Well here are some pictures of my local Japanese connection, mentioned below.
Will Adams, was born in my home town of Gillingham in 1564 and travelled to Japan as pilot of a ship belonging to the Dutch East India Company.
He was kept in Japan by the Shogun who valued his advice about western ships, guns, science and religion, and eventually he was given the honorary title of "Samurai". He was the first and last outsider to ever hold the title.
The inscriptions on the monument pictured here, tell some of the story, but a more comprehensive history can be found here:
Also, maybe of interest, is that the James Clavell book, "Shogun" was based on Will Adams' true story.