|“||Before God, I shall excommunicate you and all your crew if this man is harmed.||„|
|~ Dell'Aqua, trying to talk Ferriera out of killing Blackthorne.|
Father Carlo Dell’Aqua, SJ is a villain from the Shōgun novel by James Clavell and the television mini-series based upon the book.
Dell'Aqua was a member of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. By the early 1600s he had been placed in charge of the Jesuit mission in Japan. Among his many duties were keeping charge of the Jesuits stationed in Japan and maintaining relations with the Daimyo ruling Japan. Additionally he had the power to appoint the Captain of the Black Ship, the Portuguese ship taking treasure back to Europe from Japan.
When John Blackthrone arrived in Japan the regent Torananga decided to milk the young Englishman for knowledge. As a result Torananga learned of the existence of the Treaty of Zaragoza - which was the dividing up of the world by the Spanish and Portuguese into two zones of exploitation and conquest by the respective powers. Torananga then approached Father Martin Alvito demanding to know if Blackthorne was telling the truth, and Alvito confirmed the existence of the treaty. Even though the Black Ship Captain Ferriera was upset Dell'Aqua knew that lying would not be tolerated by the Japanese. After their meeting with Ferriera, Dell'Aqua agreed with Alvito that something needed to be done. Soon afterwards an Amita Tong assassin tried to kill Blackthorne but was unsuccessful.
Ferriera was barely kept in line by Dell'Aqua, who desired to not only interfere with the local politics but to also kill Blackthorne. Despite multiple threats of excommunication and removal from his post as Captain, Ferriera was insistent upon killing Blackthorne.
Dell'Aqua and the other Jesuits later decided that despite their religious differences Blackthorne would be far more useful to them as an ally rather than an enemy. Rather than subjecting Blackthorne to a religious inquisition after he was injured, Dell'Aqua personally escorted Blackthorne to the Japanese galley that would take him back to his ship. In the process Dell'Aqua's bodyguards were forced to kill Ferriera when he tried to kill Blackthorne. Dell'Aqua soon saw Blackthorne safely to the Japanese galley.
Dell'Aqua was based upon the real life Jesuit priest Alessandro Valignano, SJ. Valignano served as the Visitor of Missions in the Indies and was in charge of Jesuit missions throughout India, China, and Japan. During the last years of his life the mission in Japan was of particular interest to him, and the decline of that mission pained him greatly.
Dell'Aqua's title was given as Father, however the character was addressed several times as Your Excellency or Eminence, indicating that his rank in the church was much, much higher. Your/His Excellency is normally reserved for Bishops/Archbishops in the church and Eminence is normally reserved for Cardinals.