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William Adams, known in Japanese as Anjin Miura: "the pilot of Miura", was an English navigator who travelled to Japan and is believed to be the first Englishman ever to reach that country. He was the inspiration for the character of John Blackthorne in James Clavell's best-selling novel Shogun.

In April 1600, after more than nineteen months at sea, the Liefde with a crew of about twenty sick and dying men (out of an initial crew of about 100) was brought to anchor off the island of Kyushu, Japan. Its cargo consisted of eleven chests of coarse woolen cloth, glass beads, mirrors, spectacles, nails, iron, hammers, nineteen bronze cannon, 5,000 cannonballs, 500 muskets, 300 chain-shot and three chests filled with coats of mail.

Soon after Adams' arrival in Japan, he became a key advisor to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and built Japan's first Western-style ships for him. Adams was later the key player in the establishment of trading factories by the Netherlands and England. He was also highly involved in Japan's Red Seal Asian trade, chartering and captaining several ships to Southeast Asia. He died in Japan at age 55, and has been recognised as one of the most influential foreigners in Japan during this period.

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William Adams, known in Japanese as Anjin Miura: "the pilot of Miura", was an English navigator who travelled to Japan and is believed to be the first Englishman ever to reach that country. He was the inspiration for the character of John Blackthorne in James Clavell's best-selling novel Shogun.

In April 1600, after more than nineteen months at sea, the Liefde with a crew of about twenty sick and dying men (out of an initial crew of about 100) was brought to anchor off the island of Kyushu, Japan. Its cargo consisted of eleven chests of coarse woolen cloth, glass beads, mirrors, spectacles, nails, iron, hammers, nineteen bronze cannon, 5,000 cannonballs, 500 muskets, 300 chain-shot and three chests filled with coats of mail.

Soon after Adams' arrival in Japan, he became a key advisor to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and built Japan's first Western-style ships for him. Adams was later the key player in the establishment of trading factories by the Netherlands and England. He was also highly involved in Japan's Red Seal Asian trade, chartering and captaining several ships to Southeast Asia. He died in Japan at age 55, and has been recognised as one of the most influential foreigners in Japan during this period. More...

 
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