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Romance from the Age of Sail Returns! Ishinomaki Sant Juan Festival

This is Director Tōru Ise, ariTV.

Postponed since the tsunami disaster last year, the Sant* Juan Festival was held once again this October 28th.
The festival celebrates Hasekura Tsunenaga (Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga / Francisco Felipe Faxicura / Faxecura Rocuyemon) and his diplomatic mission to Europe which departed Japan from Ishinomaki in 1613.


The Sant Juan Bautista is one of the first Japanese ships built in the style of a galleon, and the diplomatic mission was the first such delegation from Japan to Europe.

Read more


*On the ship’s second trans-Pacific voyage the Viceroy of Mexico recorded its name as “Sant Juan Bautista” to the Spanish king, with the added t for reasons unknown, possibly from Catalan. Because of this, it (and the replica vessel) is still officially referred to as “Sant Juan Bautista”.


The Sant Juan Festival began on May 22, 1993, to coincide with the reconstructed ship’s launch, at the impetus of citizens’ groups aiming to promote the Sant Juan Bautista Museum and Park which celebrates and preserves for posterity the exploits of Hasekura Tsunenaga and his men who, at the behest of Sendai Daimyō Date Masamune, took on the challenge of establishing trade with the West.
-from the Sant Juan Museum


The Miyagi Sant Juan Bautista Museum is currently closed due to damage sustained in the tsunami, with plans to reopen late 2013.

Official Site (in Japanese)


Special thanks
Images: Miyagi Sant Juan Bautista Museum
Photos: Akihiko Mito




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