In a letter to Europe penned three months after his arrival in Kagoshima in 1549, Francis Xavier declared:

"The people whom we have met so far are the best who have yet been discovered, and it seems to me that we shall never find among heathens another race equal to the Japanese. They are people of very good manners, good in general, and not malicious; they are men of honour to a marvel, and prize honour above all else in the world."(RS)