jesuit missionary

Inspiration for Cooperations

(All names based on a tweet by @ibis5)

  • Sakura Sojiro (佐倉惣治郎) -> Sakura Sogoro (佐倉惣五郎) 
  • Mifune Chihaya (御船千早) -> Mifune Chizuko (御船千鶴子) 
  • Iwai Munehisa (岩井宗久) -> Imai Sokyu (今井宗久) 
  • Takemi Tae (武見妙) -> Takemi Taro (武見太郎) 
  • Kawakami Sadayo ( 川上貞代 ) -> Sada Yacco aka Kawakami Sayako (川上貞奴) 
  • Oya Ichiko (大宅一子) -> Oya Soichi (大宅壮一)
  • Togo Hifumi (東郷一二三) -> Kato Hifumi (加藤一二三) 
  • Oda Shinya (織田信也) -> Oda Nobunaga (織田信長) 
  • Mishima Yuki (三島由輝) -> Mishima Yukio (三島由紀夫) 
  • Yoshida Toranosuke (吉田寅之助) -> Yoshida Shoin (吉田松陰)

My analysis and thoughts under the cut (it’s a long one again):

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Yuan Ming Yuan (圓明園)

The garden and palace complex known as Yuan Ming Yuan (圓明園, “Garden of Perfect Clarity” or “Garden of Perfect Brightness”) was constructed in the early 1700s as a retreat for the Qing emperors. It soon grew, becoming the place where they spent most of their year.

One section of this vast park was built in a European-inflected style, with palaces designed with input from Giuseppe Castiglione, a Jesuit artist and missionary from Italy who served as one of Emperor Qianlong’s court painters. 

Our only visual evidence of this part of the Yuan Ming Yuan comes from a set of engravings reproducing original drawings by court artist Yi Lantai. The Getty Research Institute’s copy of these 20 engravings has been digitized, and is available for download here.

The Yuan Ming Yuan was reduced to ruins by British and French troops in 1860 at the end of the Second Opium War, making these engravings especially precious.

@mit​ has a great digital exploration of the Yuan Ming Yuan, including an interactive map showing how it once looked.

South façade of the Harmony of Wonderful Delight, South façade of the Hall of the Calm Ocean, The Mountain of Perspective, and West façade of the Aviary from Yuan Ming Yuan, Portfolio with 20 leaves of plates (Beijing, 1783–1786), 54 x 91 cm. Copperplate engravings after drawings by Yi Lantai. The Getty Research Institute, 86-B26695

Guarani, an indigenous dialect, is one of the official languages of Paraguay along with Spanish. In fact, almost half of Paraguay’s rural population – immigrants’ children and mestizos and native peoples alike – speaks just one language, Guarani. This is partially due to the language’s adoption by Jesuit missionaries in the area in the 1600s. Guarani is one of the most-widely spoken indigenous languages of the Americas and the only one whose speakers include a large proportion of non-indigenous people.

“On August 6, 1945 during World War II, an atomic bomb was dropped on the town of Hiroshima, Japan. 140,000 people were killed or injured. There was a home eight blocks (about 1 kilometer) from where the A-Bomb went off . This home had a church attached to it which  was completely destroyed, but the home survived, and so did the eight  German Jesuit missionaries who prayed the rosary in that house  faithfully every day. These men were missionaries to the Japanese  people, they were non-military, but because Germany and Japan were  allies during WWII they were permitted to live and minister within Japan  during the war.
Not only did they all survive with (at most)  relatively minor injuries, but they all lived well past that awful day  with no radiation sickness, no loss of hearing, or any other visible  long term defects or maladies. Naturally, they were interviewed and  examined numerous times (Fr. Schiffer, a survivor, said over 200 times)  by scientists and health care people about their remarkable experience  and they say “we believe that we survived because we were living the message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the rosary daily in that home.”

-Famous rosary miracle-

When you think about hunter-gather societies, you probably think of a life of discomfort right? 

