Saint James Kisai

Saint James Kisai

James Kisai


  • Death: 02/05/1597
  • Nationality (place of birth): Japan

James Kisai (Iacobus Kisai 1533-1597) was one of the first Jesuit martyrs in Japan. He just happened to be in the same community when the police arrived to arrest the Jesuit Paul Miki. Although a Buddhist bonze educated him, Kisai was later baptized and married a woman who had also converted. She subsequently returned to Buddhism, leaving him with a son. Kisai entrusted the child to a Christian family and then moved to Osaka where he worked for the Jesuits as porter and house servant. The Jesuits eventually made him a catechist when they recognized the strength of his faith. He joined the Jesuits as a brother, probably in 1596. He was imprisoned along with Miki and John de Gotó. For full details of his story, see the entry for Paul Miki.

Martyres in Japan

Originally Collected and edited by: Tom Rochford, SJ