Samurai William The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan

Samurai William The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan With all the adventure derring do and bloodcurdling battle scenes of his earlier book Nathaniel s Nutmeg acclaimed historian Giles Milton dazzles readers with the true story of William Adamsthe fi

  • Title: Samurai William The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan
  • Author: Giles Milton
  • ISBN: 9780340794678
  • Page: 443
  • Format: Hardcover
  • With all the adventure, derring do, and bloodcurdling battle scenes of his earlier book, Nathaniel s Nutmeg, acclaimed historian Giles Milton dazzles readers with the true story of William Adamsthe first Englishman to set foot in Japan and the inspiration for James Clavell s bestselling novel Shogun Beginning with Adams s startling letter to the East India Company in 16With all the adventure, derring do, and bloodcurdling battle scenes of his earlier book, Nathaniel s Nutmeg, acclaimed historian Giles Milton dazzles readers with the true story of William Adams the first Englishman to set foot in Japan and the inspiration for James Clavell s bestselling novel Shogun Beginning with Adams s startling letter to the East India Company in 1611 than a decade after he d arrived in Japan Samurai William chronicles the first foray by the West into that mysterious closed off land Drawing upon the journals and letters of Adams as well as the other Englishmen who came looking for him, Samurai William presents a unique glimpse of Japan before it once again closed itself off from the world for another two hundred years.

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      Published :2018-08-18T05:56:57+00:00

    1 thought on “Samurai William The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan”

    1. Really a very ok sort of book that rather like a newspaper or magazine you might pick and idle through and if you forgot it somewhere, or indeed deliberately left on the seat next to you, you wouldn't feel any the poorer for the loss. A typical journalists' book in that it has a striking headline which really doesn't reflect the story, but is smoothly written and easy to read.Famously Japan closed itself off from foreign contact from the seventeenth century until obliged to engage with the world [...]

    2. Even though this was the story of William Adams, the first Englishman in Japan, it was chocked full of historical data written in such a way that it didn't read like a history book. There were stories of other brave souls (Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish) who undertook perilous voyages in search of international trade. Remember it was the 1500 and 1600s! It's hard in this day and age to imagine what the travelers suffered just on the sea but also once they arrived in Japan and the surrounding isla [...]

    3. In the 17th century, it would take a ship two years of ocean voyage to reach Japan from England. Imagine that2 years of dried meat and weavil in your bread, storms, scurvy, possible mutiny and pirate attacks, and being with the same people in a confined space that had neither shower nor toilet flush. 24/7. 730 days. Oh myIn William Adams's case though, it took longer. By the time he and his shipmates reached Japan it was more than two years because of a failed attempt at finding the fabled North [...]

    4. In the early 1600s, the nation of Japan was a mystery to the West. Aside from the Portuguese, who had gone there to trade and spread Christianity, very few Europeans had ever seen its shores. As the valuable spice trade with the East Indies (detailed in Milton's Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History) grew, however, rumours about the endless riches of Japan spread and it soon became a key target for Dutch and British commercial interests. One survivor from a doom [...]

    5. This is the second book I've read by Giles Milton, and it was another adventurous journey to the historical Far East, when the European powers were discovering other lands. As with Nathaniel's Nutmeg, or, The True And Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History, the author opens up the story of a central historical mariner and his travels, in this instance to Shogun Japan.William Adams was marooned in the Land Of The Rising Sun and became the most important foreig [...]

    6. An excellent book. This is the factual historical recounting of William Adams, the Englishman washed up on the shores of 1600 AD Japan during the reign of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. known as Toronaga in James Clavell's novel, SHOGUN. Clavell's novel was made into a mini-series on TV back in the 1980's, Adams is Blackthorne in that series. Not only is it the history of Adams, but also the Portuguese, Spanish, English and Dutch traders in Japanyou come away educated from this bookch more than mere en [...]

    7. Il libro parla del primo navigatore inglese (William Adams) che riuscì ad arrivare in Giappone, dopo un lunghissimo e non poco infernale, viaggio di molti mesi. Riuscì ad insediarsi e riuscì, specialmente, ad entrare nelle grazie dello shogun (comandante supremo dell'esercito giapponese) Ieyasu, che non lo lasciò più tornare in patria, perchè per lui molto "prezioso".La storia comprende una trentina/quarantina di anni, dalla fine del 1500, ai primi decenni del 1600, con continue battaglie [...]

