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William Adams, also known as Miura Anjin, was an English navigator who settled in Japan. He is now famous as the prototype of the hero of James Clavell's quasi-historical novel [[James Clavell's Shogun|''Shogun'']].
 
William Adams, also known as Miura Anjin, was an English navigator who settled in Japan. He is now famous as the prototype of the hero of James Clavell's quasi-historical novel [[James Clavell's Shogun|''Shogun'']].
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Adams was pilot of the Dutch ship ''[[Liefde]]'' which arrived at [[Bungo province]] in Kyushu on April 19, [[1600]]. By the order of [[Tokugawa Ieyasu]], then the chief ''[[tairo|tairô]]'' (senior counsellor), Adams was brought to [[Osaka]] as representative of the crew. He had an interview with Ieyasu on May 12<ref>Adams gave this date in a letter to his wife. It is not clear if he was using the Gregorian or the Julian calendar. It seems most likely that as he came on a Dutch ship he would be using the calendar of the log of that ship, presumably the Gregorian one (see http://webexhibits.org/calendars/year-countries.html). This would mean the date he he saw Ieyasu was 1600/3/29 (Japanese calendar). However, England was still using the Julian calendar. If Adams as an Englishman used the Julian calendar, he would have met Ieyasu on 1600/4/10.</ref> and apparently favorably impressed him. After that Adams served Ieyasu in a number of fields, even building him an 8-ton European-style boat. He also served as interpreter and as an agent for the [[Dutch East India Company|Dutch]] and [[English East India Company|English]] East India Companies, and played a role of no small importance in shaping the position of the ''bakufu'' towards Spain, Portugal and the [[Catholic Church]].
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Adams was born in [[1564]], in Gillingham, England. From age twelve to twenty-four, he worked as an apprentice to a shipwright. At age 24, in [[1588]], he captained a supply ship during the fight against the Spanish Armada. Adams met his first wife, Mary, the following year, and later had two daughters with her. He then joined the Barbary Company in the 1590s, and presumably traveled a number of times between England and the North African coast. He may have also sailed with Dutch crews in search of the Northwest Passage on at least one occasion.
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Adams dreamed of returning to England, but the government would not let him. He became a ''[[hatamoto]]'' and was given land in the Miura Henmi (三浦逸見) district of [[Sagami province]] (near the mouth of [[Edo Bay]]), along with 80 servants,<ref>Gonnami, Tsuneharu. "[https://circle-prod.library.ubc.ca/bitstream/handle/2429/21181/Images_of_foreigners.pdf?sequence=1 Images of Foreigners in Edo Period Maps and Prints]." Unpublished manuscript. Presentation at symposium "Edo: Past & Present," University of British Columbia, April 1998. p7.</ref> and so was called Miura Anjin (三浦按針), ''anjin'' meaning "pilot." Though he was married to an Englishwoman, he also married a Japanese woman, the daughter of a headman of a post-station, and maintained a concubine in [[Hirado]].  
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Then, in [[1598]], Adams was hired by a firm based in Rotterdam to serve as pilot for a fleet of five ships to journey to Japan, and to attempt to establish trade relations there. The Spanish and Portuguese were the only Europeans trading in Japan at this time, and gaining access for the Dutch would break their monopoly. By the time Adams reached Japan, however, the ''[[Liefde]]'' was the only one of the five ships which remained. It made landfall in [[Bungo province]], in Kyushu, on April 19, [[1600]] (3/7 on the Japanese calendar). Only 21 of the original 110 crew were still alive and with the ship, and three more died shortly afterwards, leaving only 18 survivors of the voyage.
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Adams was granted a [[shuinsen|red seal trading license]] by the shogunate, and traveled to [[Ayutthaya]] (Siam) on several occasions in [[1615]]-[[1616]], aboard his ship the ''[[Sea Adventure]]'',<ref>Geoffrey Gunn, ''History Without Borders: The Making of an Asian World Region, 1000-1800'', Hong Kong University Press (2011), 223.</ref> as well as to [[Hoi An]] (in Vietnam) in [[1617]].
