The Dutch Discovery of Japan: The True Story Behind James Clavells Famous Novel SHOGUN
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Five ships had been acquired and reluctant crews appointed. All the financiers needed was a skilled pilot to navigate the ships across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, according to Samurai William: The Englishman Who opened Japan, by Giles Milton. The risks were high, as were the potential rewards.
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Statue of Adams in Nagisacho, Japan. Adams signed on. In June , at age 34, he left behind his wife and two children and set sail as the pilot of a five-ship fleet bound for the Far East in what was triumphantly billed as the first Dutch circumnavigation of the world. His brother, Thomas, was on board as well.
The mission would turn into a disaster. None of the ships would complete the journey; few of the hundreds of sailors would survive; and instead of becoming rich, the financiers went bankrupt. The five ships left Rotterdam with the intention of reaching South America, but winds and bad weather drove them to Guinea, on the coast of West Africa, where they resupplied by aggressive means. From there, the ships set off for the Straits of Magellan, but only three successfully navigated the Atlantic-Pacific passage.
Two of the ships, including the Liefde on which Adams sailed, met up on Floreana Island, off the coast of Ecuador. From now on this regulation must be observed, and the Dutch left free to sail where they want throughout Japan. The Liefde and the Hoop left Ecuador in November for the westward sail to Japan with only sketchy maps to guide them.
They made at least one stop along the way, most likely on Hawaiian Islands, where eight of the crew jumped ship.
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The Remarkable True Story of the First Western Man to Become a Samurai
Jump to comments Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it. Recommended Fire Emblem: Three Houses review - a tactical masterclass.
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The 10 most popular stories of the day, delivered at 5pm UK time. The men were sent to Osaka Castle and imprisoned there.
Osaka Castle, one of the most popular spots to view the cherry blossom bloom, was built in With a Jesuit priest as a translator, Ieyasu called for Adams and interrogated him. After several meetings, Ieyasu decided he liked Adams and felt that his skills as a shipbuilder would be beneficial to his armies. During this time Adams learned to speak Japanese and became familiar with the culture of Japan. He was given the name Anjin, meaning pilot.
He was, however, given two swords and declared a samurai, an unheard-of honor for a foreigner.
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Most Japanese hopefuls train for most of their lives and must be well born to be samurai. British Library. Adams married a Japanese woman, Oyuki, and with her had a son and a daughter and reportedly had a child with one of his concubines. William Adams meets Tokugawa Ieyasu, in an idealized depiction of