Cosme de Torres, SJ
The 450th anniversary of the arrival of Portuguese in Japan
The design of the stamps is taken from a detail of a folding screen, Portuguese Carrack at Japanese Port (detail shown above)
attributed to Kano Naizen (1570-1616) in the National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon, Portugal
MACAO, 1993, Scott 705, and PORTUGAL, 1993, Scott 1965
FDI cancel for the above stamp, September 22, 1993 (the 5th year of the Heisei era)
Cosme de Torres was a Spanish priest whom Francis Xavier had met in Malacca and had received into the Society. Xavier had also met a Japanese man, Anger (Han-Sir), who told him about Japan and inflamed his imagination with thoughts of converting the Japanese. He later baptized this man at Goa and gave him the name of Pablo de Santa Fe. From Goa Torres set sail with Xavier, Brother Juan Fernández, and Pablo. They left on Palm Sunday, 17 April 1549, and arrived at the city of Kagoshima in Japan on the feast of the Assumption, 15 August of the same year, the fifteenth anniversary of the vows at Montmartre. The three religious on the stamp are presumably the three Jesuit missionaries who arrived in 1549, but whose arrival was significant enough to commemorate on this occasion.