminence, Jaime Cardinal Sin, archbishop of Manila. The three markers — in Filipino, Japanese and English — were then unveiled by Ambassador Hirokazu Arai; Judge Jose A. Aguiling, president of the Manila International Sister City Association (MISCA), and Prof. Ernie A. de Pedro, managing trustee of Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation.

All Manila Mayors — On Board

Since 1977, all Manila Mayors – Mayor Ramon S. Bagatsing (1972-1988); Mayor Gemiliano “Mel” Lopez (Appt. 1986-1987; elected 1988-1992); Mayor Alfredo S. Lim (1992-1998; 2007-2013); Mayor Jose “Lito” Atienza (1998-2007), and Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada (2013-2019) — have brought their guests from Japan to the Takayama Memorial to lay floral wreaths.

But the ongoing construction of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project (MMSS-3) stopped all visits to Plaza Dilao, as the Takayama Statue was wrapped in mufti — to prevent damage from construction debris.

Wrapped in industrial tape and caged in wire-mesh, the Takayama statue is surrounded by construction equipment

On April 12, 2018, Manila Mayor Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada called for a meeting of all stakeholders to discuss the future of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park. The Toyono-cho pilgrims, led by Toyoshige Kubo, president of Toyono-cho’s ‘Ukon-Honoring Association,’ who were paying a courtesy call on the Manila Mayor that same afternoon were invited to join the briefing.#

Expressing their gratitude for the warm welcome given to Lord Ukon Takayama by the City of Manila in 1614, the Toyono-cho (Osaka) officials were profuse in their affirmations of reciprocal friendship
The Embassy of Japan was represented by Atsushi Kuwabara, Minister and Consul General, and First Secretary Shinya Yabe. Representing the Skyway-3 Overpass Project at the City Hall meeting were: ◘ Engr. Efren Rabot, Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) ◘ Atty. Jinky Magpantay, CCEC/SMHC ◘ Mr. Jose S. Tanqueco, Jr., CCEC/SMHC ◘ Engr. Ro lando M. Recio, CCEC/SMHC ◘ Engr. Rolly Escamilian, DMCI ◘ Engr. Clyde E. Sotto, Gemwealth Construction & Trading ◘ Engr. Chavez, Gemwealth Construction & Trading.

Mr. Jose S. Tanqueco, Jr., Consultant of San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMHC), shared how the rehabilitated Philippines-Japan Friendship Park at Plaza Dilao would look like.

The Philippines-Japan Friendship Park will retain its storied site at Plaza Dilao.
With the overpass of Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project (MMSS-3) in the background, this is how the Takayama Memorial, with a new ‘torii’ gate, would look like — from the front
The Takayama Memorial — now in its 41st year — can look forward to a bright future

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

 

How Did Fifth-Century Chant – ‘Te Deum Laudamus’ – Become the Battle Hymn of Japanese Martyrs?

►The “Te Deum” was an ancient hymn of praise to God. It began: “O GOD, WE PRAISE THEE: WE ACKNOWLEDGE THEE TO BE THE LORD!” According to legend, it was improvised antiphonally by St. Ambrose and St. Augustine at the latter’s baptism. It has more plausibly been attributed to Bishop Nicetas (d. 414 AD), bishop of Remesiana in present-day Serbia in the early fifth century.

It was the battle hymn of the “26 Martyrs of Nagasaki” (日本二十六聖人) as they walked barefoot in the snow – their left ears cut off, with some noses cut off too! — from Kyoto to their martyrdom in Nagasaki in Feb. 5, 1597 – along a scenic route of some 1,000 km passing through Sakai, Osaka, Hyogo, Akashi, Himeji, Okayama, Mihara, Hiroshima, Shimonoseki, Kokura, Shigashima, Hakata, Tokitsu, and finally, Nishizaka (Nagasaki) — which the martyrs (including the Manila Franciscan missionary, St. Pedro Bautista (of San Francisco del Monte, in Quezon City) covered in 27 days.

