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by Nick

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Will Adams Monument in Gillingham, Kent

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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.
21st Jun 2006, 22:28   | tags:,,,

hildegard says:

This is the bloke that 'Shogun' (James Clavell airport novel & tv mini-series) is based on, no?

17th Aug 2006, 20:35

Nick says:

Yep, am reading it at the moment and am going to find the monument that they have in Ito today.

18th Aug 2006, 00:41

hildegard says:

Oh my word... memories of John Rhys-Davies over-acting wildly... Sure that tasteful japenese monument blogging will expunge these flashbacks...

18th Aug 2006, 01:35

Nick says:

You know, I had to look that up? Only vauguely remember Shogun on TV when I was a kid let alone John Rhys-Davies being in it. I think it was on too late for me to watch or something.

18th Aug 2006, 07:20

hildegard says:

I had to look it up too, also a bit of distant memory, but it's had lots of repeats & been sold all over the world, so you're probably only safe from cable Shogun in Japan itself. :)

18th Aug 2006, 12:07

Elaine(emhigham-at-blueyonder-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

In Medway we now have a pub/Restaurant name the Honarable Pilot also Ito and Yokosuka way, a roundaboutbout named the Will Adams and decorated in the style of a Japanese garden...

7th Mar 2017, 19:41

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