OK, here are two concepts. I'm fine with either one of them, and leave up to you and Mr. A what you want to put up with.
Hans Stoertebeker (Hanse Swashbuckler)
A brash, flamboyant fop with a taste for danger and adventure. Sent to Nippon by his noble parents who thought it'd be good for him to cool his heels in foreign parts, and potentially do something useful on the way. Sent to San'in to figure out if and how the local Hanse traders are involved in courtly intrigues in the country, or if the Hanse are set up as tools, and then minimize potential damage to the trade revenues.
Kemuri (Ninja Mystic (Mage))
In the children's tales of ninja, there are men who can shift the shape of their faces, walk across water, and dissolve into smoke. Like all tales, there is a kernel of truth, but the ancient arts of the ninja are dying, being replaced by technology and parlor tricks. Kemuri is one of the last practitioners of the ancient arts, and his abilities border on the supernatural. His mission is (determined by the GM). His hearts desire, however, is to stop the progress of technological advance and return Nippon to its spiritual roots.
(Kemuri would be a mage (maybe toss in a few levels of burglar), but limit his spell selection to the Trickster school and other non-flashy magics. The Alchemist class ironically uses way too obvious magic effects, but I might take an Alchemy feat or two.)
Note that I'll happily make way for any new players, if you can find enough. I'm part of the campaign already anyway.