Hasekura in prayer, following his conversion to Christianity in Madrid in 1615.
The first Japanese people to settle in Spain were the members of an embassy led by Hasekura Tsunenaga. Instead of returning to Japan in 1617, six samurai remained in Coria del Río, near Seville. The surname Japón (Spanish for "Japan") is conserved among approximately 700 inhabitants of Coria del Río, identifying them as descendants of the members of Hasekura Tsunenaga's delegation.
Between the 1970s and 1980s, Nikkeis—people of Japanese ancestry from various countries of Latin America—settled in Spain, fleeing financial crises or political oppression in their home countries. Since the 1970s, many Japanese have also come to Spain as businesspeople and students. In 1966, there were only about 280 Japanese nationals in Spain, but this number grew to 2,824 by 1993.
Abraham, Traci; Serradilla-Avery, Dan (2010), "The Japón Lineage in Spain: Voices from the Unsung Past in the Creation of Identity through Tourism Today", in Adachi, Nobuko, Japanese and Nikkei at Home and Abroad: Negotiating Identities in a Global World, Cambria Press, pp. 105–132, ISBN978-1-60497-686-1