The Jewish Presence in China and Japan in the Early Modern Period: A Social Representation
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AuthorshipDe Sousa, Lucio
Palabras claveJewish Diaspora
Early Modern World
Judeo-conversos played a very important role in the Atlantic trade carried out by Portugal and Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; yet, their presence in China and Japan, barring some specific cases, has remained unknown. The first reason for this absence is due to the fact that the inquisitorial records collected in Goa and covering the Portuguese communities established in these regions have not survived. The second reason is related to the very morphology of this group commonly known as Nação Portuguesa (Portuguese nation: this is how the Portuguese Jews would refer to themselves). Spread over several continents and empires, managing to stay socially connected, the Judeoconversos who participated and created commercial networks as their diaspora extended from the Iberian Peninsula to Macau and Nagasaki also developed various strategies to remain hidden.