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Decorative map of the region from India to Southeast Asia and north to Japan and Korea, including an illustration of the Great Wall of China, illustrating the Dutch translation of the account of the voyage of John Saris, Captain of the first English Voyage to Japan.

John Saris was an English Sea Captain, who led the first English voyage to Japan in 1613. Saris was under the employ of the British East India Company and was based in the British trading post in Java. While William Adams is credited as the first Englishman to reach Japan, he did so in a Dutch ship. At the time of Saris's arrival, Adams had become the Japanese Shogun's foreign affairs advisor, which greatly aided Saris's trade mission. Saris met with the royal family and negotiated extensive trade agreements with Japan. Ultimately, a British trade factory was established in Hirado, on Japan's southernmost island of Kyushu.

Saris returned to England in 1613, leaving Richard Cocks as the head of the Hirado factory, which was not successful, in large part because of the strong Dutch presence on Kyushu. The factory at Hirado was abandoned by 1623. Saris later fell into disrepute in England, when he displayed Japanese erotic paintings which he had acquired while in Japan.

Pieter van der Aa Biography

Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733) was a Dutch mapmaker and publisher who printed pirated editions of foreign bestsellers and illustrated books, but is best known for his voluminous output of maps and atlases. Van der Aa was born to a German stonecutter from Holstein. Interestingly, all three van der Aa sons came to be involved in the printing business. Hildebrand was a copper engraver and Boudewyn was a printer.