Words commonly used to describe them are: nasty, brutish, and short

Today living in our technological advanced society, we look at them and cringe at how they used to live. 

But here’s something astonishing: hunter-gatherer’s actually lived a really good life, arguably better than ours in some perspectives. 

The first misconception is that hunter gatherers suffered from starvation. 

  •  In actuality, hunter- gatherers enjoyed diets rich in a variety of nutrients. The average tribe’s food consisted of one third hunted food and two- thirds gathered: a primarily vegetarian diet that contained high-protein and low-fat meat bases.
  • This diet is approximately 60 % carbohydrate, 20% protein, and 20% fats. This shares similar percentages with the modern recommended dietary guidelines for Americans.
  • Because they enjoyed a rich diet, they weren’t short as the rumor goes. Skeletons analyzed across the globe show an average height of 5'9 for men and 5'4 for women. 

Hunter-gatherers lived a long life. Studies shows the average life expectancy was ~75 years. Close to the average life expectancy of developed nations: 79 years. 

They also had a lot of leisure time. They only spent 3 to 5 hours a day hunting or gathering and the rest of the day was theirs. This totals to only 20 hours in the week spent doing work. 

  • Compare this to an average 8 year old in the U.S. They spend approximately 32.5 hours in school plus an additional 4 hours for homework. This totals to about 36.5 hours. 

Thus, an 8 year old living in the United States spends more time working than an adult male in a hunter-gatherer society.

In hunter gatherer societies, no inequality between men and women existed. 

  • Since women tended to gather plants, they provided for 67% of food needed in the society.Because they played a significant role in the societies’ economy, they were viewed as equal rather than an inferior gender.
  • During his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin noted that in remote tribes, women had more power to choose, reject, or change husbands.
  • In 17th century, a Jesuit missionary disapproved of the equality. He suggested men infringe control upon women but noted that this task may be impossible because men had no leverage

Hunter gatherers were also peaceful egalitarians.

  • The core cultural value of such societies was equality among individuals. Each person was equally entitled to food, regardless of his or her ability to find or capture it.
  • All material goods were shared and there were no wealth gaps. Group decisions were made by consensus; there was no system of hierarchy.  
  • They maintained such a system by practicing reverse dominance- or ridiculing the ones who thought they were better than the rest.

In the words of the famous anthropologist Jared Diamond: 

Hunter-gatherers practiced the most successful and longest lasting lifestyle in human history.

SPECIAL NOTE: The hunter-gather societies described here are prehistoric. The few hunter-gather societies that do exist today do not display these characteristics because their society has been changed by the developing world. 

I wrote this as a paper for school once. For references and sources I’ll just paste the bibliography. Click here for it, it’s a separate post: X

ALL Gintama references / parodies


4 Ladies 4 (Japanese Lifestyle program)
101st Marriage Proposal (Japanese drama)


Ashita no Joe
Antonio Inoki (famous Japanese wrestler)
Akihabara Electronics Town
Audio Highs (Japanese band)
Abudeka (Japanese police/detective drama)
Abarenbou Shogun (Japanese TV drama)
Aliens Vs Predator
Akechi Mitsuhide (samurai general)
Animax Channel (Japanese TV channel)

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There is considerable controversy about where the word “Eskimo” came from, and even more about using it. The word may be a corruption of the Cree word askamiciw, meaning “eater of raw meat,” which has always been a racial slur used by the Cree against their northern neighbors. But etymologists suspect this may, in fact, be folk theory based only on a linguistic coincidence. Some say it’s just as likely that “Eskimo” came from a word meaning “he ties snowshoes.”  There is even an old theory, which is for the most part believed untrue today, that the word was invented by Jesuit missionaries, who referred to pagan Inuits as “the excommunicated ones.”

