Thursday, May 26, 2022
Outlook.com

A Li'l Shogunnery

A Li'l Shogunnery

I walked up and down the street thrice to locate the memorial to William Adams, shipwrecked Englishman who taught the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu gunnery, geography and mathematics, and whose life inspired James Clavell to write the bestseller Shogun (1975). The stone is crammed in less than five feet between two shops. The neighbourhood went by his Japanese name once, Aijin-cho. Devotees of the bestseller have rated Shogun with four-and-a-half stars (out of five) at Amazon, with over three hundred reviews. I stood there so long, a man waiting in a car nearby walked over to read in Japanese what I read in English. The memorial is two streets from Nihonbashi, the bridge Ieyasu built, over which sweeps a massive highway that keeps Nihonbashi in perpetual shadow of the now. But I marvelled that it has lived four centuries: the richest and the most powerful lived both sides of it then; the Bank of Japan resides there now.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement