BD. Edmund Blunden

118. Foreword to The First Englishman in Japan: The Story of Will Adams (Ap), by P. G. Rogers. London: Harvill, 1956.

Blunden praises Adams’s achievements, speculates about his character, and as in so many early Blunden poems notes similarities between Britain and Japan: ‘The dockyard [in Japan] which Adams used and which it is possible to locate must have been much the same as boat-builders can still be content with round the coasts of Britain’, and ‘no doubt the shipwrights were sometimes encouraged with jokes and anecdotes revived by [Adams] from old times on the shore at Gillingham’. Reprints William Adams at ItÔ (55d) and includes First Visit to Yashima (see 68), occasional verse in praise of Yashima, a pine-covered plateau overlooking the Inland Sea, site of historic battles between the Minamoto and the Taira (see BK21a). The poem and an account in Japanese of Blunden’s visit is inscribed on a stone monument at the site..





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