Japan400 is actively involved with a Schools Programme, including the sending of young British students to Japan, and welcoming Japanese in the UK.

Numerous academic events will take place, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) will host many study days and conferences, as will museums, libraries and galleries throughout the UK.

In celebration of the regional importance of this first encounter, there will be an exchange of municipal employees from the UK, who will work with their opposite numbers in the Hirado and Nagasaki areas.

We hope to encourage a greater understanding of Japan.

A Cultural Legacy Fund will be established to enhance and publicise places and monuments relating to this early period of Japan-British Relations. We hope to restore the tomb of Sir Thomas Smythe at St John the Baptist’s, Sutton-at-Hone (Kent), which is one of the finest examples in existence. The more modest tomb of John Saris in All Saints’, Fulham (London) will also be cleaned, and we hope also to investigate materials related to Richard Cocks’ family, in Seighford (Staffs). The William Adams Monument in Gillingham (Kent), erected in the 19th century, is also in need of some repair.

It is also hoped to have a plaque placed on the site of the home of Sir Thomas Smythe (which also functioned as the East India Company offices at the time, on the West corner of Fenchurch St and Philpot Lane, and at the site of Saris’s home in Church Gate, Fulham.

The reigning shogun when the English arrived was Tokugawa Hidetada. He died in 1632 but his spectacular mausoleum in central Tokyo was destroyed in World War ll. No proper architectural survey had been carried out. Recently, a full and perfect scale model has been discovered in the Royal Collection in London. The work is in need of restoration and a long-term space for display.

The Clove retuned to England in 1614, docking in Plymouth in late September, with its magnificent cargo of painting and armour from the Shogun and ex-Shogun, and its sale-goods of screens and laquer.

20 December 2014 will mark the 400th anniversary of the first ever art auction in England—lacquerware from the Clove. We hope this will be celebrated by special events and sales at some of London’s world-famous auction houses.