Anthroponyms seta ALMEIDA, Luís (1525-1583)

Clergy of the Society of Jesus who worked in Japan. He was born in Lisbon in 1525 and died in Kawachinoura in October 1583. He came from a wealthy family of New Christians. He studied medicine in Lisbon, graduated on 30th March, 1546, and left for India on 17th March, 1548, where he worked on commerce together with Duarte da Gama. In 1522 he visited Japan for the first time; the following year he met Cosme de Torres in Hirado, thus becoming close to the Japanese mission. He entered the Society of Jesus on 15th April, 1556, in Funai (Oita). There, he devoted himself to the organization of a hospital through which he introduced western medicine into Japan. From 1561 on he worked on several locations in Japan, such as Hakata, Hirado and Kagoshima. In 1562-63 he worked in Yokoseura and helped fund the port. Then he moved to the Arima region and in 1565 he was in the heart of Japan. The following year he visited the Goto islands and in 1567-68 the hamlet of Nagasaki. In 1569 he evangelized Amasuka, and then developed several apostolic missions. In 1575 he moved to Arima where he carried out a large number of baptisms. On 11th October, 1579, he left for Macau and there he was ordained priest on 6th May, 1580. He went back to Japan on 25th August, 1580, and between 1581 and 1583 he was the superior of Amasuka. In that quality he also witnessed the Nagasaki consultation, which took place in December 1581. His presence in Japan is still remembered nowadays, and monuments to his work can still be found in Nagasaki and Hondo, as well as a hospital in Oita bearing his name.

Bibliography:
CARVALHO, José Vaz de, ?Luís de Almeida, médico, mercador e missionário no Japão, 1525-1583? in, O Século Cristão do Japão. Actas do Colóquio Comemorativo dos 450 anos de Amizade Portugal-Japão, dir. Roberto Carneiro e Artur Teodoro de Matos, Lisboa, CEPCEP-IHAM, 1994, pp. 105-122. COSTA, João Paulo Oliveira e, O Cristianismo no Japão e o Episcopado de D. Luís de Cerqueira, dissertação de doutoramento em História apresentada à Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, 1998 (texto fotocopiado). Diego Yuuki S.J., Luís de Almeida, 1525-1583. Médico, caminhante, apóstolo, Macau, Instituto Cultural de Macau, 19689.

Author: Helena Rodrigues

Translated by: Maria das Mercês Pacheco


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