Discover the incredible life of

Click here to learn more about first Englishman to reach Japan, and his journey to becoming one of the first Western Samurai.

Tracing Adams' footsteps...

Ito, a popular seaside onsen hot spring resort an easy train ride from Tokyo, lies at the northern end of the Izu Peninsula. William Adams was tasked by Tokugawa Ieyasu to build and commission Japan’s first galleons using [...] Learn more →

Hirado is one of Japan’s little known but most intriguing places. Firstly, its name is most un-Japanese sounding and is, in fact, derived from Firando, with which Portuguese traders dubbed the port town in the 16th Century. Learn more →

William Adams became the first English person to arrive in Japan when his ship, De Leifde, was washed ashore on Kuroshima, a small island off the coast of Usuki, in April 1600. Adams and his shipmates quickly found themselves [...] Learn more →

Tokugawa Ieyasu rewarded William Adams’ loyalty with the status of hatamoto, a high ranking samurai in the direct service of Tokugawa shoguns. This status also came with a fief, which for Adams was at Hemi in Yokosuka [...] Learn more →

The Nihonbashi district was the commercial centre of Edo, the original name given to Tokyo, and also Japan during the ascendency of the samurai. Nihonbashi, which literally means ‘Bridge of Japan’, is derived from the river crossing where the nation’s major thoroughfares converged [...] Learn more →



Most WAC members have strong British-Japanese or other international connections with Japan, or are otherwise interested in William Adams. These include retired and active academics, authors, diplomats, civil servants, and business people from a wide range of industries including finance, insurance, media and tourism. Members also include descendants of the powerful families that governed Japan and its regions in the Edo Period (1603 - 1868) such as the Tokugawa, Matsudaira and Matsura clans.


Primarily to remember and commemorate the life and achievements of William Adams, along with other British and Japanese nationals integral to the history of Japan-British relations, and to encourage tourism to any city, town or other place which has a historical connection with William Adams. To support research into William Adams, promote knowledge about his extraordinary life to the wider public both in Japan and overseas, and to expand and strengthen the worldwide network of those interested in him.


Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about the William Adams Club and its activities.