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The events described in this exciting and provocative three-act play, a companion piece to Endo’s highly acclaimed novel Silence, take place in 1633, nearly a hundred years after Christianity was introduced into Japan. By this time, Japanese Christians were being cruelly persecuted by the government; every Christian searched out was made to apostatize or suffer a slow, agonizing death.

The central character of The Golden Country is Father Christopher Ferreira, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary. Given shelter by a Christian farming community, everyone looks to him for help, including one of his chief persecutors. When, after cruel torture, Father Ferriera apostatizes to the disbelief of his Japanese converts, the play reaches a climax that is later capped only by the courage, nobility and love of the martyrs. Father Francis Mathy’s detailed Introduction to this tightly constructed drama, which poses basic questions about the meaning of faith, love and fate, provides valuable historical background.

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