A visit to the Fan Museum at Greenwich

Fan Museum displayI’ve been wanting to go to the Fan Museum in Greenwich for ages but, frustratingly, something always seems to get in the way. My most recent near miss was a few weeks ago when I was supposed to go with the Japan Society but had to pull out because of heavy snow. But then Yannick came to the rescue with a curator-led tour that included tea in the pretty little Orangery facing the garden.  Continue reading

England meets Japan – four hundred years ago

Tokugawa IeyasuOn 18th April 1611 the British East India Company ship, the Clove, captained by John Saris, set sail from England headed for Japan. It arrived at Hirado near Nagasaki on 11th June 1613, the first British ship ever to reach Japan.

Hang on, I hear you say. What about William Adams? Wasn’t he the first? Continue reading

The English Samurai from Shogun is coming to Sadler’s Wells!

Anjin leafletThere’s a treat coming up at Sadler’s Wells. From 31 January to 9 February 2013 they’re staging Anjin – The Shogun and the English Samurai.

Anjin is the story of William Adams, an English navigator, thought to be the first Englishman ever to reach Japan, where he became known as Miura Anjin – the pilot of Miura – the English Samurai.  Continue reading