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Takayama ‘marker’ could strengthen Fil-Japanese ties

Takayama ‘marker’ could strengthen Fil-Japanese ties

The marker to honor Bl. Justos Takayama Ukon, a Japanese warrior and a faithful Christian, stands at the entrance of TARC which has also been home to the Lord Takayama Professorial Chair since 1989 and the UST Graduate School. CHRIXY PAGUIRIGAN

MANILA – In line with the recent beatification of Lord Justos Takayama Ukon, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) unveiled a marker beside his statue, a move that could pave the way for greater opportunities for Filipino-Japanese exchange and relations.

UST Secretary-General Fr. Jesus Miranda, Jr. believes that the installation of the said marker could indeed further strengthen the country’s ties with Japan.

“We hope that this simple event catches the attention of the Japanese officials, showing that we here in the Philippines, honor one of their monarchs – Lord Justos Takayama Ukon,” said the priest in an interview.

Deeper relations

“Hopefully, this can be a root towards more funding, endowments, and grants for further deepening of Filipino-Japanese relations and studies,” he added.

The University’s Secretary General also said that the marker is not just to honor Bl. Takayama but is also a way deepen “…our relationships with the Japanese and … our studies…”

“We will have lectures, present studies about Japan and Philippines, series of conferences in line with his story, with the Filipino-Japanese relations, and with the Church,” noted Miranda.

The marker contains a brief description of Takayama’s martyrdom as a Japanese warrior and a faithful Christian. It stands at the entrance of TARC which has also been home to the Lord Takayama Professorial Chair since 1989 and the UST Graduate School.

Next step after beatification

The administrator of the Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation, Dr. Ernie De Pedro, explained that while advancing the cause of Takayama’s sainthood, they plan to continue to make him known through seminaries and by spreading his story through email.

He also noted that despite not having organized big events to promote the cause yet, due to insufficient funding, they are planning to maximize social media.

“Everybody’s talking about New Evangelization, so that’s where we enter. We will launch a program in social media, and we’ll ride on Pope Francis’ initiative to make our Japanese martyr more understood,” explained the devotee of Takayama.

“I am asking Cardinal Tagle’s help too. For the Jesuit Communication to establish a program in the social media presenting fundamental and basic beliefs in our Catholic faith – and that’s where we’ll put in Lord Ukon Takayama’s story,” he added.

The LORD TAKAYAMA JUBILEE FOUNDATION was registered on Sept. 29, 1988 by Filipino and Japanese history buffs to support research about the life and times of the Japanese feudal governor, Justus Ukon Takayama. CBCPNews