William Adams  ウィリアム・アダムス

William Adams and Hirado

Scattered diary records researched by Mr. Tadashi Makino reveal that Adams was laid to rest in one corner of the foreigner's cemetery near the trading post. After the Shimabara revolt in 1637 (brought on the government's repression of Christianity), the state took a severe stance against foreigners and had their cemetery dug up and the remains of those buried there cast into the sea. However, some of the local people secretly recovered what they could and reburied their departed friends at different locations.

In the confusion and course of time, it is thus impossible to know exactly where famed pilot now rests. But on a hillside to the right of Hirado Port, there is a tombstone erected in the memory of William Adams.

The memorial to Adams. The stone on the left would be the original marker, that to the right commemorates his English wife and contains a stone from her grave.

William Adams Memorial Ceremony

Remains of first Englishman in Japan identified

The remains were discovered in July of 2017 at the William Adams Memorial Park in Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture.

A recent archaeological investigation has attempted to verify remains claimed to be his own. While Adams was buried as a nobleman, the repression of Christianity from the 1620s saw Christian graveyards destroyed, although it is rumoured that Adams' were excavated and reinterred for protection. Using the latest scientific technologies such as carbon dating and DNA analysis, a team of scientists and archaeologists are working hard to see whether the bones really belonged to the 'Blue-Eyed Samurai' himself.

A white pot that contained 100 pieces of a Westerner's bones can be seen at the center under the monument that is believed to be for Miura Anjin in Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture, in July 2017. (Provided by the Hirado municipal government)

A biomolecular anthropological investigation of William Adams

You can read their report in  Japanese.