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While the rest of the crew were held in detention by the local ''daimyô'', [[Tokugawa Ieyasu]], then the chief ''[[tairo|tairô]]'' (senior counsellor), brought Adams to [[Osaka]] as the crew's representative. He had an interview with Ieyasu on May 12<ref>Adams gave this date in a letter to his wife. It is not clear if he was using the Gregorian or the Julian calendar. It seems most likely that as he came on a Dutch ship he would be using the calendar of the log of that ship, presumably the Gregorian one (see http://webexhibits.org/calendars/year-countries.html). This would mean the date he he saw Ieyasu was 1600/3/29 (Japanese calendar). However, England was still using the Julian calendar. If Adams as an Englishman used the Julian calendar, he would have met Ieyasu on 1600/4/10.</ref> and apparently favorably impressed him. Ieyasu united the archipelago under his rule following the [[battle of Sekigahara]], which took place on 9/15, and later took Adams into his service, along with [[Jan Joosten|Jan Joosten van Lodensteiyn]]; a few of the other survivors were similarly granted fiefs or posts by Ieyasu, or by regional ''daimyô''.
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Adams served Ieyasu in a number of fields, even building him an 8-ton European-style boat (the ''[[San Buena Ventura]]''). He also served as interpreter; tutor in geography, geometry, and navigation; shipwright; commercial agent; and as foreign relations advisor. In the latter capacity, he played a role of no small importance in shaping the position of the ''bakufu'' towards Spain, Portugal and the [[Catholic Church]].
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Adams dreamed of returning to England, but the government would not let him. He was named a ''[[hatamoto]]'' in [[1605]] and was given land in the Miura Henmi (三浦逸見) district of [[Sagami province]] (near the mouth of [[Edo Bay]]), along with 80 servants,<ref>Gonnami, Tsuneharu. "[https://circle-prod.library.ubc.ca/bitstream/handle/2429/21181/Images_of_foreigners.pdf?sequence=1 Images of Foreigners in Edo Period Maps and Prints]." Unpublished manuscript. Presentation at symposium "Edo: Past & Present," University of British Columbia, April 1998. p7.</ref> along with the name Miura Anjin (三浦按針), ''anjin'' meaning "pilot." His fief was rated at roughly 250 ''[[koku]]'', and [[Richard Cocks]] wrote that it included some one hundred farms. Adams was also given a mansion in [[Edo]], in a neighborhood which quickly came to be known as Anjin-chô ("Anjin Town" or "The Pilot's Neighborhood"). Though Adams was married to an Englishwoman, he also married a Japanese woman around [[1605]]. According to [[Meiji period]] sources, her name may have been Oyuki, and she may have been the daughter of Magome Kageyû, headman of the Nihonmachi Otenmachô [[post-station]]. [[Mukai Masatsuna]], Ieyasu's chief naval advisor, is said to have been the go-between (''nakodo'') for the marriage. London Merchant's Company documents give her sister's name as Magdalena, and Magdalena's husband as Andreas, strongly suggesting that both were Catholic converts. If Oyuki was Christian, too, she would surely have also been Catholic; though this would have been a sure source of tension between her and the Protestant Adams - who decidedly saw the Catholic Spanish & Portuguese as his enemies - the couple seem to have gotten along well enough, and to have maintained their relationship for many years. Adams later came to maintain a concubine in [[Hirado]] as well, however.
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Adams was granted a [[shuinsen|red seal trading license]] by the shogunate, and traveled to [[Ayutthaya]] (Siam) on several occasions in [[1615]]-[[1616]], aboard his ship the ''[[Sea Adventure]]'',<ref>Geoffrey Gunn, ''History Without Borders: The Making of an Asian World Region, 1000-1800'', Hong Kong University Press (2011), 223.</ref> as well as to [[Hoi An]] (in Vietnam) in [[1617]]. Cocks, the first head of the [[EIC|London Merchant's Company's]] operations in Japan, visited Adams at Henmi in [[1616]],
    
He died of illness in Hirado in [[Hizen province]], where the Dutch, English, and Portuguese all maintained bases, in [[1620]]. There is a grave in Henmi (now [[Yokosuka]] City), called "Anjin-zuka" and said to be his. Following Adams' death, his son continued to trade for a time under the name "Miura Anjin," employing his father's red seal license.<ref>[[Marius Jansen]], ''China in the Tokugawa World'', Harvard University Press (1992), 19.</ref>
 
He died of illness in Hirado in [[Hizen province]], where the Dutch, English, and Portuguese all maintained bases, in [[1620]]. There is a grave in Henmi (now [[Yokosuka]] City), called "Anjin-zuka" and said to be his. Following Adams' death, his son continued to trade for a time under the name "Miura Anjin," employing his father's red seal license.<ref>[[Marius Jansen]], ''China in the Tokugawa World'', Harvard University Press (1992), 19.</ref>
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==Notes==
 
==Notes==
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*Gary Leupp, ''Gary Leupp, Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900'', A&C Black (2003), 56-59.
 
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