by Giles Milton
The adventures of the Englishman who opened the East. This book illuminates a Jacobean world whose horizons were rapidly expanding and a Japan that ... Show synopsis The adventures of the Englishman who opened the East. This book illuminates a Jacobean world whose horizons were rapidly expanding and a Japan that was still unknown to the rest of the world. In the winter of 1611, a letter was received by the merchants of the East India Company. The fact that it came from Japan, a forbidden and unknown land, was a cause of wonder, but even more remarkable was that the writer was an Englishman by the name of William Adams. Adams had sailed to the East in 1598, but most of his company had died by the time their ship was washed up unexpectedly in Japan. He fell in love with the barbaric splendour of the country and decided to settle. He forged a close friendship with the ruthless Shogun leyasu, took a Japanese wife and sired a new, mixed-blood family. However, his homesick letter to London inspired the merchants to plan an expedition to the Far East, wishing to trade with the Japanese through Adams' good offices.