Naito Julia

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  • Born: c.1557 or c.1565
  • Died: 1627
  • Japanese: 内藤 ジュリア (Naitou Juria)

Julia was the sister of Naito Joan (or Tadatoshi) of Yagi castle, and a noted Christian. She was widowed at 22, and became a Buddhist nun. Around 1595 she became a Christian and took the name "Julia". (Her brother Joan had been baptized in 1565.) She was a part of the missionary work centered in Kyoto, interacting with the wives and consorts of many Daimyo, converting Ukita Hideie's wife and others to Christianity. In 1606 she organized a convent-like group referred to as the "Beatas of Miyako (i.e. Kyoto)" (Miyako no bikuni) - the only such women's group in Japan's Christian Century.[1] At the beginning of 1614 at the start of the general persecution of Christianity by the bakufu, she and eight other nuns were apprehended, tied up in sacks and carried around the city, then left on the ground for a while. At the end of the year, they were sent out of the country as dangers to the political order,[2] along with most of the Christian clergy, both Japanese and foreign, and her brother Joan and Takayama Ukon and their families. She spent the remainder of her life in Manila, where she and the other Japanese nuns lived a conventual life. She passed away away March 28, 1627 (2nd month, 11th day, 1627).


  • Sengoku Jinmei Jiten
  • 日本キリスト教歴史大事典 (Large Dictionary of Japanese Christian History)、教文館, 1988.
  1. Haruko Nawata Ward, Women Religious Leaders in Japan's Christian Century, Ashgate (2009), 61.
  2. Ward, 15.
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