Linguistic origins aside, for the most part “Eskimo” has been used as a derogatory slur against the native Inuit and Inuk peoples. In Canada they prefer “Inuit” and in Greenland they prefer Greenlanders or Kalaallit. In Alaska, “Eskimo” is a bit more acceptable because it is inclusive of the Inuit and the Yupik, two different tribes whose languages share grammatical structure but are mutually unintelligible. In every case, you should probably ask what people prefer to be called. It’s just good manners.

Underwater Panther

An Underwater panther, called Mishipeshu or Mishibijiw in Ojibwe, is one of the most important of several water beings among many Great Lakes and Northeastern Woodlands Native American tribes, particularly among the Anishinaabe peoples. Mishipeshu translates into “The Great Lynx."  

Underwater Panthers are seen as an opposing yet complementary force to the Thunderbirds, and they are engaged in eternal conflict. As late as the 1950s, the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Indians performed a traditional ceremony to placate the Underworld Panther and maintain balance with the Thunderbird.


  • It has the head and paws of a giant cat.
  • It is covered in scales.
  • It has dagger-like spikes running along its back and tail.
  • It has horns of a deer or bison.
  • Occasionally it has bird feathers.
  • They are often said to have exceptionally long tails.

The creatures are thought to roar or hiss in the sounds of storms or rushing rapids.

Mishipeshu are said to live in the deepest parts of lakes and rivers, where they can cause storms. Some traditions believed the underwater panthers to be helpful, protective creatures, but more often they were viewed as malevolent beasts that brought death and misfortune. They often need to be placated for safe passage across a lake. 

The history of Mishipeshu is merely a legend for some, but for Algonquin Indians and their relatives it is as real as the water and precious metal it guarded. Mishipeshu is known for guarding the vast amounts of copper in Lake Superior and the Great Lakes region. There seems to be substantial evidence that there was a very ancient and unknown people that mined the copper and moved the majority to an undisclosed location. Later, during the 17th century, the Jesuit Missionaries arrived in the Great Lakes Region. By that time, swiping copper from the region was extremely taboo and forbidden by the Ojibwa tribe. It was even worse to take it from the Great Lynx’s home, Michipicoten Island - this was considered to be stealing from Mishipeshu himself.


There are a few stories that might be of true believers of this great beast. A Jesuit missionary named Claude Dablon told a story about four Ojibwa Indians who embarked on a journey to the home of Mishipeshu to take some copper back to their home, and use it to heat water. The very second they pushed off and backed into the water with their canoe, the eerie voice of the water panther surrounded them. The water panther came growling after them, vigorously accusing them of stealing the playthings of his children. All four of the Indians died on the way back to their village; the last one surviving just long enough to tell the tale of what had happened in his final moments before he finally died.

During the 1840s there was a copper rush; people there had realised the value of copper which was for the taking around Isle Royale and Keweenaw Peninsula.There was great suffering and accidents to which many key people and vessels fell victim. The steamer Cumberland was lost at the Rock of Ages Reef on Isle Royale. Another ship, by the name of Algoma, was sunk in a storm during 1885, and forty-five people sunk to a watery death in the creature’s lair.

Mandarin: What's in a Name?

After that one post some anons and @neuromantis​ asked for more dirt on the various names for Mandarin, so I thought I’d try a conciseish list thing. While language ideology is my thing, having not been raised in this one I only know so much, but gotta start somewhere

Common terms:

  • 中文 zhōngwén : “china + writing.” very basic and widely understood, use anywhere
  • 國語 (国语) guóyǔ : “national language.” older texts in China might have this, but presently it’s used only in Taiwan
  • 普通話 (普通话) pǔtōnghuà : “the common language.” popularized by the CCP, use in China (not sure about HK)
  • 漢語 (汉语) hànyǔ : “the Han language.” another widely understood term, but feels a little more…academic to me? Like you wouldn’t be like “wow 你的汉语很棒” but the big dictionary is the 汉语大词典. (also duh 漢字) Careful because Korean is only one tone different, 韩语 hányǔ.