    8. Perhaps misleading with the title, this book is more than the story of William Adams. He fills a large part of the book, but it goes further, exploring the Portuguese and Spanish contacts with Japan, as well as the Dutch and English approaches. It seemed a lot less about Adams and his personal life in Japan - he was after all given a title hatamoto, a vast estate, and many retainers and labourers were his to 'own' living on his estate, and he remained a close adviser to the Shogun.What was obvio [...]

    9. This is a superb account of the English pilot from Limehouse who would have remained in obscurity had he not washed up with a handful of survivors in a storm-battered Dutch ship on the coast of Japan in 1600. The pilot, William Adams, was the first Englishman in Japan and became an invaluable advisor to the future Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, with whom he gained unimaginable influence and was eventually rewarded with a Samurai lordship, becoming the first and possibly only foreigner to do so. This s [...]

    10. I read James Clavell's historical fiction Shogun back when I was a young whippersnapper, dumb and oblivious to source material and the historical record of European trade with Japan in the 16th century. Now older and wiser, I realize that the best stories are the true ones rather than the fictions. I found Samurai William in a book sale at the right time. Well documented and well told, this little gem is a non-fiction page turner.As serendipity would have it, I chose two oddly related books for [...]

    11. When James Clavell wrote Shogun, he had to fictionalize it to make more believable the real life of Englishman William Adams, pilot and East India Company employee, who was stranded in Japan in 1598. Unlike almost every other John Company emissary, Adams quickly assimilated--learning Japanese, bathing regularly, adapting to strict court etiquette and catching the attention of brilliant would-be Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who used him to play off against the Spanish and Portuguese and their Jesuits. [...]

    12. Fantastic story of the first Englishman to visit (and live in) Japan. It's an indication of how adventurous (or desperate) merchants must have been back in the seventeenth century for them to willingly set up trading posts in some of those disease-ridden, far-east cesspits. If they didn't die on the voyage out there, they still had to gamble on whether they'd live long enough to make it back to Europe to spend their hard won fortunes.Adams was fortunate to end up in civilized Japan, even though [...]

    13. Thoroughly enjoyable, well written history book. It is disappointing that the sources don't provide more direct information about Samurai William and much of the book is about events and characters peripheral to him. The early 17th century in Japan whilst being characterised by high taste in clothes, grooming and etiquette was a violent age where cruel and barbaric executions were a regular occurrence. The Europeans who arrived there were unable to cooperate because of national rivalries and rel [...]

    14. Milton provides the reader with the astonishing and thrilling story of William Adams who rose from obscurity to fortune and exercise of immense influence in sixteenth century Japan. Being largely a mystery to Europe in Elizabethan times, with the only reference emanating from the writings of Marco Polo who himself had never set foot there, Japan quickly grasped European attention in the wake of three Portuguese adventurers being blown off-course to Japanese shores in 1544. The memoirs of Fernao [...]

    15. This is an amazing account - the true story of William Adams, a English mariner who, in 1600, washes up on the shores of Japan and within a few years became a senior trusted advisor to the ruling Shogun and his court. The book recounts Adams' exploits, the almost incomprehensible hardships of those who sailed from Europe the the East, the influence and consequences of Jesuit and other priests attempting to Christianity to Japan, and the trade wars between the English, Dutch, Spanish and Portugue [...]

    16. Very interesting. Here in the US we read and study a lot about the European settlements and explorations to the Americas, but rarely do we find much on their other exploits; even less on the civilizations already present in the host country. Milton does a great job sharing the relationship between William Adams and Shogun Ieyasu. He also paints some of the difficulties of the day that we all know must have been, but perhaps haven't thought much about it. For me, these brought up interesting ques [...]

    17. Giles Milton is adept at bringing historical characters to life. This is the story of William Adams, the first Englishman who arrived in Japan in 1600 and stayed for twenty years, as well as the story of the intrepid adventurers who followed him in an attempt to develop trade in Asia. Fascinating.

    18. Well done. Like many older folks I read Clavell's Shogun and then watched the TV miniseries so many years ago. I enjoyed those then, and this real story was better.

