The Adventures of the Portuguese in Japan

During a trip to Japan José Berardo became enchanted by its history, culture and way of life and by the Portuguese influence in the Orient over 200 years of its history.

As the 450th anniversary of the arrival of the Portuguese in Japan was commemorated in 1993, José Berardo took part in this event by commissioning a panel on this theme, the work being completed in 1993. The Argentinean artist Alberto Cedrón was responsible for the elaboration, execution and direction of this project.

The Panel, entitled “A Aventura dos Portugueses no Japão” (The Adventure of the Portuguese in Japan), consists of an iron structure onto which are mounted 166 plates. The vibrant colours used by the artist create a beautiful effect, superimposed on the green surrounding the panel.

The history of the social, cultural and commercial relationship between Portugal and Japan in the mid-16th century is reconstructed across the plates with the use of paintings and Portuguese titles.

The description begins with the accidental arrival of the Portuguese in Japan, having been blown off course by a storm whilst navigating the China seas. Subsequent to this, there were reports of commercial and cultural relationships and the attempt by the Jesuits to introduce Christianity into Japan.