HEAD OF TOKUGAWA FAMILY MARKS 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF SAILING FROM JAPAN OF FIRST BRITISH SHIP TO VISIT. - Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A highly significant historic ceremony takes place at Royal Armouries’ ancestral home – the White Tower at the Tower of London – on Friday, December 6, marking the departure of The Clove from Japan in 1613.

The Head of the Tokugawa Family and 18th Direct Descendant of the great Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, Mr Tokugawa Tsunenari, will be welcomed by Director General and Master of the Royal Armouries, Dr Edward Impey, before he is presented with a commemorative coin authorised by HM The Queen. The presentation will be made in front of the suit of armour sent to her ancestor, King James, by Ieyasu’s son, Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada, and which left Japan on board The Clove.

The East India Company ship, The Clove, had been sent by King James with presents for the ruler of Japan, including the first telescope ever sent outside Europe. The suit of armour was one of the principal gifts sent in response and provoked great interest on its arrival. The Clove was the first British ship to reach Japan, and its Mission succeeded in opening diplomatic, trade, scientific and cultural relations between Britain and Japan, laying a first foundation for the excellent relations in all those fields today. The Clove left Japanese territorial waters on 6th December, 1613.

One side of the commemorative coin, minted by the East India Company, shows King James, Tokugawa Ieyasu and The Clove. The obverse shows HM The Queen. A limited edition of 400 gold coins and 400 silver has been minted to mark the 400th Anniversary. The presentation will be made by the Co-Chairmen of Japan400, Professor Timon Screech and Nicolas Maclean CMG, and by Ms Johanna Rowe, General Manager, The East India Company, (Bullion Division). The Mayor of Shizuoka, the Japanese city to which Tokugawa Ieyasu retired and where he met the British Mission, will also be present, as well as other VIPs.

The ceremony can be filmed and photographed and participants interviewed, but names of media attending must be notified to Cerys Wood at the Royal Armouries, (cerys.wood@armouries.org.uk), before 4pm on Wednesday, 4th December.

Entry to the Tower of London will be from 17.00 at the Main Gate for those pre-registered in advance.

For further information regarding this historic ceremony please contact Nicolas Maclean, Japan400 on 020 8675 6725 or nmatmwm@hotmail.com.

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