Samurai William: The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan

Front Cover
Hodder & Stoughton, Oct 13, 2011 - History - 416 pages
2 Reviews

In 1611 an astonishing letter arrived at the the East India Trading Company in London after a tortuous seven-year journey. Englishman William Adams was one of only twenty-four survivors of a fleet of ships bound for Asia, and he had washed up in the forbidden land of Japan.

The traders were even more amazed to learn that, rather than be horrified by this strange country, Adams had fallen in love with the barbaric splendour of Japan - and decided to settle. He had forged a close friendship with the ruthless Shogun, taken a Japanese wife and sired a new, mixed-race family.
Adams' letter fired up the London merchants to plan a new expedition to the Far East, with designs to trade with the Japanese and use Adams' contacts there to forge new commercial links.

Samurai William brilliantly illuminates a world whose horizons were rapidly expanding eastwards.

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Review: Samurai William: The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan

User Review  - Miles - Goodreads

Pretty good read. Especially in terms of explaining the harrowing voyages mariners took in order to discover and dominate the spice trade. Book is not exclusively about Adams. Giles dedicates much of the book to other mariners, which I found annoying at times. Read full review

Review: Samurai William: The Adventurer Who Unlocked Japan

User Review  - Carol Weaver - Goodreads

Excellent Read full review

About the author (2011)

Giles Milton is a writer and historian. He is the internationally bestselling author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg, Big Chief Elizabeth, The Riddle and the Knight, White Gold, Samurai William, Paradise Lost, Wolfram and Russian Roulette. He has also written three novels and three children's books. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in south London.

Find out more about Giles and his books on his website,, and Wikipedia page,, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at

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