Every Takayama-era Japanese Catholic prepared for martyrdom by memorizing the first parts by heart – understanding each difficult Latin phrase and its meaning. This was the arrival hymn of praise to God that ‘Lord Justus Takayama and his 350 Companions’ sang at the Santa Ana Church inside the Jesuit Compound (now PLM University Campus), when the Japanese exiles arrived on Sunday, Dec. 21, 1614.◘

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

Marking Barrio Balete as a ‘Nihon-machi’ at San Marcelino Church, Manila

Manila Mayor Lito Atienza inaugurated the Balete Marker at the side of the San Marcelino Church on April 25, 2002
Manila Mayor Lito Atienza (r. 1998-2007) inaugurated the Balete Memorial at the side of the San Marcelino Church on April 25, 2002 — with Fr. Toru Nishimoto, CSsR, first Japanese Redemptorist missionary — who was assigned to Manila for 35 years.

►As Japanese pilgrims – visiting a Philippines to which their Japanese forebears had been deported four centuries ago – discovered there were many places in Manila associated with the Japanese Christian exiles who left Japan in 1614, they wanted permanent markers so future generations will know – before the fast pace of infrastructure development erases them from the map.

The best places for markers are in the grounds of Catholic churches associated with the Japanese Christians. The first such marker was installed at the San Marcelino Church (St. Vincent de Paul Church), on San Marcelino St., Manila

Text on the Plaque Was Both in English and Japanese

The ‘Balete Marker’ reads: “FIRST JAPANESE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY – The barrio of Balete, along the Estero de Balete, was officially designated as a ‘Japantown’ in 1601 to accommodate hundreds of Japanese who had been settled in Dilao town since 1592.” [We do not know where 1601 came from.]

The marker was commissioned by Ryohei Fujimoto, a staunch Catholic from Kyoto who funded several scholarships for Filipino students – under the Pre-Evangelization Program (PEP) of Fr. Toru Albert Nishimoto, CSsR (1933 – Aug. 21, 2010), the first Japanese priest to join the Redemptorists.

The Cross is an exact copy of a Christian marker in Kyoto.

Manila Mayor Jose “Lito” Atienza (r. 1998-2007) inaugurated this Balete Memorial on April 25, 2002. ◘

By Dr. Ernie A. de Pedro
Managing Trustee
Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation

The Takayama Memorial at Plaza Dilao Marks Its 40th Jubilee on Nov. 17, 2017 – A Milestone in Philippine-Japanese Relations

At the Takayama Memorial: Kyoto Bishop Paul Yoshinao Otsuka; then Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim (1992-1998; 2007-2013); Takamatsu Bishop Francis Xavier Osamu Mizobe, SDB (1935-2016), chair of the CBCJ Commitee for the Promotion of Saints; Dr. Ernie A. de Pedro (Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation); Fr. Renzo de Luca, SJ (now Father Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Japan), and a Japanese Sister
At the Takayama Memorial: Kyoto Bishop Paul Yoshinao Otsuka; then Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim (1992-1998; 2007-2013); Takamatsu Bishop Francis Xavier Osamu Mizobe, SDB (1935-2016), chair of the CBCJ Commitee for the Promotion of Saints; Dr. Ernie A. de Pedro (Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation); Fr. Renzo de Luca, SJ (now Father Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Japan), and Sister Elizabeth Chiaki MAEDA, of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus (SCG) which runs a Caritas Don Bosco School in Santa Rosa, Laguna) 

►The Takayama Memorial is the First Postwar Affirmation of Philippine-Japanese Friendship – only 21 years after the Philippine signing and ratification of the Peace Treaty and Reparations Agreement with Japan in 1956. Both the memorial proponents in the Philippines and Japan settled on the Christian Samurai, Justo Takayama Ukon, who died in Manila on Feb. 3, 1615, as the outstanding personification of bilateral friendship and amity.

The Historical Milestones

Nov. 17, 1977 (under President Ferdinand E. Marcos) – Dedication of the Takayama Memorial at the Philippine-Japan Friendship Park at Plaza Dilao, Paco, Manila. Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos (who spearheaded Manila beautification efforts as Governor of Metro-Manila, 1975–1986) was not present as she was concerned about the strident student rallies mounted at the U.S. Embassy – yes! U.S., not Japanese — every week. (She was, in fact, with President Marcos on a state visit to Kenya.)

