Every Englishman has heard of Will Adams and his Japanese wife, but though his career was romantic and interesting it has added but little to our knowledge of Japan at the time of his visit thereto. In 1727 Dr. Kaemfer's work on Japan was published. Kaemfer had been physician to the Dutch factory at Nagasaki, and, accordingly, had some opportunities of studying Japanese life and character.
His book in the original form is rare, but I am glad to say that a cheap edition, a reprint of the English edition produced by the Royal Society in 1727, has recently been published in this country. Kaemfer's work is spoiled and its utility or reliability largely impaired by the fanciful theories put forward by the author respecting the origin of the Japanese.
There was plenty of literature in reference to Japan far more reliable than Kaemfer's whimsical "yarns" at a much earlier period than twenty-five years back. Sir Rutherford Alcock's "The Capital of the Tycoon" was, I think, published in 1863.