XI Congreso Nacional y II Internacional
de la Asociación de Estudios Japoneses en España

Imagen Fondo AEJE

MESAS REDONDAS

The Japones 1. Why in Coria del Río?

Juan Manuel Suárez Japón - University Pablo de Olavide (Seville).

The process of segregating the scientific disciplines encouraged by a laudable effort of specialization and to go in depth about their knowledge, has set aside geographic component after historic facts. Nevertheless, many times these facts aren’t completed without considering that component. There are also cases where understanding the historic fact is only possible by analyzing physical reality, topography, river basin zoning, bio-climatic plan, etc. of its territory. A good example is this document, the arrival of the Keicho Mission, and subsequently, the location in this riverside urban space of that Japanese Community.

The geographical component of the lower stretch of The Guadalquivir River, the large plain that flows, is what makes it easily navigated and turns the Seville river port and the city itself into the head of the Indies trading, making it easier to monopolize. The lack of slope in the river flow of the lower stretch provides it with a complex riverbed, forks in the river, full of large meanders, which link to its sedimentary processes, complicates navigability and little by little causing more difficulties for boots to pass.

To mend those difficulties some points were prepared on the banks, where ships were loaded and unloaded, as well as acts to control taxes. The lower stretch of The Guadalquivir River was turning into the “large anchorage”, the one which Professor García-Baquero mentions. One of them was Coria del Río, it soon reached a higher rank because of many reasons: it was an urban space very near to Seville, dwelled by sailors and by people who were familiar with river work, with subsidiary jobs (shipyards, workshops, fishing nets, etc) and in addition, located near the Merlina meander, one of the biggest difficulties that the river provides to navigators.

In this time, many vessels docked here like the galleys that brought Japanese from Keicho Mission. There are many other things that keep providing doubts, but not this fact, nor geographic reasons. Why in Coria del Rio? That’s an impossible question to answer without considering the contribution of the geographic knowledge of the lower stretch of The Guadalquivir River.

1 Reference to the surname “Japón” that many citizens of Coria del Rio has as a legacy from the Japanese from the Keicho Mission.