The Thousand Autumns

In 1542, a Chinese pirate ship was swept by a typhoon towards the island of Tanegashima in Japan. On the ship were a few Portuguese sailors, the first Europeans to land on Japan, who returned to Europe with stories of a united nation with people who had treated them well. Soon Portugal sent its first trading ship, and for the next hundred years the Portuguese had a virtual monopoly on European trade with Japan.

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