Nov. 17, 1992 (under President Fidel V. Ramos) – Declaration of the Takayama Memorial as a National Monument by the National Historical Institute (now National Historical Commission of the Philippines).

Earlier in Philippine-Japanese History:

1592 – Establishment of Dilao in Barrio Balete “two musket shots away” from the Walled City as a separate settlement for Japanese residents (in what is now the Manila City Hall area, under direct fire of four cannons mounted at the Baluarte de San Francisco de Dilao) – as a precaution against threats of the Japanese overlord, Kampaku Toyotomi Hideyoshi (then busy with the Invasion of Korea, 1592-1598) to send troops to Manila – unless tribute was sent to him. (In 1941 — 349 years later – Imperial Japanese Expeditionary Forces finally invaded the Philippines, occupying the U.S. Commonwealth from 1942-1945.)

1762 – Relocation — (its fourth and last) — of Dilao to its present area in Paco – in order to create a large open field for cannon-fire, to fight off British forces preparing to occupy Manila (1762-1764). When Dilao was relocated, the area allotted for Japanese descendants was 11,309 square meters, officially described by the Manila City Engineer as “Lot 5, Block No. 903 of the Manila Cadastre,” owned by the City of Manila. (Certification issued by the City Engineer on Nov. 26, 1973 at the request of the Japanese Embassy.)

In 1908, the Manila Belt Line from Tutuban to Muntinglupa line sliced through the Dilao area. The present Paco Railroad Station was constructed in 1912-1915, effectively dividing Dilao into a settlement behind the station, and the front area which was later called ‘Plaza Dilao’ as it measured only some 660 sq. meters.

Massive Infrastructure Development

In 2017, the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project (MMSS-3 Project) sliced through Plaza Dilao — leaving a tiny parcel as a park, but still hosting the Takayama Memorial. Though no longer a real plaza, it will still be called Plaza Dilao – because there’s a history of 105 years behind it.

Japanese Catholic Pilgrims in Manila

THE BIGGEST postwar Japanese pilgrimage to Manila was on Feb. 3, 2011 —  the 396th death anniversary of Takayama Ukon — when 200 Japanese Catholics, led by Takamatsu Bishop Francis Xavier Osamu Mizobe (chair of the CBCJ Commitee for the Promotion of Saints), laid wreaths at the Takayama Memorial. Then Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim presented Bishop Mizobe with a Key to the City.

Manila barangay band serenading Japanese pilgrims with Filipino music.
Manila barangay band serenading Japanese pilgrims with Filipino music.

180 Japanese Catholics in 1937: Compare this 2011 delegation to the 180 Japanese Catholic delegation to the XXXIIIrd International Eucharistic Congress in Manila (Feb. 3-7, 1937) – the first Japanese Catholic excursion outside Japan since religious freedom was restored after the Meiji Restoration in 1871. Led by Fr. Paul Yoshigoro Taguchi (later Archbishop of Osaka), the Japanese delegates – in candle-lit procession from De La Salle College to the Luneta — wore native costumes with a riot of colors as they represented not only Japan but also the colonial territories of the Empire of Japan in 1937 — Korea, Manchuria, the Marianas, and Taiwan.

Some 180 Japanese Catholics, headed by Fr. Paul Yoshigoro Taguchi (future Archbishop-Cardinal of Osaka) represented the Empire of Japan – in their first foreign pilgrimage since the Meiji recognition of religious freedom.
Some 180 Japanese Catholics, headed by Fr. Paul Yoshigoro Taguchi (later Archbishop-Cardinal of Osaka) represented the Empire of Japan – in their first foreign pilgrimage since the Meiji recognition of religious freedom in 1871. As the first day of the Eucharistic Congress (Feb. 3-7) was the 322nd death anniversary of Takayama Ukon, the focus was on the Martyr Church of Japan.

