Nagasaki, Japan
Kan'ei 10, Eleventh Month, Day 25 (December 25, 1633)

Manoel Lagoa, chief diver of Macau's Japan Fleet, had his hand cupped by his ear. At last he heard the sound he had been waiting for: Dong. . . Dong. . . Dong. . . Dong. . . Dong. . . Dong. . . Dong. . . Dong. . . Dong. . . Nine bells. It was, according to the bell towers of Nagasaki, the Hour of the Rat, what Europeans would call midnight.

Lopo Sarmento de Carvalho, the captain . . .



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