San Felipe Incident

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  • Japanese: サンフェリペ号事件 (San Feripe gô jiken)
  • Date: 1596

The San Felipe was a Spanish galleon which, in December 1596, while en route from Manila to Acapulco, became shipwrecked at Urado Bay, on the coast of Tosa Province (Shikoku).

Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered the ship broken up, and its cargo divvied up; the lion's share went to Hideyoshi and to the daimyô of Tosa. The Spanish captain or navigator of the ship reportedly traveled to Osaka to petition Hideyoshi for compensation or redress for having his ship destroyed and his cargoes stolen.

The affair is said to have rekindled in Hideyoshi a hostile attitude towards the Christians, and a fear of the religion's renewed popularity in Japan. The following year saw the crucifixion of six European Franciscans, three Japanese Jesuits, and seventeen Japanese Christian laymen (see Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan).


  • Frédéric, Louis. "San Feripe gō Jiken." Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.
  • Sansom, George. A History of Japan, 1334-1615. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961.
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