, the heroic Erasmus pilot-major
and acting captain-general
. He courageously rebels against (or pirates upon) the evil Spanish oppressors
for his beloved Britain
The character is loosely based on the explorer Will Adams, although his role in the founding of the Toranaga (Tokugawa) shogunate is exaggerated in the novel. He did advise Tokugawa against the Spanish / Portugese, and did take a Japanese wife. Unfortunately for him, he was also never allowed to leave Japan.