Fabian Fucan

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Fabian Fucan (不干斎, Fukansai, c. 1565–1621) was a Japanese writer who converted from Christianity to Japanese Zen Buddhism in his youth. He was an apostate. He wrote tracts at first advocating and later criticizing Christianity in comparison to the other religions of Japan.[1]


Fabian became an Irmão (Portuguese for "brother") in the Society of Jesus in 1586. During his time with the Jesuits, he made significant contributions to the production of Christian devotionals and assisted members of the Society in their study of the Japanese language. The Myōtei Dialogues, one of Fabian's two well-known pieces of writing, was a work of Christian apologetics, framed as a dialogue between the fictional Lady Myōshu and Yūtei.[2] However, many details regarding his membership in the Society are unknown, as there are limited writings about Fabian prior to his debate with Neo-Confucianist Hayashi Dōshun.[3]

Apostasy and Deus Destroyed[edit]

Although Fabian's debate with Dōshun, which centered around the rationalization of Christian beliefs as per Early Modern Japanese views of the world, ended with each side feeling more confident of his beliefs, Fabian shortly thereafter left the Society of Jesus. Fabian's apostasy may be attributable to his belief that the Portuguese Jesuits routinely treated their Japanese counterparts as their inferiors. In the years afterwards, Fabian wrote Ha Daiusu, a treatise against Christianity.[4]


  1. ^ De Bary, William Theodore (2008). Sources of East Asian Tradition: The modern period. Columbia University Press. pp. 184–185. ISBN 978-0-231-14323-3. 
  2. ^ Elison, George (1988). Deus Destroyed. Cambridge: Council of East Asian Studies, Harvard. pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-674-19962-6. 
  3. ^ Elison, George (1988). Deus Destroyed. Cambridge: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University. pp. 145; 148–149. ISBN 0-674-19962-6. 
  4. ^ Elison, George (1988). Deus Destroyed. Cambridge: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University. pp. 154–155. ISBN 0-674-19962-6.