350 Japanese Catholics Arrive in 1614: On Dec. 21, 1614, Lord Takayama and 350 Japanese Christians arrived in Manila in an overloaded Chinese junk as exiles from Japan, as the Tokogawa Shogunate launched the first efforts to deport Christian missionaries and their staunch Japanese adherents – making pointed examples of Lord Justo Takayama Ukon and Lord John Tocuan Naito. Except for Takayama and his family, who were accommodated in the Jesuit guesthouse ‘Casa San Miguel’ in Intramuros, all the Japanese Christians were settled in the encomiendia of San Miguel (awarded to the Jesuits in 1611), which formed part of the Jesuit parish of Quiapo. (There were thus two Japanese settlements: ♦ Dilao for Japanese merchants, mercenaries, sailors, castaways, and survivors of shipwrecks. ♦ San Miguel was exclusively for the Japanese Christian exiles. Here the Jesuits built a church, a convent for the ‘Beatas de Miyako,’ and a separate convent for Japanese Jesuits.

Lord Takayama DID VISIT Dilao – but skipped San Miguel, which was already Christian – to preach the Gospel to Japanese non-Christian settlers who were under the pastoral care of Franciscan missionaries. Ukon was accompanied by some of his five grandsons, who stood as godfathers or padrinos at the baptism of Japanese converts.

Takayama Presents His Katanas to the Franciscans

Part of Ukon’s wardrobe as a samurai-general was a couple of katanas. Was he afraid of being killed by fellow Japanese – a Tokogawa mercenary or a wako — in Dilao?

Lord Takayama presented his katanas to the pacifist Franciscan missionaries as a sign that – here in Manila — he was now past all conflicts – and beyond the ardent enticements of Spanish Governor-General Juan de Silva to plan and lead a hare-brained Spanish plan to invade Japan “to protect Japanese Christians.” ◘

Dr. Ernie A. de Pedro
Managing Trustee
Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation

What Philippine Fruits Did Lord Takayama Taste?

Tropical fruit samples from philippinecuisine.net

►That question is often asked by Japanese pilgrims tracing the footsteps of Lord Justo Takayama Ukon in Manila. Many guests insist on a side trip to a fruit market to buy a sampler basket of tropical fruits. They never buy bananas or pineapples — they have those in Japanese grocery stores. But they like ripe mangoes, chicos and guayabano (jackfruit.)

The Philippine Jesuits were superb hosts, of course. But they left no notes about what they stocked the pantry of the Takayama family at their ‘Casa San Miguel’ guesthouse in Intramuros.

But there were choices a-plenty – if his wife, Dona Justa Takayama, or daughter, Lucia Yokoyama, could drop by the Chinese open-air fruit stalls at the nearby Parian de los Sangleyes just outside the Walls of Intramuros. ◘

Dr. ERNIE A. DE PEDRO
Managing Trustee
Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation

2018 Manila Tours for Japanese Pilgrims Tracing Lord Takayama’s Footsteps

‘IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JUSTUS UKON TAKAYAMA’ — The batch of Takayama medallions still in supply was blessed by the late Bishop Francis Xavier Osamu Mizobe, SDB (1935-2016) of Takamatsu Diocese, who was then chair of the CBCJ Commission for the Promotion of Saints.

►Centered on Intramuros, the Tour Is for One or Two Days

THE CENTRAL FACT that Japanese pilgrims should remember when they tour Takayama’s ‘Old Manila’ is that the Christian samurai, Justo Takayama Ukon (1552-1615) — proposed for sainthood by the Manila Archbishop in 1630; declared a “Servant of God” in 1994; recognized as a Martyr by Pope Francis in 2016; and beatified in 2017 – died in Manila in the Jesuit Compound in Intramuros. 

Lord Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615) is best remembered as the Sengoku Period’s ‘Samurai of Christ.’ This is the illustration after which the Takayama Medallion was based on.

