Rule for the elite at the Honorary Consul of Japan in Seville

Rule for the elite at the Honorary Consul of Japan in Seville

For decades, Correa del Rioa city close to seville, It has been called into question because there are so many people in the town, over 700, with this last name Japan. It was a real, almost mysterious mystery, and no one could decipher it. At the end of the eighties, the discovery came after some Koreans were among them Julio Suarez JapanDiscover some documents proving the existence of a Japanese mission in Correa del Río, at the beginning 17th century. At the same time, as an art of magic, it began to become popular in Spain Jose Japan Seville, a top-class referee with strange and controversial nicknames. In fact, today he holds the record for the most penalties conceded in a single match, with a total of 6, in the Oviedo-Valladolid match that ended 3-8.

“Everything is connected to the world of football. At the end of the 1980s, I was refereeing in the third division, when Julio Suarez Gabon presented me with a strange scrap stating that a Japanese ambassador had been here 400 years ago and that he had been investigating this last name,” explained the former referee. In an interview with The investigation continued its course until it was confirmed, and this news had a great impact in Japan, to the point that in 1996 the Japanese state, by orderEmperor Akihito, Organized a meeting in Seville. At that time, the most famous Japanese was Gabon Seville, who was unable to attend such an important event. “On the same day there was a match between Barcelona and Valencia in which Ronaldo Nazario scored 3 goals,” he remembers, feeling frustrated.

Monument to Hasekura Tsunenaga in the Korea River / Wikimedia Commons / Charles V of Habsburg

Honorary Consulate of Japan in Seville

After contacts began, relations between Correa del Río and Japan increased, at the same time that more information was discovered than expected. Japan's first diplomatic mission to Western lands. Finally, the Japanese state decided to create one Honorary Consulate in SevilleHis consul general, for 10 years, was José Gabon of Seville. “I feel very connected to Japanese culture and the samurai way of life. I have had the pleasure of getting to know this origin and I have loved its history more and more. My main tasks are institutional representation, go to those events “where it is believed that Japan should be represented, and expand the network of people with the title Gabon takes care of Japanese citizens, both residents and those who come to do tourism and who may encounter some difficulties, providing information,” explains Gabon Sevilla, who in 2013, after the historic visit ofEmperor Naruhito In Correa del Río, he made a trip to Sendai, along with other people with the Gapon surname, to learn about their origins. “It was an area devastated by the 2011 tsunami, so it was a very special trip,” he explains. “We got to see where our ancestors lived.”

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Today, nearly 40 years after the origin of the surname Gabon was discovered, ties are stronger than ever. Year after year, thousands of Japanese come to Correa del Rio to seeStatue commemorating Kasekura TsunenagaBeside Yashiro Monument on the beachArtist's work Kiyoshi Yamaoka.

The journey undertaken by the Kishu embassy in the 17th century / Image: Wikimedia Commons / Carlos V of Habsburg

From Sendai to Correa del Rio: A Historical Expedition

The year is 1613. Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands fight for control of maritime trade with Japan, as the Jesuits and Franciscans have been trying to expand Christianity for years. one of them Franciscan Fray Luis Sotelomanaged to convince Syed Sendai, History of Masamunefor an expedition to Spain, known as A Kishu embassyTo conclude a commercial agreement with the king Philip III. This trip, Japan's first diplomatic mission to the West, will be led by a samurai Hasekura Tsunenagaon an expedition of 180 people, in addition to Luis Sotelo, other samurai, merchants and sailors will go.

Three months after their departure, and after crossing the entire Pacific Ocean, the expedition arrived Mexicowhere you left off, then move on Cuba From there it crossed the Atlantic Ocean, arriving in Spain in 1615 Sanlucar de Barrameda. They were received before Duke of Medina SidoniaWhich transported them to Correa del Rio and from there to Seville. The Quechu embassy was able to receive King Felipe III and reach some sort of commercial agreement. However, the king asked for some time to think, which Tsuninaga and his companions took advantage of to go to Barcelona, Genoa I Romewhere they were received Table V. With all objectives achieved, the mission returned to Spain to confirm the trade agreement, and from there returned with honor to Japan.

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Awards ceremony in Correa del Rio to promote friendship with Japan / Photo: FCEJ

Tragic ending

But when they arrived in Spain, it didn't take long to realize that something wasn't right. They were not well received and were all obstacles to being able to see Felipe III. Namely, that during that time they were away, news reached Spain from Japan confirming that this had happened Catholicism is banned In the country, in addition to the mass killing of those who were trying to convert the local population to Christianity. All of this prompted Felipe III to reject the trade agreement. The situation was critical, so the mission attempted to return to Japan, with the drawback of not having any money or assistance until they could leave. This prompted some of the people who were part of the Keicho embassy to decide to remain in Correa del Río, as the boat could not leave, thus beginning a legacy that would be discovered 4 centuries later. Out of curiosity, the nickname originated from the priests of Correa del Río, who when they baptized the descendants of these Japanese people They decided to give them Japón as their last nameconsidering that the titles they have are very complex.

As for the two main heroes of the mission, Hasekura Tsunenaga and Fray Luis Sotelo, neither of them got a good ending. They both managed to reach the Philippines by boat Saint John the BaptistAnd there they parted. The samurai set foot on Japanese soil again in 1620 and died two years later. The cause of his death is part of the legend, as there are accounts that say that he was martyred for his Christian faith and others that say that he left it and died of natural causes. For his part, Luis Sotelo sneaked into Japan on a Chinese ship, but was discovered upon landing and imprisoned. Two years later, he was burned alive.

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