Diego de la Barranca

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Don Diego de la Barranca was the Spanish name of a Japanese Christian who took part in the Keichô Embassy to Rome, and afterwards settled in New Spain (Mexico).

As a member of the Keichô Embassy, Barranca traveled to Spain and Rome in the mid-to-late 1610s. While most other members of the mission returned to Japan in 1620, Barranca was among some number of Japanese who remained behind in Mexico, and settled there.

Barranca married a Spanish woman named Maria Josepha Isabel Ana y Bonifacio, and they made their home in Veracruz, along with his two sons from a previous marriage, Juan and Bernabe. Barranca was employed as a soldier or guard at Fort San Juan de Ullua, and was later granted the noble title of "Don." He and his sons were then also granted authority to wear daishô (swords) in public, and were exempted from obligations to pay tribute to the local authorities.


  • Edward Slack Jr., "The Chinos in New Spain: A Corrective Lens for a Distorted Image," Journal of World History, 20:1 (2009), 50.
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