Will Adams - Will Adams: My Coming to Japan, 1611 [Tappan...

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Will Adams: My Coming to Japan, 1611 [Tappan Introduction]: Will Adams was the first Englishman to make his home in Japan. His knowledge of shipbuilding made him so useful to the emperor that, although he was treated with honors and liberality, he was not allowed to leave the country. The Japanese of the street in Yedo which was named for him still hold an annual celebration in his memory. The letter from which the following extracts are taken was written in 1611. It begins with his departure from the coast of Peru. IT was agreed that we should leave the coast of Peru and direct our course for Japan, having understood that cloth was good merchandise there and also how upon that coast of Peru the king's ships were out seeking us, having knowledge of our being there, understanding that we were weak of men, which was certain, for one of our fleet for hunger was forced to seek relief at the enemies' hands in Saint Ago. So we stood away directly for Japan, and passed the equinoctial line together, until we came in twenty-eight degrees to the northward of the line, in which latitude we were about the twenty-third of February, 1600. We had a wondrous storm of wind as ever I was in, with much rain, in which storm we lost our consort, whereof we were very sorry. Nevertheless with hope that in Japan we should meet the one the other, we proceeded on our former intention for Japan, and in the height of thirty degrees sought the northernmost cape of the fore-named island, but found it not by reason that it lay false in all cards and maps and globes; for the cape lies in thirty-five degrees and one half, which is a great difference. In the end, in thirty-two degrees and one half we came in sight of the land, being the nineteenth day of April. So that between the Cape of St. Maria and Japan we were four months and twenty- two days; at which time there were no more than six besides myself that could stand upon his feet. So we in safety let fall our anchor about a league from a place called Bungo. At which time came to us many boats and we suffered them to come aboard, being not able to resist them, which people did us no harm, neither of us understanding the one the other. The king of Bungo showed us great friendship, for he gave us a house and land, where we landed our sick men, and had all refreshing that was needful. We had when we came to anchor in Bungo, sick and whole, four and twenty men, of which number the next day three died. The rest for the most part recovered, saving three, which lay a long time sick, and in the end also died.
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Will Adams - Will Adams: My Coming to Japan, 1611 [Tappan...

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