William Adams (24 September 1564 – 16 May 1620), known in Japanese as Anjin Miura (三浦按針: "the pilot of Miura"), was an English navigator who in 1600 was the first of his nation to reach Japan. One of a few survivors of the only Dutch East India Company ship to reach Japan from a five-ship expedition of 1598, Adams settled there and became the first ever (and one of the very few) Western Samurai.
Soon after Adams' arrival in Japan, he became a key advisor to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Adams directed construction for the shogun of the first Western-style ships in the country. Adams was later key to Japan's approving the establishment of trading factories by the Netherlands and England. He also was highly involved in Japan's Red Seal Asian trade, chartering and serving as captain of four expeditions to Southeast Asia. He died in Japan at age 55. He has been recognised as one of the most influential foreigners in Japan during this period.
Numerous novels were based on his life, beginning in the 19th century. He was the model for the character of John Blackthorne in James Clavell's best-selling novel Shōgun (1975), which was adapted as a 1980 TV mini-series, a 1989 computer game, and 1990 Broadway musical...
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