Less Common:

  • 華語 (华语) huáyǔ : I don’t think I’ve run into this much, the internet explains that’s because it’s used mostly in Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Which makes sense since 华 is another abbreviation for China (華僑 huáqiáo is the word for “overseas Chinese”) 
  • 北方話 (北方话) běifāng huà : “Northern Language.” So here’s where a lil history gets in; the theory is that since travel/trade was easier in the north those languages had more contact and a koiné developed for government, and this is the beginnings of the Mandarin we have today. However this term isn’t used much anymore, instead slightly more common is…
  • 官話 (官话) guānhuà : "officials language.“ When Jesuit missionaries bumbled over and encountered that language officials used as a common language it was this, and they called it Mandarin because mandarim is Portuguese for "counsellor or minister.” But again, old stuff or linguists might use the term, but it’s not going to come up in everyday life and is not something Mandarin speakers would use to describe themselves.  
  • Cantonese note: Just like ~standard textbook Mandarin~ is sort of the favored child of norther/Mandarin languages, Cantonese is the favored child of the Yue languages. 
  • as far as longer-but-not-too-long language family breakdowns go, the wikipedia page is acceptable. just know that there’s like whole books on things it’s a big world isn’t is exciting to know how much you don’t know. and a language is just a dialect with an army and a navy. 

In general, people will likely specify their Mandarin with geographic location if need be, especially because whatever the local non-Mandarin language is will probably have effected the vocabulary. 儿话 erhuà is what you call it when places (aka Beijing) add a lot of rrrrrrr (门儿 mér, 味儿 wèr) There’s some weird categorization stuff going on depending who you ask, like Wikipedia says Sichuanese is a type of Mandarin, which ok you can play that game if you wanna, but it has different tones, different phonology, and even some different grammar, so who is that helping y'know? So if you’re in China trying to find someone who can speak more like your textbook, ask for 普通話. You might not get it but good luck. 

If you’re in the US, well first-gen speakers could be from a variety of places, but will probably understand any of the “common” terms and hopefully be forgiving.  (I usually choose 中文 because it doesn’t enter the Taiwan/China debate but ydy) In general, you can always ask! What a good conversation topic mhm. 

The Real Afro Samurai — The Story of Yasuke,

In the 16th century a young man was taken from his home in Mozambique and sold into slavery, becoming the property of a Jesuit Priest named Alessandro Velignano.  Velignano was a missionary who made several trips to Asia, especially China and Japan.  In 1579 Velignano went on a missionary trip to Japan, taking his slave with him. 

When the African man arrived in Japan, he caused quite a stir as he was 6’ 2" tall and as a black man, certainly stood out in medieval Japan.  News of the strange man traveled all over Japan, until eventually the most powerful daimyo Lord Oda Nobunaga learned of the large dark skinned man.  Nobunaga requested a personal audience with the man, and upon meeting him had his skin washed to determine if the whole thing was a hoax.  When it was found the darkness of his skin could not be washed away, Nobunaga gave him the name “Yasuke” and ordered he be trained as a samurai.  Afterwards, Yasuke served as a bodyguard to Oda Nobunaga, taking part in the many battles and campaigns in which Nobunaga eventually would unify Japan. He was paid handsomely for his services, even being granted his own estate.

In 1582 one of Nobunaga’s generals, Akechi Mitsuhide, rebelled against him.  The forces of Mitsuhide surround Nobunaga in a shrine, where Nobunaga was either killed in combat or forced to commit suicide.  Yasuke escaped the battle and continued his service to the Oda Clan, serving his son Nobutada.  Nobutada was also surrounded in his castle, where he was either killed or forced to commit suicide.  Yasuke was captured by Akechi’s men and forced to surrender his sword, but he was allowed to live and set free.  After the fall of the Nobunaga and Nobutada, Yasuke returned to the Jesuit Missionary and supposedly took up Holy Orders as a priest.  Details of his life after being a samurai are unknown.

