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Joao Rodriguez

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(GIRAM, GIRAO, GIRON, ROIZ).

Missionary and author, b. at Alcochete in the Diocese of Lisbon in 1558; d. in Japan in 1633. He entered the Society of Jesus on 16 December, 1576, and in 1583 began his missionary labours in Japan. His work was facilitated by his winning the esteem of the Emperor Taicosama. He studied the Japanese language ardently, and is particularly known for his efforts to make it accessible to the Western nations. His Japanese grammar ranks among the important linguistic productions of the Jesuit missionaries. Published at Nagasaki in 1604 under the title "Arte da lingoa de Japam", it appeared in 1624 in an abridged form at Macao : "Arte breve da lingoa japoa"; from the manuscript of this abridgement preserved in the National Library in Paris, the Asiatic Society prepared a French edition of the work: "Elements de la grammaire japonaise par le P. Rodriguez" (Paris, 1825). Rodriguez compiled also a Japanese-Portuguese dictionary (Nagasaki, 1603), later adapted to the French by Pagès (Paris, 1862).

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