The Jesuit Compound in Intramuros

That Jesuit Compound is now occupied by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM, est. 1965) – which, though a government university, maintains a Catholic chapel in the area which used to house ♦ the Jesuit Iglesia Ana Church (1590-1625), later replaced by San Ignacio Church (No. 1) built in 1632 next to the earthquake-ruined church; ♦ Colegio de Manila (1590- ), renamed in 1626 as “Universidad de San Ignacio” (1626-1768), and ♦ Casa San Miguel, the Jesuit guesthouse. Eleven years later, the Jesuits established in the same city block the ♦ Colegio de San Jose (1601- ) as a residential college for students studying at the Colegio de Manila. (San Jose Seminary is now located at the Ateneo compound in Loyola Heights, Quezon City). ALL THESE IN ONE CITY BLOCK!

Japanese Christian exiles who arrived in 1614 continued their seminary studies in Manila – at Colegio de San Jose. Among these was Blessed Diego Yuki Ryosetsu, a seminarian ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1615, and martyred in “the pit” in Osaka in 1635.

In 1621, the Colegio de Manila was authorized by Pope Gregory XV to confer degrees in theology and arts. In 1626, the authorization was confirmed by Philip IV of Spain, who elevated the school into a university, thus making the Universidad de San Ignacio the first royal and pontifical university in the Philippines and in Asia.

Because he died at “Casa San Miguel,” Lord Takayama is considered by the Catholic Church as a “Son of Manila” — under the rubric that “where a man dies, is where he is born to Heaven.” Thus, the PLM is the actual site of the Martyrdom of Japan’s 436th venerated Martyr, who was proclaimed as ‘Blessed’  — by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints (CCS) on Feb. 7, 2017.

This distinguished historical record preceded the present-day stewardship (since 1965) of the former Jesuit compound by Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM).

Points of Interest for Japanese Tourists

For Japanese pilgrims tracing the footsteps of Lord Ukon Takayama in Manila, the Takayama Foundation developed “A Japanese Pilgrim’s Tour of Takayama’s Manila.” Depending on the time available, sites are selected by the tour coordinator from our checklist:

The Portuguese-captained Chinese junk was loaded with 350 Japanese Christian exiles, the most famous of whom was Lord Justo Takayama who brought with him his wife, Dona Justa, a daughter and five grandsons.

◘ ||| The Governor’s Galera (galley propelled by oarsmen) – which was dispatched to Bataan to pluck all the Japanese refugees on the de-masted Chinese sampan — landed on the open beach fronting the Palace of the Governor-General Juan de Silva, as the whole city turned out “to see the men of whom such great things had been told.” The “Takayama 350” made their Manila Bay landing at the Governor’s Gate (named Postigo Gate only in 1662). The landing faced the open sea, with no walled defences yet in 1614. Only ships on business with the Governor or Manila Archbishop were allowed to debark there, for security reasons. (All other commercial ships landed at the mouth of the Pasig River, and paid customs duties at the Aduana.) Colin/Pastells notes — “it was very late” — indicating that the Galera arrived at the Manila Bay landing in late afternoon.

The Governor sent his entire guard and many distinguished persons to escort the party from the landing to the palace. The galera signaled the arrival of Lord Takayama with a cannon and the artillery on the batteries of Fort Santiago answered in unison.

◘ ||| The Palacio del Gobernador – not the same building we have today — is where military honors were rendered to Lord Takayama by Spanish troops, passing-in-review. The troops were told: Make your marching very snappy; Ukon was Commanding General of Hideyoshi’s vanguard! The company of arquebusiers gave a salute with such precision that Lord Takayama who had been a samurai all his life, was greatly pleased and he praised the precision and dexterity with which the Spaniards handled their pieces.

The Plaza Mayor in front of the Manila Cathedral (renamed “Plaza Roma” when Manila Archbishop Rufino J. Santos became the first Filipino cardinal in 1960) was filled with welcomers — nobles, citizens and religious — dressed in their Sunday best, because in fact December 21, 1614 was a Sunday.

◘ ||| The exiles then ascended the palace’s stairs to meet the Governor, Manila Archbishop Diego Vázquez de Mercado (r. 16081616), the Auditors of the Royal Audiencia and the highest ranks of citizens who were waiting. The Governor advanced with open arms to meet them and that first greeting and reception was accompanied by many tears from each party. There was a pleasant exchange of words and compliments in which Don Justo showed great courtesy and ease. As it was very late, they bade each other good-bye very courteously and Don Justo thanked the Governor for his charitable hospitality.