Let’s get some housekeeping out of the way: This Is Where I Leave You, which tells the story of three brothers and a sister who must sit shiva for their dead father as their personal lives fall apart, is not a good film. Watching it leaves the vague, unshakable feeling of having stumbled onto the first draft of an oversexed American realist, maybe down-period John Updike, or a trashed experiment Jonathan Franzen wrote in college. Corey Stoll’s character, the family’s disrespected and gravely serious eldest child, is literally impotent. That’s the narrative equivalent of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. It’s like naming your son, “Son.”

But in its failure, This Is Where I Leave You does provide us something: It shows just how far ahead of his peers Adam Driver is right now.

Driver plays the youngest of the four siblings [WARNING: SOME REAL THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU SPOILERS AHEAD], junior to Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Stoll. They’re all saddled with stereotypes: Fey is the tragic suburban mother who lost her first love to a brain injury. (Cue everyone staring at Timothy Olyphant’s head scar as he half-grins like he’s in a K-hole.) Bateman’s wife cheated on him with his shock-jock boss. Stoll is literally impotent. Driver’s character is no more unique: He’s the incorrigible problem child, drawn so close to stock that he shows up late to the funeral, wearing a black leather jacket and driving a black Porsche. It’s like The Big Chill never happened.

The difference, though, is that Driver’s a supernova. Every time he’s onscreen, he distorts the structure of the film on a cellular level. When he leaves the frame, you wait until he returns. When he’s there, the other actors change. There’s a scene in which he playfully picks up Fey and puts her over his shoulder like a rolled-up rug. It’s the only time Fey, a truly great comic actor, seems to be enjoying herself. He puts his forehead up against Bateman’s, and all of a sudden Bateman isn’t playing Bateman anymore: He’s playing a brother. He fights Stoll, and Stoll bristles like a dog.

Up until now, Driver has always seemed deferential onscreen — to his costars, to his directors, to the scripts. In Girls, he’s part of a tapestry; Inside Llewyn Davis deploys him as a secret weapon; he’s an accent wall in Frances Ha. But these are the final days of Adam Driver as a tasteful statement piece in the living room of your movie.

Up next are, in approximate chronological order: While We’re Young, the new Noah Baumbach film that killed at Toronto; beloved indie director Jeff Nichols’s foray into sci-fi, Midnight Special; Star Wars, of which you might have heard; and, alongside Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson, a starring role in Martin Scorsese’s 17th-century Jesuit missionaries passion project, Silence.

In This Is Where I Leave You, you can see hints of this coming stardom. Driver dominates. At times, he looks comically huge, like he just stepped out of a Marvel movie, a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his shirtsleeve, Dean-style. Then he can be coy and playful, slinking around his costars, springing up from the rest like a jack-in-the-box.

Driver delivers his lines in a way that is totally unique, masticating his words and then spitting them out as though they just appeared in his brain; there may not be an actor under 40 whose dialogue seems more different on the page than it does coming out of his mouth.

He does the same work in What If, one of this year’s most underrated movies. The story of a boy (Daniel Radcliffe) who meets a girl (Zoe Kazan) who has a boyfriend, Driver plays Radcliffe’s friend and provocateur. He’s everything Radcliffe’s character isn’t: impulsive, libertine, unhinged. And he’s the perfect supporting man, elevating every scene he’s in to a point of high pageantry. There’s a scene in which he uses nachos to make a point that hasn’t been matched in 2014, and in the field of nacho-related cinema not since Kurt Russell’s enthusiastic performance in Death Proof. He looks at those chips like he wants to sleep with them and then take them out to brunch.

