William Adams was a local sailor who was involved in fighting the Spanish Armada, and later became the first man to reach Japan and set up a trading mission there .
His story inspired James Clavell to write Shogun, with Adams represented by the character John Blackthorne.
He never returned to the West, let alone Gillingham, but as the Anjin, he is still honoured by the Japanese 500 years after his death.
The memorial - it is inscribed in Japanese and English - was unveiled in the 1930s on the site of Gillingham's electric tramway. The Japanese turned out in force to honour their hero (he was the first Westerner to become a Samurai.)
Today most people walk past without recognising what it represents.
And even fewer know it conceals an electricity sub-station...
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