• The purpose of this research is to review and analyze the establishment of the trading port of Yokoseura, during the second half of the 16th century. By comparing both Japanese and Western historical documents, it intends to clarify the complex relationships between merchants, missionaries and feudal lords, and the effects of their interactions on the urban layout and architecture of these port towns, from the point of view of the fields of History of Architecture, Urbanism and Territory.
    The main issues discussed are: the extents of the territory managed by European Jesuit missionaries and the local lord Ōmura Sumitada; the possible positions of the Church of Nossa Senhora da Ajuda and its characteristics; the percentage of Christians and gentiles in the town’s population, and whether or not they lived separate from each other, in their respective streets; the possible procession routes between the Church and a large nearby cross; and finally, the strategies adopted by the Jesuits to convert the Japanese who came to live in the port town.
    The main conclusions of this study are: that the land area managed by the Jesuits was not limited to the area known as “Nishikou” (West Harbor), and was actually much wider; the internal space of the church was inherently of a practical nature, giving central focus to the preacher, and functioning as a place for theatrical representations, in which decoration provided the “dramatic” element of the “Christian space”; the longitudinal spatial layout of European churches was not an obstacle to the conversion of the Japanese, but due to lack of funds and manpower, many local temples were used as churches, with little or no modifications; and that about half of the population was still gentile in late 1563, with little or no separation between foreign and Japanese merchants, as well as Christians and gentiles.