Simposio "Tracing Christianity in Early Modern Japan. The Marega Collection in the Vatican Library and its Value for International Co-operation"
Sala San Pio X Via della Conciliazione 5, Roma
The Japanese documents collected by Mario Marega (1902-1978) in the !rst half of the 20th century, recently discovered
at the Vatican Library, shed light on the prohibition of Christianity in Japan since the 17th century and its consequences
at the local level. In most cases administrative papers concerning the descendants of Christian families in the region of
Bungo, present-day Oita Prefecture, over a span of about two hundred years (17th-19th century), this huge mass of more
than ten thousand records opens up many possibilities to the scholarly community and to wider audiences.
This symposium will be the !rst occasion to consider their historical meaning from di#erent perspectives: the e#ects of
the ban on Christianity on Japanese society, the mechanisms of social control and the context of the Bungo region, and
the circumstances under which the documents could be assembled within the framework of missionary work during the
20th century. Moreover, presented here will be the !rst results of an international project just launched to make available
the entire collection through conservation, digitisation, and cataloguing.
A co-operative enterprise between the National Institutes for the Humanities of Japan (through the National Institute of
Japanese Literature) and the Vatican Library, this project involves many Japanese leading centers in the !eld of archival
research and the Università Ponti!cia Salesiana, and will o#er meaningful tracks for cultural and academic exchanges
between Japanese and European institutions by using the manuscripts as source material for research as well as teaching
tools for training in the reading of historical sources, in palaeography, in archival and conservation techniques