Giuseppe Chiara

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Giuseppe Chiara (1602 – 24 August 1685) was an Italian Jesuit missionary active in 17th century Japan.[1] He entered Japan at a time when Christianity was strictly forbidden in an attempt to locate fellow priest Cristóvão Ferreira who had apostatized his Christian faith at the hands of torture by the Japanese authorities in 1633. Chiara was also tortured and eventually became an apostate as well. He later married a Japanese woman, taking the name and samurai status of her late husband, Okamoto San'emon (Japanese: 岡本三右衛門), and would live in Japan until his death in 1685.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Palermo, Kingdom of Sicily.


After the Shimabara Rebellion, he arrived on the island of Oshima[which?] and was later arrested in Chikuzen Province in May 1643.


Chiara died on 24 August 1685 in Edo, at the age of 83.

In popular culture[edit]

Chiara was the historical basis for the lead character of Sebastião Rodrigues in the novel Silence by Shūsaku Endō.[1] He was portrayed by David Lampson in the 1971 film version and by Andrew Garfield in the 2016 film version.

See also[edit]