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Pandemic resets Japan, Britain relations to time of Miura Anjin

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My first encounter with the name Miura Anjin was during a junior high school English class decades ago.

The class textbook described him as “a great figure who brought shipbuilding to Japan.”

William Adams, an Englishman who became a diplomatic adviser to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, was known in Japan as Miura Anjin. May 16 marked the 400th anniversary of his death.

Adams shipped out in 1598 as a pilot in a Dutch fleet and his ship was cast up on the coast of Oita in 1600.

“I think he was a bold person who had the nerve to lecture Ieyasu on international affairs,” says Koichi Shiozuka, 52, an official at the Hirado municipal government in Nagasaki Prefecture.


© The Asahi Shimbun