Fides no quio

Asahi.com is reporting that Japanese academic ORII Yoshimi 折井善果 has located a copy of Fides no Quio ひですの経, a rare Nagasaki Jesuit text from 1911 1611, among the books of E. G. Stillman held by Harvard.

The Asahi story says that the work was "thought to be a translation of Luis de Granada's Fides no dōshi ヒイデスの導師 [Priest of faith], but this discovery has revealed that it is actually a translation of the first volume of Granada's Shito shinjō nyūmon 使徒信条入門 [Introduction to the Apostle's Creed]." On the other hand, OBARA Satoru's (pre-discovery) site says that the the book was believed to be a translation into standard written Japanese of "Fides no Doxi (1592), which is the Japanese translation, in Romaji, of Symbolo de la Fe by Luis de Granada," and if Wikipedia is not mistaken, símbolo de la fe is a Spanish name for the Nicene Creed. (In any case, it looks like the book Granada actually wrote was called Introducción del Símbolo de la Fe.)

Meanwhile, other news stories give the title of what this is really a translation of as "信仰綱要序説" ("Introduction to the Essentials of Faith"), so I really have no idea what's going on here. Any Jesuits reading this, please draw on your strategic reserves of caritas and help me out.

Also of note: the cover page gives the date as "御出世以来千六百十一年" -- "One thousand six hundred and eleven years since his [+honorific] entry into the world." Buddhists used 出世 to refer to the entrances of their revered figures, too; I wonder if the Jesuits borrowed it from them.

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> a rare Nagasaki Jesuit text from 1911

Should be 1611, of course.

The standard reference for classical texts is 『日本古典文学大辞典』 (six volumes) by Iwanami Shoten. You may find ひですの経 covered in detail on pages 513-515.

By the way, for those interested in early Christian texts in Japan, volume 25 in the 日本思想大系 series titled 『キリシタン書・排耶蘇』 and published by Iwanami Shoten is an excellent introduction containing a number of the major texts with extensive scholarship.


I think you mean 1611, not 1911.


6, 9, Hendrix wouldn't hassle me that way.

Thanks, Kindaichi; does 日本古典文学大辞典 say anything about what Fides no Kyo is (supposed to be) a translation of?


Do you need Wikipedia to know what "símbolo de la fe" is? The Nicene Creed is often called "The Symbol of the Faith" in English as well.

(Well, actually it's the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, but everyone just calls it the Nicene Creed. But, if it's by the Catholics it's actually the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed PLUS the Filioque, which is a whole other issue…)


Yah, embarrassing as it is I totally did need Wikipedia to tell me that. I'm really not as hip as I could be to the intricacies of Christianity.


I have to wonder if the Iwanami is still the best introduction, as it's pretty old in scholarly years (1970 for that volume). My impression has been that the Kirishitan area has been one where there's been a lot of work and change in it.

Of course, the actual texts in the book won't have changed. Much. I think.


It's my impression that very little substantial scholarship on Kirishitan literature has been done since the 70s. The major scholars (Shinmura Izuru, Ebisawa Arimichi, and Doi Tadao) have all passed away. Also remember that with the exception of text fragments, there are only 29 texts known to exist. So while there is historical scholarship, this is very little new literary material to draw from. That is why this recent discover is so important. I expect a small boom in scholarship over the next few years.

Until the recent discovery, very little was known as about 『ひですの経』, so it is difficult to say any definite. A pertinent quote from 『切支丹文學』 (Shinmura Izuru, 1957) page 111 says:


Since I bow out before Marco Polo gets much of anywhere, I'll defer to you, Kindaichi.

There are parts in the 政治思想 volumes (also 70s) which do seem awfully dated to me.


This is a fascinating discussion. Does anyone here know if there are collections of sources relating to the 16th and 17th century persecution of Christians in Japan translated into English from Japanese or European languages?

J. G.:

I think the standard way of writing "his [+honorific]" in English, is "His", with a capital H.

Aurelio Asiain:

Spanish original title is "Introducción del Símbolo de la Fé" (complete: Introduction del symbolo de la Fe, en la qual se trata de la Creación del mundo para venir por las criaturas al conoscimiento del Criador y de sus diuinas perfectiones, Salamanca, Herederos de Matías Gast, 1583.) http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/FichaObra.html?Ref=40

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