A Gentleman from Japan: The Untold Story of An Incredible Journey from Asia to Queen Elizabeth’s Court

You don’t have to be a member of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) to attend the next fascinating FCCJ Book Break: Thomas Lockley, author of “A Gentleman from Japan: The Untold Story of An Incredible Journey from Asia to Queen Elizabeth’s Court” on June 11 at 6pm. Just email your name to book at: front@fccj.or.jp

And you can save ¥1,000 if I know you and you book through me for the cheaper FCCJ Member rate! I know Thomas and his books very well and I can guarantee that this is one not to be missed.

The author will discuss his book in English and take questions during this dinner event. https://lnkd.in/guvgDyF2

A Gentleman from Japan is a fast-paced, historical narrative of adventure, cross-cultural endeavor, intellectual exchange, perseverance, espionage and conflict in the Age of Exploration.

This is the first book to focus on the beginning of relations between Japan and the English-speaking world between 1587 and 1592. It follows the life of ‘Christopher’ (as the English named him), an enslaved Japanese man in service to the Spanish who was captured by English pirates off California and taken to London.

The pirate commander, Thomas Cavendish, cleverly presented Christopher and his four colleagues as noblemen, introducing them to the elite of England. When this deception was uncovered, the narrative took a dramatic turn, and Christopher’s role transformed into that of a ‘naturalist,’ a term we would now equate to a scholar or scientist. Christopher’s contributions to the emerging English scientific community included advice on Chinese compass construction, translating groundbreaking sea charts, and the first recorded writing of Japanese script in England.

The tale of Christopher, largely forgotten and never fully recounted until now, is a testament to the enduring impact of a Japanese visitor to the English-speaking world. A Gentleman from Japan delves into the early-modern cross-cultural endeavor, intellectual exchange, perseverance, espionage, enslavement, and the challenges and hardships of Elizabethan seafaring. It presents an extraordinary sea story that upends the narrative of the Age of Exploration.

Thomas Lockley is an Associate Professor at Nihon University, where he researches and teaches themes related to the international history of Japan, especially those stories that have slipped between the cracks of recorded history. He has published numerous papers, contributed to Ministry of Education (MEXT) approved textbooks, and written several books, the best known of which is African Samurai (coauthored with Geoffrey Girard, 2019), concerning the life of Yasuke, the African man who fought beside Oda Nobunaga.

Doors open at 6pm. Dinner is served from 6:15pm. The presentation starts at 7:15pm.

Dinner also includes coffee or tea and one other beverage. Choices are orange juice, oolong tea, white wine, red wine or beer.

Price: ¥3,000 for members, ¥4,000 for non-members.

Cancellations accepted up to 72 hours before the event. Please reserve at the reception desk or by email (front@fccj.or.jp). Non-members must pay by Thursday, June 6th, 2024.

Online attendance (via Zoom) is available at ¥550 per person, by reservation.

Attendees with food restrictions should inform the club when reserving. Thank you.

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