Rokuemon Hasekura (roh-KEW-eh-mon), a rural samurai (military knight) with the rank of lance-corporal (yari-goch) in His Lordship’s gun corps. He is the master of the family fief in the marshland of northeastern Japan, a feudal vassal of the most powerful daimy (feudal nobleman) of the region. A short, well-built man in his early thirties, he has sunken eyes, high cheekbones, a flat nose, and long black hair tied up with white ribbon. Unprepossessing in appearance, he seems more a peasant than a samurai. Although he is a man of feeling, he never allows his face to register his emotions. Politically naïve, he is a simple man of few words and trusts his feudal superiors implicitly, granting them unquestioning obedience. Appointed by His Lordship to serve as an envoy to the Spanish viceroy of Nueva España (New Spain, modern Mexico), he functions as a heroic but gullible scapegoat, or “holy fool,” in the game of national politics. A confirmed Buddhist, he becomes an insincere Christian.
Lord Ishida, Hasekura’s immediate feudal superior and patron, a plump, dignified nobleman given to smiling.
His Lordship, Masamune Date (DAH-teh), the daimy ruling the region in which Ishida and Hasekura live.
Padre Vrais Luis Velasco
(The entire section is 512 words.)