|Mass in Japan|
All of that makes, I think, Konishi Yukinaga worthy of being considered one of the best Japanese warriors of his time but, of course, it does not make someone worthy of canonization. That being said, neither does the murder of a foreign dignitary which is what Anh Jung Geun is most known for. Is there anything else that would make Konishi Yukinaga more worthy of being “Saint Augustine Konishi”? I would say, yes. In the first place, his faith was obviously important to him and this is significant as other Japanese Christians of the period are often accused of being insincere in their conversions. It is not uncommon to find Japanese daimyos in particular, Otomo Sorin comes to mind, who are accused of converting simply to gain greater favor and cooperation from the Portuguese and who did not genuinely accept Christianity. Personally, I find such accusations to often be unfair but in any event this would not apply to Konishi Yukinaga. After the war in Korea, following the death of Lord Hideyoshi, the Japanese fought another civil war over who would take charge of the country. Konishi backed Ishida Mitsunari, unfortunately for him, rather than Tokugawa Ieyasu and was defeated at the Battle of Sekigahara. In the aftermath, in keeping with custom, the defeated daimyos committed ritual suicide. Konishi, who was captured by Takenaka Shigekado at Mount Ibuki, refused to kill himself because, as a Christian, this would be a sin and so he was beheaded by his captors.
Obviously, this was not a successful or very sound effort at peace but it was an effort to make peace nonetheless. “Blessed are the peacemakers” is what Christ said and Konishi Yukinaga had tried, even if not by the best means, to be such a peacemaker. We can also see that Konishi was not an anti-Korean bigot as well as how serious he was about his faith by the fact that he married a Korean woman during the war and she was baptized as a Christian, taking the name of “Julia”. Historians still debate the issue but it is quite possible that the Catholic Japanese samurai were the first Christians to ever come to Korea and if so, Julia would have converted at the time of her marriage which shows that Konishi Yukinaga had no prejudice against Koreans and also that his Christian faith was important enough to him that he insist his wife become Catholic as well so that they would have a proper Catholic family.