~~ Book 1846060115 ~~
Annales de le Propagation de le Foi,
The report from the mission on Okinawa (Lieou-Kiou) is of particular interest. This mission was established in May of 1844 by the French with the hope that it would give them an advantage in establishing relations with Japan. A Catholic father, Theodore A. Forcade, and his Chinese interpreter were forcibly landed on Okinawa against the will of the government by a French man-of-war. The French (Rear Admiral Cecille) believed that with Forcade on Okinawa learning the language and ways, their ultimate goal of opening trade with Japan would be facilitated. Forcade was basically restricted to a Buddhist temple called Seigen-ji. He was succeed in 1846 by other Catholic fathers (LeTurdu and Mathieu Adnet) who were also landed by a French man-of-war. The role of the French and British missionaries was the subject of extensive discussion with the Lord of Satsuma through his representative in Kagoshima. Essentially the Japanese reaffirmed the anti-Christianity policy and the presence of both missions was a constant worry for the Ryukyuan authorities.
The letter of October 12, 1845 by Forcade (pages 363-383) included in this volume probably represents the earliest published account of Okinawa written by a Westerner actually residing there and not just briefly stopping in the course of a voyage. At the time the letter was written, Father Frocade had been on Okinawa for over 16 months.
For information on the Protestant missionary, Bernard Bettelheim, who arrived on Okinawa in April of 1846, click here.
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