In the month of August 1543, three Portuguese made their way to the island of Tanegashima, the southernmost area of the Japanese Peninsula, far from the city of Kagoshima. This meeting with the Portuguese was the first known contact of Japan with the people from the West.
Since then and up to 1639, when Japan closed its doors to international trade, the Portuguese introduced several Namban products, such as the gun, the watch, glasses, wine, etc., while the Daimyos (the top of the samurai hierarchy) of the Sengoku period (a phase marked by constant wars), such as the famous Oda Nobunaga, showed a keen interest in European products. Besides the gun that changed the way the samurais fought among themselves – until then they had been using only katanas – and which speeded up the unification of the country, western churches and hospitals that were created gained a major influence and transformed the Japanese society. The Namban folding screens clearly portray the strong interest of the Japanese people in the arrival of the Portuguese. On the other hand, historic books such as Luis Fróis’ “Historia de Japam” (“ History of Japan”), the Dicionário Luso-Japonês (Luso-Japanese Dictionary) compiled by Jesuit Priests, Japanese cartography documents, books on the Japanese language or books about the Japanese society, show the deep links that existed between the Portuguese and the Japanese society of the time.
Japan reopened its doors to the World in the 19th Century when it signed the “5 Treaties”: with the United States of America, the Netherlands, Russia, England and France. At a later stage they signed a Sixth Treaty with Portugal: The Peace, Friendship and Trade Treaty. With this Treaty, the two countries established their first official diplomatic relation, marking the beginning of important bilateral relations between these two countries which continue up to this day. Thus the year 1860 was an important landmark in the long history of almost 470 years of relations between the two countries, which started in 1543 in Tanegashima, and 2010 celebrates the 150th anniversary of this modern friendship relation.
I would therefore like to celebrate the issue of the commemorative stamp between the two countries and express my wishes that both peoples may remember this historic bilateral relation and reflect upon its future in the context of a new era.
Japanese Ambassador to Portugal
150 Anos do Tratado de Amizade entre Portugal e Japão
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 22.10.2010
Designer: Francisco Galamba
Printer: CaRTOR Security Printing
Size: 30,6 x 40 mm
Values: ?1,12, ?1,91