No actual sketch of Manila Cathedral (III) — during Lord Takayama’s time — has been found so far. There were eight (8) churches built on the same site, after destruction by earthquakes, fires or bombs. It appears they all looked alike. The present basilica is Manila Cathedral (VIII).

||| Though the Manila Cathedral (III) — a grand church with three naves and seven chapels — was blessed on Dec. 5, 1614, the Japanese refugees did not drop in ‘to say a little prayer.’ Perhaps some scaffolding still stood in the way. But in later days, all the Japanese Christian exiles attended Masses – not only at the Manila Cathedral – but in all six churches of Intramuros.

◘ ||| The Governor-General then placed his carriage at the disposal of Don Justo to bring him, his wife Doña Justa ‘Shino’ Takayama, his daughter Lucia Yokoyama and his five grandsons to the Colegio San Jose (in the Jesuit compound now occupied by Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.). Don Juan Ronquillo, with a guard of soldiers and an escort of noble persons, accompanied the carriage. Such a large crowd turned out to see the entourage that it was difficult to pass through the throng desirous of showing honor to the exiles. On its way to the Jesuit College, the cortege passed by San Agustin Church, where the bells were rung, and the clergy came to the doors, and music of various kinds greeted the Japanese.

At the San Agustin Chuch, Intramuros, Manila

Japanese pilgrims may want to visit the Tomb of Legazpi – at the ‘Capilla de Legazpi’ to the left of the Main Altar of San Agustin Church. The tomb of El Adelantado, the Spanish Governor-General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (1502-1572), who died 43 years earlier, was the inspiration for Lord Takayama’s tomb – at the Jesuit Santa Ana Church (which was totalled by earthquakes in 1616-1625).

The Jesuit ‘Iglesia de Santa Ana’ (1590-1625) was the centerpiece of the Jesuit compound.
The Jesuit ‘Iglesia de Santa Ana’ (1590-1625), copied from the ‘Il Gesù Church’ (1568), the central church of the Jesuit order in Rome, was the centerpiece of the Jesuit compound in Intramuros, Manila

||| On reaching the Jesuit College, they visited the Santa Ana Church where they were met with the same festive sounds of bells and clarinets as in the other churches.

The ancient Latin hymn of praise “Te Deum Laudamus

Here, the Japanese exiles chanted the ancient Latin hymn of praise “Te Deum Laudamus” to thank God for the exiles’ deliverance from a perilous voyage: We praise thee, O God : we acknowledge thee to be the Lord. / All the earth doth worship thee : the Father everlasting. / To thee all Angels cry aloud : the Heavens, and all the Powers therein. / To thee Cherubim and Seraphim: continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy : Lord God of Hosts…”

As the “Te Deum” was the battle-hymn of “The 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki” (1597) as they, with their left ears lobbed off, were force-marched barefoot through the snow from Kyoto to Nagasaki — a distance of some 1,000 km — passing through Sakai, Osaka, Hyogo, Akashi, Himeji, Okayama, Mihara, Hiroshima, Shimonoseki, Kokura, Shigashima, Hakata, Tokitsu, and finally, Nishizaka (Nagasaki) — which the martyrs (including the Franciscan missionary, St. Pedro Bautista, of San Francisco del Monte, Manila) covered in 27 days – it may be presumed that “Takayama’s 350,” who were all living on the edge of martyrdom, knew the Latin hymn by heart.

PLM University Chapel — consecrated by Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin on Dec. 17, 1990 — was built in the Jesuit compound where Blessed Takayama died — and was buried.

◘ ||| From the Jesuits’ Santa Ana Church, the ‘350 Japanese Christian exiles’ were conducted to the Jesuit refectory where they had their first meal since landing, and afterwards shown to some good houses near the Jesuit College which had been prepared for them. Everyone co-operated to show honor to the exiles.

