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  • Distinction: Interpreter
  • Other Names: Yajirô, Paulo

Anjirô was a peasant from Satsuma province who became one of the first Japanese to travel to India, and later served as an interpreter for Francis Xavier.

He is said to have either fled to Goa after committing a murder, or to have been brought there after being captured by Jesuits in Malacca in 1548.[1] There he met Francis Xavier, and returned to Japan with him the following year, as an interpreter. His at times inaccurate description of Japan - and in particular of Japan's native religions - was of considerable interest to the missionaries at Goa and was much studied. Unfortunately for Xavier, Anjirô’s poor skills as a interpreter proved a hindrance once they arrived in Japan itself.


  1. Fabio Rambelli, "The Idea of India (Tenjiku) in Pre-Modern Japan: Issues of Signification and Representation in the Buddhist Translation of Cultures," (source unknown), 243.