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Full text of "MANJIRO, THE MAN DISCOVERED AMERICA"

92 Nl63k 56-10223 

Eanako %75 1 

Hanjlro* the man who diBCovered 



Aioerica- 




DATE I>UE 




MANJIRO, THE MAN WHO 
DISCOVERED AMERICA 



Cast thy bread upon the waters: 
for thou shalt find it after many days. 
Ecclesiastes 11:1 



MANJIRO, 
THE MAN 

WHO 

DISCOVERED 
AMERICA 

BY 
HISAKAZU KANEKO 



HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY BOSTON 



1956 



COPYRIGHT 1956 BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO REPRODUCE 

THIS BOOK OR PARTS THEREOF IN ANY FORM 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGUE CARD NO. 56-7239 

FIRST PRINTING JULY 1956 



CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. 




PREFACE 



THIS is a story of Manjiro Nakahama alias John Mung, a 
fisherman's boy who was shipwrecked and rescued by the 
John Howland, a New Bedford whaling ship, from an un 
charted island in the Pacific in 1841 when, incidentally, 
Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, was sailing in 
another New Bedford whaling ship, the Acushnet, in the 
same waters. Under the fatherly care of the captain of the 
whaling ship, Manjiro was taken to America as the first 
Japanese to be educated and to live there, and later he man 
aged to return to his native land, then pursuing a rigorous 
isolation policy which prohibited anyone from entering the 
country on pain of death. He became a 'Voice in the wil 
derness" and helped open his countrymen's eyes to modern 
civilization, playing no small part in aiding his country's 



VI PREFACE 

gradual evolution from feudalism to democracy. More than 
a century has elapsed since then, but the spirit of adven 
ture and progress and the virtues of kindness and goodwill 
as exemplified in his life are alive today. 

It may be opportune to publish a book of this kind at 
this particular time when we have just celebrated the cen 
tennial of Commodore Perry's expedition to Japan, for it 
was none other than Commodore Perry who drastically 
changed the course of Manjiro's life and gave him the op 
portunity to turn his ability and experience to the best 
account for his country at its crisis. This book is an attempt 
to present as clearly as possible, and in some detail, the life 
and adventure of Manjiro and the milieu in which he 
lived, so that the reader may enjoy this delightful episode 
in the history of Japanese-American relations. 

I have been able to get access to several records and doc 
uments attributed to the officials who investigated Manjiro 
and the other shipwrecked men concerning their experi 
ences abroad, which I have freely used as source material 
for my book. I am also greatly indebted to the two Japa 
nese books, Mr. Masuji Ibuse's The Shipwreck Story of 
John Manjiro and A Biography of Manjiro Nakahama 
written by his son, Dr. Toichiro Nakahama. Also I want 
to record my indebtedness to "The Presentation of a Sa 
murai Sword to the Town of Fairhaven" and "Fairhaven, 
Massachusetts" which the Millicent Library of Fairhaven, 
Mass., kindly sent me. My thanks for sympathy and encour 
agement are many, and are due to Mr. Philip F. Purring- 
ton, Curator of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society and 
the Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Mass., who unstint 
edly furnished me with much of the hitherto unknown 
Fairhaven information about Manjiro; to Mrs. P. W. E., 



PREFACE Vll 

Mr. W. C. B,, and many others who have taken the 
trouble to read the manuscript or the proof and who have 
given me much valuable suggestion and advice, without 
which this book would not have been materialized. 

