He wouldn’t fly on the back of the winged Clavileno, but on a fragile sampan of Chinese pirates. He wouldn’t wield old, noble weapons, nor ride an old, skinny horse, nor be accompanied by a greyhound made for racing, but he would simply wear a humble, mended black soutane, and his only weapon would be the hand bell he used to invite people to the infectious gift of his word. He wouldn’t come from a place whose name he wouldn’t like to remember, but from Javier Castle in the old Kingdom of Navarre, in the far away Spain. He wouldn’t have as squire the rustic Sancho Panza, but the rascally Yagiro, who was in possesion, like Sancho, of the treasure of the popular language. He wouldn’t lodge in roadside inns, but in the traditional Japanese houses, minkas or gassho-zukuris. His windmills were the castles of the daimios and the airy sanctuaries of the shintoist world, with its priests, kannushi, and its gods, kami, and the pagodas and the temples of the buddhist bonzes. And instead of the plains of La Mancha, he would travel, travelled, the terra incognita of the fascinating archipelago of Japan.
Francisco Jaso y Azpilcueta was a generous nobleman and a dreamer, knight errand of the faith. And he travelled the world pursuing venture and adventure, solving grievances, and putting himself to risk and peril. Defender of the humble, righter of wrongs, respectful admirer of the stoic nobility of the Japanese people.
Where Miguel de Cervantes composed the immortal literary figure of the nobleman from La Mancha, Francisco de Javier defined with his life the reality of a man no less anxious for greatness and horizons, for challenges and a life devoted to service.
Therefore, to Javier can be applied the affirmation by Martin de Riquer, when he says that Don Quijote wins everybody over because he is good, loyal and intelligent. Because, may it be that San Francisco Javier in reality, and Don Quijote in fiction, are the two best-loved characters from the enormous universe of the great centuries of Spain.
Pamplona, March 13th, 2006
Juan Ramon Corpas Mauleon
JUAN RAMON CORPAS MAULEON, A BIOGRAPHY
He was born in Estella (Navarre) on the 16th of December, 1952. He is married and has two children. He is a doctor in internal medicine and he has performed as such in the Servicio Navarro de Salud-Osasunbideo and in his private office in Pamplona.
As a writer, he has published 21 titles of diverse genres: poetry, narrative, travel guides and essays； he is also the author of video scripts, theatre plays and radio programs, and has been an habitual collaborator of the “Diario de Navarra” newspaper and other mass media. He is an expert of renown on the Camino de Santiago. His works in all these areas have been recognized with several prizes.
For over 20 years he has been an active impulsor of cultural initiatives in Navarre. He was a co-founder of the journal “Elgacena”, published in Estella, and from 1991 to 1998, he was the editor of the poetry journal “Rio Arga”. He also belonged to the founding group of the Ateneo Navarro (Nafar Ateneoa), is a member of the Fundacion “Misterio de Obanos”； and he was a member, since its creation until 1999, of the Consejo Navarro de Cultura (Navarre Culture Council), consultive organ of the Government of Navarre for the cultural and artistical policy.
During the past legislation, 1999-2003, he was General Director of Culture, in the Institucion Principe de Viana of the Government of Navarre. After the 2003 elections, he is the Navarre minister for Culture and Tourism.
Translated by Raquel Pollan Moreno
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