After many attempts to reach Japan, the first encounter between the Japanese and Europeans occurred in August or September 1543. According to the Teppo-ki, the Japanese account of how firearms came to Japan, the Chinese boat carried around 100 Chinese sailors and 3 Portuguese men. The Portuguese were Francisco Zeimoto, Antonio da Mota, and Antonio Peixoto. Blown off course during a trading mission to the Chinese port of Ningpo, they landed accidentally at Tanegashima, a small island off the coast of Kyushu Japan.

The boat was carrying animal hides from Siam to China. It is likely that when the Japanese encountered the dirty unshaven sailors, they referred to them as Nambanjin, or Southern Barbarians. The lord of Tanegashima, Lord Tokitaka, was impressed by their two matchlock guns. After buying them, he learned how to shoot and later how to manufacture gun barrels and gunpowder. He ordered his men to continue manufacturing guns, marking the first time firearms reached Japanese soil.