Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA)

Degree Level





Geoffrey Arthur Brock

Committee Member

Mary Beth Long

Second Committee Member

Lora J. Walsh


Counter-reformation, Hagiography, Japanese Christians, Jesuit Studies, Neo-Latin literature, Translation


In 1600, Hosokawa Tama Gracia perished under mysterious circumstances. She was a noblewoman married to a powerful daimyo, the daughter of a traitor, and a Kirishitan convert during the “Christian Century” in Japan. In life, she was both dutifully subservient and tenaciously bold. In death, she was fodder for propaganda, and in the hands of European writers her life story was re-written for specific narrative purposes. The most striking of these artistic transformations is her depiction as a Christian martyr in the late seventeenth-century Latin Jesuit drama Mulier fortis. The music for this drama was composed by Johann Bernhard Staudt and the lyrics and spoken lines were composed by Johann Baptist Adolph. It was first staged at the Jesuit College in Vienna in 1698 for the Holy Roman emperor and his family. The drama Mulier fortis intertwines references to antiquity with Orientalizing imagery. In his rendition of Tama Gracia’s life, Johann Baptist Adolph took several liberties, rearranging and rewriting the elements of her life to fit the martyrological narrative. My verse translation of the work, The Valiant Woman, preserves the changes he made but contextualizes these alterations with endnotes and transliteration choices. I have rendered the spoken lines of the play in iambic pentameter, and the sung portions I have crafted to fit the rhythms of the accompaniment.