The comment in the title of this article was made by James I after having been shown a ‘long scrole of fyne paper’, probably a Japanese almanac, and an account of the estates and revenues of the daimyo ‘most of them equally or exceeding the revenues of the greatest princes of Christendom’, and a letter, all of which had been sent by Richard Cocks, head of the English East India Company's factory at Hirado during its entire existence from 1613 to 1623. Cocks's letter and the two enclosures had been sent to his patron, the then Keeper of the Records, Sir Thomas Wilson, who had shown the letter to James with a covering note stating that he had received it ‘from the most remote part of the world’. The letter describes, in considerable and acutely observed detail, the new capital of the Tokugawa shogunate, Edo, the shogun's magnificent retinue as he led a falcon-hunting party (hunting was a pastime he had in common with the British monarch), the great daibutsu of Kamakura, the sights of Kyoto, including Sanjusangendo, and recent political developments relating to the banishment of the Jesuits and friars. Wilson, rather obsequiously, felt that the letters, written in January 1617, ‘were a good recreation for Your Majesty (if you had any idle hours)’ and declared that ‘neither our cosmographers nor other writers have given us true relation of the greatness of the princes of those parts’. But James could ‘not be induced to believe’ what was written, and dismissed the letter as ‘the loudest lies that ever [he] heard of.