This Is Where I Leave You somehow makes Fey unsympathetic and Stoll boring. But it can’t diminish Driver. He reappropriates the film to serve his own purposes. And that’s the mark of greatness: There is no script that can’t be rendered into something worthwhile. Driver’s developing into a young Christopher Walken, except he can disguise his weirdness. If there’s a higher compliment I can pay to an actor, I don’t know what it is. The next decade is Driver’s to take.

—  Adam Driver is Ready for His Close-up, Grantland’s Kevin Lincoln

Doménico Zipoli
Zuipaqui, motet in Guaraní

Camerata Renacentista de Caracas

Zipoli (1688-1726) was an Italian-born Jesuit missionary to what was then Spanish Paraguay. An organist and composer who studied under Scarlatti and Pasquini, Zipoli traveled to Seville and joined the Jesuits for unknown reasons, desiring to be sent to South America. There he continued to practice music and work with the Guaraní. Most of his surviving music consists of keyboard works, many from his youth in Europe. Among the extant vocal works this motet, a setting of text in the Guaraní language, is a gem. It exemplifies the style of early 17th century Latin American composition sometimes referred to as the “jungle Baroque.”

(img: San Miguel Velasco, Bolivia)

China–Germany Relations
Sino–German relations were formally established in 1861, when Prussia and the Qing Empire concluded the 1st treaty during the Eulenburg Expedition.  Ten years later, the German Empire was founded so the new state inherited the old treaty. Relations on the whole were frosty at the time with Germany joining imperialist powers like Great Britain and France in carving out spheres of influence in the Chinese Empire. Germany also participated in the crushing of the Boxer Rebellion, a violent anti-foreign, anti-Christian uprising in China between 1899 and 1901. After WW1, relations gradually improved, though this changed again in the 1930s as Hitler allied himself with Japan. During the aftermath of WW2, Germany was split in 2: liberal democratic West Germany and communist East Germany. Cold War tensions led to West Germany’s alliance with the USA against Communism and thus, against China. East Germany was allied through the Soviet Union with China. After the German Reunification, relations gradually improved. 

According to a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 42% of Chinese people view Germany’s influence positively, compared with 22% who do not. Unlike Portugal or the Netherlands, German states were not involved in the early (16-17th centuries) contacts between Europe and China. Nonetheless, a number of individual Germans reached China then, often as Jesuit missionaries. Some of them played a significant role in China’s history - Johann Adam Schall von Bell (in China 1619-1666) was in Beijing when it was taken by the Manchus in 1644; he soon became a trusted counselor of the early Qing leaders. The earliest trades occurred overland through Siberia; they were subject to transit taxes by the Russians. In order to make it more profitable, German traders took the sea route. The first merchant ships arrived in China’s Qing Dynasty as part of the Royal Prussian Asian Trading Company of Emden in the 1750s.

In the late 1800s, Sino-foreign trade was dominated by the British Empire, so Otto von Bismarck was eager to establish German footholds in China to balance British dominance. In 1885, he had the Reichstag pass a steamship subsidy bill, offering direct service to China and sent the first German banking and industrial survey group to evaluate investment possibilities. This led to the establishment of the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank in 1890. Through these efforts, Germany was 2nd to Britain in trading and shipping in China by 1896. Today, Germany is China’s biggest EU trading partner and technology exporter. German investment in China ranks 2nd among European countries after the UK. China is Germany’s 2nd-largest trading partner outside of the EU, after the USA. In 2008, the trade volume between the 2 countries surpassed 100 billion USD. By 2014, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had visited China on trade missions 7 times since assuming office in 2005, underlining the importance of China to the German economy and vice versa.

Jean Joseph Marie Amiot (1718-1793) was a French Jesuit missionary and sinologist who had been sent to China in 1750, and spent the rest of his life in Beijing, where he assumed a Chinese name, 錢德明. He was known as the first person to translate Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ to French in 1772, subsequently introducing it to Europe. This engraving is found in Alfred Hamy’s Galerie Illustrée de la Compagnie de Jésus (Paris: 1893).