HISAKAZU KANEKO 



CONTENTS 



1. A SHIPWRECK, 1 
2. ON AN ISLAND OF ALBATROSS, 9 

3. ON A RESCUE SHIP, 19 

4. TO FAIRHAVEN, MASS., 31 

5. AN EMPTY HOPE, 49 

6. IN THE GOLD RUSH, 59 

7. HOMEWARD BOUND, 67 

8. A HAPPY LANDFALL, 75 
9. HOME AT LAST, 85 

1O. AN ERA DAWNS, 103 

11. A GOODWILL MISSION, 115 

12. AFTER YEARS, 125 

13. A REUNION, 133 

14. AND AFTER, 143 




MANJIRO, THE MAN WHO 
DISCOVERED AMERICA 



A 
SHIPWRECK 



MANJIRO was born in the tenth year of the Bunsei Era 
(1827) in a lonely fishing village called Nakanohama, in 
the Province of Tosa where the warm Black Current of the 
Pacific Ocean ceaselessly washes its craggy coast. His father 
Etsuke died when Manjiro was only nine years old and his 
widowed mother, Shio, with her lean hands had to feed 
her five ever hungry children. So poor was she that she 
could not afford to send the children to a nearby Buddhist 
temple for a simple education. Manjiro had to work. When 
he was thirteen years old, he put to sea in a fishing boat 
and unhooked fish from the lines to get what little money 
he could earn and help his widowed mother eke out a 
scanty livelihood. 

On the morning of the fifth of January, 1841, when he 



2 M A N J I R O 

was fourteen years old, he took to the sea, bright and early, 
from Usaura with Denzo, aged thirty-eight, Jusuke, aged 
twenty-five, and Goemon, aged fifteen, both brothers of 
Denzo, and Toraemon, aged twenty-six, in an attempt to 
catch the sea bass that would come riding along in the tide 
of the New Year. The boat, which belonged to one Toku- 
nojo of Usaura, was loaded with three bushels of rice and 
quantities of other food, firewood and fresh water so that 
they could engage in fishing for several days on end. 

That day, when the boat reached a point about twenty- 
eight miles away from Usaura, they cast all the nets they 
had, but there was not a fish to be caught. In the evening 
they steered the boat behind the Cape of Yaso to 
take shelter from the wind and waited for the light of 
day. The next morning they went out thirty miles off the 
coast of Ashizuri to try their luck with rods and lines, but 
they were as luckless as the day before. So they gave up 
fishing for the day and again rowed back near the shore 
to stay for the night. 

On the seventh day they rowed out again about thirty 
miles from the Cape of Ashizuri, but the catch was as poor 
as ever. Then, suddenly, a strong monkey-and-cock wind 
began to blow, so they decided to make for land before 
they were overtaken by a storm. When the boat had trav 
ersed about ten miles of the intervening sea it ran into 
such a large shoal of mackerel and sea bream that the sea 
seemed to have taken on a dark purplish color. Denzo 
spurred the others into action and cast six bucketfuls of 
nets. In the meantime the sky grew dark and the wind 
blew full blast, threatening to overturn the boat at any 
moment. Terrified out of their wits, they tried to haul in 
the nets but as the billows swelled mountain-high, tossing 



A SHIPWRECK 3 

the boat about, they barely managed to recover three bucket- 
fuls of nets and rowed for their lives toward the shore. 

Soon the rain began to fall and a splashy mist rose from 
the sea until it became so thick that nothing was to be seen 
an inch ahead. They rowed as hard as they could, but soon 
they became too exhausted to prevent the boat from being 
carried away by the wind and waves like a fallen leaf in a 
rapid stream. Soon night fell. Their clothes were drenched 
with salty water and the cold pierced their bodies. They 
had only one oar left now and the rudder and the canvases 
were also carried away by the waves. There was nothing 
they could do. They only knelt down on the planks and 
prayed to the gods and to Buddha, and asked for their 
divine protection. The boat seemed to be drifting south 
ward. The wind still raged and there was no prospect of 
fine weather next morning. 

It was said that a storm that had not blown over 
by the dawn was sure to blow just as hard all next 
day. Fortunately, the boat itself remained undamaged 
and drifted on. Soon they saw in the distance, be 
tween the peaks of swelling billows and through the 
murky rain, Cape Muroto and its straggling houses. On 
one of the hills of this cape there was a watchman's lodge 
called "Mountain View" where villagers kept a lookout for 
whales. Had the watchmen there seen the boat in distress, 
they would surely have put out a ship to come to their 
rescue. All the men in the rudderless boat, madly waving 
their hands and scratching their heads in grief, shouted at 
the top of their lungs, "Help! Help!" But as swift as 
thought, the boat was carried away while Cape Muroto 
receded into the distance. A little after noon, what seemed* 
to be the mountain range of Kishu came into sight above 



4 MAN J IRQ 

the rain-brewing cloud but in a few moments it, too, dis 
appeared in the mist and rain. The last oar was gone with 
the waves, and with it the hope of turning back the boat, 
which was now no better than a body without limbs. At 
night the cold wind blew so hard that their drenched clothes 
were frozen and small icicles settled on their sleeves and the 
knots of their sashes. They barely prevented themselves 
from being frozen to death by burning some planks and 
straw mats to keep warm. Their rice was all gone now, 
and they had to catch fish to survive. 

