Following the pioneering work of Francis Xavier in establishing Chrisianity in Japan in 15th Century, his successor Alessandro Valignano, decided to send a legation to Europe representing the three Christian Daimyo of Kyushu, southern Japan. It consisted of two Christian samurai boys who were chosen as legates, together with two teenage companions. They set sail from Nagasaki in February 1582 and were to be away for eight years.
The puropose of the mission was twofolds: it would give Europeans the chance of seeing Japanese people at first hand and appreciating their culture, thereby publicizing the work of the Catholic Church in Japan and so increase much needed financial support; and secondly on their return to Japan the envoys would give eyewitness reports of the splendors of Renaissance Europe, thus moderating Japanese notions about the outside world and foreign barbarians.
The boys traveled through Portugal, Spain, and Italy and were fanatically welcomed wherever they went. The boys met PhilipII of Spain several times, as well as Pope Gergorius XIII and his successor Sixtus V.
Unfortunately, shortly after their departure of Japan, Oda Nobunaga was assassinated by his trusted general Akechi Mitsuhide. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the successor of Nobunaga banned Christianity in Japan while the boys were traveling Europe. When the boys returned to Japan, tragic fates awaited them...