    19. A fascinating and little-known tale of the first Englishman in Japan told in a compelling, highly readable fashion.

    20. Samurai William: The Englishman Who Opened Japan is a unique book that tells the story of England's first contact with Japan through a sequence of voyages and adventures. This book tells the true tale of how an Englishman, William Adams, on a Dutch Ship managed to become one of the most influential members of the Japanese court. This book is unique in that it is told in a storyline structure, with narratives from the actual diaries of the real characters from this time. This non-fiction book is [...]

    21. This was a slightly misleading title, as the majority of the book focused on Englishmen other than William Adams who established a trading post (or factory, as it was then called) for the East India Company on the Island of Hirado, in northwestern Kyushu. There was a fair amount on Adams, midway through the book, but it was primarily focused on his voyage out to Japan - once he arrives, is granted a title by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and settles on his landed estate outside Edo (Tokyo), we hear relativel [...]

    22. Expert writing About a largely unknown heroThis is possibly my third time reading this book. I love it. It appeals to the adventurous merchant within. He did so much and attained such great heights. One can only respect him. My thoughts go to his families that he left behind.

    23. Being a lover of historical fiction, one of my favorite books was Shogun by James Clavell. Then I few years ago I was in San Antonio, TX and the lady sitting by the pool next to me was reading a book that looked interesting. She said it was a book about the real life person that Shogun was based on, and I was immediately intrigued. Unfortunately, I forgot about it for quite a while, and by the time I tried to find it, had forgotten the name. After much searching and putting together what I could [...]

    24. 2010 bookcrossing review:This was a really interesting read. I didn´t realise when I picked it up, but Samurai William - William Adams, was the guy who inspired the character in the book which was then turned into the tv series Shogun that was a roundabout way of describing it but anyway. This is history from the 1600s. Samurai William was an Englishman who travelled on a dutch ship round to Japan, to get stranded there. He ended up in Japan for decades, and got on very well with the Shogun at [...]

    25. The story of how an uneducated English ship's navigator rose from nothing to prominence as a powerful Lord in feudal Japan should have been a fascinating one. I'm sure it would have been if William had actually been the primary focus of this book. However, the full title (Samurai William: The adventurer who unlocked Japan) is misleading in a couple of ways. First, William Adams didn't "unlock" anything. He was in Japan for 20 years, helped keep a self-defeating group of English traders from gett [...]

    26. This book could almost be considered an extension to its phernomenonally successful predecessor, `Nathanial's Nutmeg` since the stories are almost contemporaneous, the themes similar and references to events in the prior work are abundant.Milton's subject is an absolute gem dug from the archives of historical obscurantism. The story of the Western world's early squabbling over the riches of Japan is both brutal, amusing and stranger than fiction. One is constantly struck by the appauling conditi [...]

    27. The story of William Adams, the first Englishman to live in Japan and gain high esteem in the shogun's court, is interesting. Giles Milton is a good storyteller, and the story is one of treacherous sea voyages, unruly seamen, and the rivalry and hate between the Catholic (Spanish and Portuguese) and Protestant (British and Dutch) colonizers. As with Nathaniel's Nutmeg, which is the only other book I have read by Milton so far, he tells the story of all, not just the title character, with its twi [...]

    28. You would think will over 300 pages this book was going to be long winded and potentially stuffy reading, it is not! It is a very enjoyable read of late 16th to early 17th century Japan and the early European traders that went there. Giles Milton brings a great way to enjoy history that isn't focused much in mainstream education or scant attention in other areas of written history. I ahve to say this time in England is not one I'm very familiar with and have made a point not to familiarise mysel [...]

    29. For the most part an enjoyable read that felt a little bogged down by the bickering amongst the early Englishmen, their European counterparts, and the Japanese. It did present a realistic picture of European settlers in the early 1600's as much of the content was presented from the letters of William Adams and his contemporaries. To me a little more delving into the Japanese perspective and culture would have more enriched this very interesting story. Samurai William also felt more a history boo [...]

    30. This book offers an interesting take of the first Englishman in Japan and management of the earliest multinationals (East India Company) in the age where letters to home country took months to arrive. It also gives glimpses of Japan in the 1600. While the first part is rather confusing with the peppers of European names who preceded William Adams, soon the story focuses on the Englishmen and their antics.Pace is good and engaging. Style is clean and to-the-point while descriptive save for his on [...]

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