On the tenth day a drizzling rain was falling. The cold 
seemed to be particularly penetrating that day and much 
worse than the cold of the night. Small icicles hung not 
only from their sleeves and sashes but also from the shaggy 
hair of Denzo. The sleet, blown into his topknot, melted 
and dripped down his spine. As the drinking water was 
all gone, they scraped sleet together and drank it, and ate 
the icicles gathered from their sleeves. Goemon's hands 
and feet were numb with cold so he shudderingly pulled 
a straw mat over himself and breathed faintly. 

On the eleventh day the wind and rain grew harder than 
ever. Denzo and Toraemon made a roof out of the re 
maining canvases and split the planks and burned them 
in order to make sick Goemon warm and comfortable as 
best they could. He was suffering from a cold with fever, 
hunger and exhaustion. Denzo produced from a pouch a 
talisman, a small piece of paper on which something was 
written, and put it into the mouth of Goemon as if it were 
a medicine. Soon Goemon's fever seemed to have abated 
considerably. 

By the twelfth day the rain seemed a little weakened 
and it was not so severely cold any more. While looking 



ASHIPWRECK 5 

out toward the distant sea about noon, they sighted a flock 
of white birds called Tokuro by the fishermen of Tosa, 
which were believed to be the sign of an island nearby. 
Denzo, pointing toward the birds, told the fever-stricken 
Goemon to look at the Tokuro. Whereupon Goemon half 
rose and opened his eyes narrowly to see the distant sky 
where they were flying. Then as soon as he lay flat again, 
he began to cry aloud, for he was a fainthearted boy al 
though he was born in the year of the wild boar. 

The flock of white birds was winging its way gracefully 
toward the southeastern horizon and soon disappeared in 
the rain-swollen clouds. Denzo, Jusuke, Toraemon and 
Manjiro peered over the sea under the dark cloud and kept 
a hard lookout. As they expected, toward the evening they 
sighted an island in the direction in which the white birds 
had disappeared. 

Overjoyed at the sight of the island, they pulled them 
selves together and erected a remaining sail yard and spread 
a jib over it. Denzo steered the boat with a plank, as best 
he could. Toraemon and Jusuke worked at the sail yard 
and the jib and Manjiro ladled out the bilge water so that 
the boat headed for the island slowly but safely. 

By the time they reached the island it was almost dark. 
Moreover, like so many other uncharted islands, the shore 
of this island was fringed with a steep cliff and the billows 
were madly dashing and breaking against it. Reefs were 
everywhere to defy their approach and no place was to be 
found where they could steer in or cast anchor safely. To 
discover what they could, they went around the island only 
to find that everywhere the rugged cliff rose high against 
the sky and there was no beach on which to land. 

Late at night the rain stopped at last and a pale blue 



6 MAN J IRQ 

moon loomed out in the rain-washed sky. In its faint light 
they saw sea bass swarming by the rocks, so they produced 
a fishing tackle and angled for them before they did any 
thing else. They were so hungry that they ate with great 
gusto the live fish just as they were taken out of the sea. 
When this primitive feast was over they felt somewhat 
refreshed, but they decided not to risk their lives by making 
a desperate attempt at landing on this uncharted island in 
the faint light of the moon when the sea was still choppy. 
So they kept the boat away from the island as far as the 
anchor rope permitted and cast anchor "to sleep in the 
cradle of the deep" with the dark mass of cliff in full view. 

