Essay about Samurai William

Words: 1733
Pages: 7

In Giles Milton’s novel, Samurai William, the reader is taken to the other side of the globe to experience the history of old world Japan. Though out the book, Milton provides reason for complex historical events and actions, while still communicating the subtleties and mysterious customs of the Japanese. The novel also closely examines the wide range of relationships between different groups of Europeans and Asians, predominantly revolving around the protagonist, William Adams. The book documents the successes and failures that occur between the two civilizations, then links them back to either the positive or negative relationship they have. As the book goes on, the correlation is obvious. Milton shows us the extreme role that religion, …show more content…
Soon, William found himself the owner of estate and slaves from the shogun. William shed his English dress clothes for traditional kimonos and silks, and soon found the more he assimilated the more successful he became. He married a Japanese girl, spoke the language perfectly, and had secured a place as a samurai. He is a perfect example of adopting Japanese etiquette to create the positive relations the Europeans needed. The opposite was demonstrated by John Saris, another English adventurer. Saris intended to reach Ieyasu with a letter from the King for trade. William led him to Ieyasu’s Castle, all the while instructing him on the proper etiquette in which to approach the mighty ruler. Saris turned up his nose at this, not wanting appear so low beneath Ieyasu. He did not give the letter to the secretary, as he was required. He did not fall to the floor before Ieyasu and attempted to hand the letter to him. All of these things were explicit insults and all led to the angering of Ieyasu and hindering positive relations and trade. Trade was the main reason for the explorations to Japan. Every adventure that went through the trouble of acquiring a ship, a crew, and investors was dreaming of exotic spices and silks. Rumours of the far away island had tempted men for ages, most who never made it at all or never returned to tell the tale. They loaded their ships with crystal, wool, pewter, and ivory; all in hopes of reaching the fabled