◘ ||| The earthquake-ravaged Jesuit-owned Santa Ana Church, now the site of Pamantasan ng Maynila [City University of Manila] – was where the original tomb of Takayama was located. PLM has erected the PLM University Chapel there, which Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin inaugurated in 1995.

One Japanese acquaintance of Lord Takayama visited him in Intramuros. The meeting was held here in the garden adjacent to the San Agustin Church

◘ ||| San Agustin Church — The Inner Court Garden is where Lord Takayama met with Japanese visitors bringing news from Japan.

One of four cannons pointed at Dilao settlement — in the area now occupied by Manila City Hall

◘ |||  (OPTIONAL) The Bastion de San Francisco de Dilao (at the Muralla), whose four cannons were pointed at the Japanese settlement – showing that the cannons were aimed directly at the Manila City Hall, which was the original location of the Dilao community in 1592, when it was designated for Manila Japanese residents.

San Marcelino Church — site of the original ‘nihon-machi’ of Japanese transients (not the Japanese Christian exiles).

◘ |||  (OPTIONAL) San Marcelino Church (St. Vincent de Paul Church) where a Memorial Mass for Takayama Ukon was celebrated on Sept. 20, 1942 by Osaka Bishop Paul Yoshigoro Taguchi, with Philippine government officials in attendance.

Fr. Toru Albert Nishimoto, CSsR, was instrumental in securing the permission of the Vincentian Fathers for the erection of this Japanese Christian marker.

At the side of the church is a marker (in the form of a Cross) commissioned by Ryohei Fujimoto, from Kyoto, to commemorate the first Japanese nihon-machi in Dilao. This marker was inaugurated on April 25, 2002 by Manila Mayor Jose “Lito” Atienza (r. 1998-2007).

◘ ||| The center of all Takayama pilgrimages since 1977 was the Takayama Memorial that was the centerpiece of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park at Plaza Dilao, certifiably the area where the fourth Japanese settlement (originally established in 1592) was relocated in 1764.

But in 2018, the Takayama Memorial is currently inaccessible as major infrastructure construction (Skyway-3 project) proceeds behind the statue. It will take two more years before the Skyway project is completed — and the status of the Takayama Memorial is clarified.

◘ ||| The Takayama Memorial, inaugurated Nov. 17, 1977 at the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park at Plaza Dilao, Paco, Manila. The bronze statue was made by the Japanese convert Johannes Masaaki Nishimori. Three other ‘twins’ of this statue, cast from the same mold, stand in Takatsuki, Takaoka and Shodoshima, Japan.

The Takayama Memorial was the centerpiece of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park (est. 1977), but has now been ‘eclipsed’ by the ongoing construction of the MP-3 Skyway.

◘ ||| But work for ‘Skyway-3’ is currently going on in the Plaza Dilao area. The situation will not clear up for another two years.

In 2018, the Takayama statue at Plaza Dilao is ‘caged’ in steel and wiremesh.

◘ |||  Instead of the ‘mothballed’ Takayama Memorial, visit the Paco Catholic Church, which has the only altar-statue (so far) of Blessed Justo Takayama in the Philippines. The Paco Catholic Church (San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church) ministered to a Japanese community of 3,000 in the 1610s. The first statue of Blessed Takayama (donated by the family of Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro, Takayama Trustee) was enshrined here on Dec. 21, 2017 — exactly 403 years after Ukon’s arrival in Manila.

The San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church in Paco, Manila
The Takayama Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Rolando dela Cruz, Paco parish priest — with seven priests from the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia and Belgium concelebrating.

◘ |||  The UST Chapel (site of the annual Takayama Memorial Mass since 1987); site where one of the FOUR Japanese seminarians (from the Imperial Japanese Army’s Catholic Unit) who enrolled at the UST Central Seminary during World War II, was ordained a priest on January 5, 1945; where three Popes – Pope Paul VI (1970), St. Pope John Paul II (1981, 1995) and Pope Francis (2015) — have celebrated Masses.

Takayama Memorial at the entrance of the UST Graduate School. With the Takayama Memorial at Plaza Dilao “in mothballs,” this is the only public memorial of Takayama in Manila in 2018.

