Shūsaku Endō: Chinmoku [Silence]

(1516 words)
  • Ashish Alexander (Independent Scholar - Asia)

Endo Shusaku’s best-known work, Silence (1969; Chinmoku, 1966) is set in the seventeenth-century Japan, in the period called the Edo era (1603–1867) or the era of the Tokugawa shogunate. This period marked the increasing isolation of Japan; by 1639 the only outside contact was restricted trade with China and the Netherlands. Foreign travel and foreign books were banned. The shogunate grew especially suspicious, and intolerant, of Christian missionaries, who were perceived as destabilizing elements in a country that was beginning to move towards unification after centuries without a central government. The loyalty of the Japanese-Christian population was also questioned, obedient as they were to their foreign Catholic …

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Alexander, Ashish. "Chinmoku". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2013
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]