William Adams was born in Gillingham, Kent, England back in 1564. His father died when he was young so he went to work at a shipyard. He spent twelve years learning shipbuilding, astronomy and navigation before joining the Royal Navy.
He served under Sir Francis Drake seeing battle with the Spanish Armade in 1588 as master of the Richarde Dyffyde, a resupply ship. After the war, he became a pilot for the Barbary Company. In 1598, he set sail for the west coast of South America. In 1600, after 19 months at sea he arrived at the island of Kyusho, Japan. He helped the Japanese construct the Western-style ships. He died in Japan at 55.
What you may not know about William is that he was the first of his nation to reach Japan. After settling in Japan, he was the first ever Western samurai. He is regarded by the Japanese as one of the most influential foreigners in Japan during the time period. There is a statue of him in Nagisacho, Japan. There is so much more that he did during his time there. If you want to know more please look him up, fascinating reading
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