◘ ||| The Thomas Aquinas Research Center (also at UST), at whose entrance a Takayama statue stands. The statue, which had been the centerpiece of a now-defunct ‘Takayama Garden Restaurant’ (open August 1985-February 2002) in Greenhills, San Juan City was donated to UST by the De Mesa Sisters – Erlinda de Mesa-Yap, Diana de Mesa-Santamaria, and Ruby de Mesa-Borja — who were the co-proprietors of the three-branch chain.

(LUNCH BREAK: After memento photographs are taken at the Memorial — in pre-Skyway-3 days — the Tour breaks off for lunch at the Philippine Columbian Clubhouse, which serves a great menu of Filipino dishes.)

The famous Marian icon “La Japona” was brought to Satsuma, Japan on June 1, 1602 by the first Dominican missionaries. The statue was ‘extracted’ from the soon-to-be-demolished Santo Domingo Church in Nagasaki in 1614 — and entrusted to the care of Lord Justo Takayama during the voyage of exile to Manila.

◘ |||  Visit to the statue of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (“La Japona”) which was “rescued” and brought to Manila from Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in Nagasaki by Lord Takayama and is now enshrined as one of three iconic images of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary – (La Naval; La Mexicana, and La Japona) — at the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.

The entrance to the Jesuit Cemetery at the Sacred Heart Novitiate (est. 1932) in Novaliches, Quezon City.

◘ |||  (OPTIONAL) — A side trip to Takayama’s putative gravesite at the Jesuit Cemetery at the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches, Quezon City, where the remains of Jesuit niches (including presumably the bones of Lord Ukon Takayama and Lord Tocuan Naito) at the bombed-out San Ignacio (II) Church in Intramuros were transferred in December 1945.

Kyoto Bishop Paul Yoshinao Otsuka, Chairman of the CBC/Japan’s Commission for the Promotion of Saints, inspects US Army ammunition box containing boners collected from the Jesuits’ San Ignacio (II) Church in Intramuros

After bringing back to Japan in 2012 a number of bones from the two putative crypts, Kyoto Bishop Paul Yoshinao Otsuka (b. 1954- ), Chairman of the CBCJ Committee for the Promotion of Saints, concluded they could not make a definite determination – if indeed Takayama’s bones were among the remains in the crypts. But many Japanese pilgrims still opt to visit the Novaliches Jesuit Cemetery.)

For over 400 years, the Jesuit/PLM Compound in Intramuros has been the educational center of ‘Old Manila.’ Today, the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) is a City of Manila-funded scholars’ university — no tuition fees for students — attracting the best and brightest graduates from public schools.

◘ |||  Note to Japanese Pilgrims and their Tour Coordinators: PLM is a public university with a ‘gated’ campus. You do not walk in — unannounced. Proper representations must be made beforehand with PLM authorities to visit the PLM University Chapel — which is for the use of its own campus residents.

On Feb. 3, 2018, the first 60 Takayama Pilgrims from Japan visited the old Jesuit compound where the ‘Kirishitan Samurai’ Justo Takayama died on Feb. 3, 1615. For the first time, they trod on ground where Blessed Takayama (1552-1615) spent the last 44 days of his life. (Photo by Robert Queddeng)
The PLM University Chapel — the religious center of the PLM campus — stands in the Jesuit Compound where Lord Justo Takayama died on Feb. 3, 1615. It was also in this compound where he was buried. (Photo by Yuya Cruz, Ars Dream Manila.)

◘ ||| Now that — after 403 years — Japanese Pilgrims have ‘discovered’ the PLM University Chapel, this will be an important pilgrimage destination — with the permission of the PLM University Regents. It was ‘hallowed ground’ for the 60-man Takayama Pilgrim Group, led by two Japanese Archbishops, four Bishops, and six Priests who attended the celebration of the First Feastday of Blessed Takayama on Feb. 3, 2018.

To Japanese pilgrims making this tour, we present BRONZE MEDALLIONS with the legend: “IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF / JUSTUS UKON TAKAYAMA.”

Dr. ERNESTO A. DE PEDRO
Managing Trustee
Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation