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Fine example of this decorative map of Japan and Corai Insula (Korea).

The map was used to illustrate the Dutch translations of the account of the voyage of William Adams to Japan in 1600. The cartouche depicts Adams' reception at the Court of the Shogun.

Adams was the first reported Englishman to reach Japan.

Adams had left Holland two years earlier, in the service of the Dutch India Company, as part of a company of five ships heading west to South America, through the Straits of Magellan and across the Pacific Ocean. By the time the expedition reached Japan, the attrition rate of materiel and personnel was so great that only one ship remained with 24 men aboard and most of them were in a sickly state of health. The condition of the crew was so bleak that only nine of the remaining twenty four were even able to walk.

During the course of the voyage, two of the expeditions five ships had been taken captive, one by the Spanish, one by the Portuguese. Another had been lost to a storm while attempting to cross the Pacific. The fifth ship had turned back at the Straits of Magellan and had arrived safely back in Rotterdam.

The port where Adams ship cast anchor was occupied by the Jesuits missionaries whom Francis Xavier had left under Otomo Sorin's pledge for protection in 1552. The care of Adam's crew and the restoration of their health fell to the Jesuits and the priests also functioned as interpreters for the Japanese.

Once he recovered, Adams received an audience with the Japanese Court and would later become a trusted confidant of the Shogun, a hatamoto (Japanese nobleman) with numerous estates and a key link in the early Dutch and English East India Companies trade with Japan. He took a Japanese wife and lived a full and exciting dual life until his death in Japan in 1620. .

Vander Aa was one of the most prolific compilers of information on the early explorations to America, Asia and Africa. In total, the work reached over 130 narratives.

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.