The next morning the thirteenth Goemon became 
better but the others had not completely recovered from 
exhaustion and exposure. They felt as if all their strength 
had gone and when they pulled at the rope to weigh anchor, 
their knees gave way and they felt all the more hungry and 
exhausted. As if it were stuck to the bottom of the sea, 
the anchor refused to come up, no matter how hard they 
pulled at the anchor rope. So they put their heads together. 
"There's no hope of life, if we stay in this rudderless boat," 
said Denzo. "If it were only possible to get on that island, 
we might be able to save our lives by some good fortune. 
But I want to point out/' he continued, "that any attempt 
at going to that cliff in this broken boat will surely be the 
death of us all." 

While everyone thought hard, Toraemon put in, "Death 
stares us in the face. We shall be lucky if we are alive 
tomorrow. Since that is the case, why not push this boat 
along the cliff and jump to the island, sink or swim?" 
Jusuke seconded it and they all agreed. Denzo at once 
made a makeshift rudder by putting planks together and 



A SHIPWRECK 



said he would hold it with Jusuke. Toraemon, Manjiro 
and Goemon decided to pull the oars made of planks and 
use a roof beam as a substitute for a boating pole. Thus 
they were ready to stake their lives in the face of this ob 
vious risk. 

Denzo cut off the anchor rope with a hatchet. The boat 
rolled and shook violently as it dashed off toward the cliff. 
Steered through the dangerous rocks, it was brought near 
the entrance of an opening in the cliff when suddenly it 
was heaved up on the top of a billow and knocked against 
a corner of the rugged cliff. Toraemon and Goemon lost 
no time in leaping onto the corner of the cliff and clambered 
up its side by putting their feet in what small crevices they 
could find. The other three men were about to follow the 
example of Toraemon and Goemon now climbing the cliff 
when another billow came dashing on, tossing the boat 
high on its peak. Instantly, the boat careened and then 
overturned and was caught between the two rocks. Manjiro 
was thrown into the waves, which in a moment dragged 
him into their depths, but he finally managed to come to 
the surface and swim across to the cliff. Denzo and Jusuke 
were also whirled into the sea, together with the makeshift 
rudder, down to the bottom of the opening in the cliff, and 
there they struggled in vain under the boat for a moment. 
But the oncoming swell extricated the entrapped boat from 
between the rocks and bore it away as it receded toward 
the open sea, while both Denzo and Jusuke were hurled 
upon the rock in the seething white foam. Thus they nar 
rowly escaped from the jaws of death and they too clam 
bered up the cliff to safety. 

Jusuke must have knocked one of his feet violently against 
the rock and injured it when he was hurled upon the cliff, 



8 MANJIRO 

for no sooner had he reached the top of the cliff than his 
strength gave way and he fell flat on his face. The boat 
was smashed to bits against the cliff when it came back 
riding on another billow and its remains were soon swal 
lowed up in the churning and eddying sea. 



ON 
AN ISLAND 

OF 
ALBATROSS 



THE ISLAND, about two miles in circumference, stood thick 
with crags rising skyward and not a living soul was to be 
found there. The only vegetation was a kind of dwarfish 
reed. When Manjiro saw the island, he at once recalled 
the picture of the Mountains of Swords in Hell which the 
village priest had shown his family on a certain Buddhist fes 
tival day. At once, all went out in quest of a spring in the 
deep recesses among the rocks. They discovered a cave 
about twelve feet square in a rocky hill where a little water 
was trickling through a crevice. Seashells were scattered 
about the entrance to testify that men had once lived here. 
They cleaned the place at once as best they could and de 
cided to make it their temporary shelter. Again they went 
in search of more water and at last one of them discovered 



1O MANJIRO 

a place where rain water had collected in a fairly large hol 
low of a rock. They put their lips to this well and quenched 
their thirst. The little pool of water was the only place 
where they could get drinking water. There was nothing 
edible to be found on the island except the albatrosses 
which were flying over the island or flocking together on 
the rocks. 

That night they tried to sleep in the cave, but the cold 
wind blew in so hard that they were unable to do so. Taking 
advantage of the moonlight, they went down to the shore 
and picked up some of the washed-up planks and canvas 
and carried them back to the cave. They improvised a door 
in order to prevent the cold wind from blowing into the 
cave. Then they snuggled close to one another to keep 
warm and tried to sleep, but now they felt very lonely. So 
they kept on talking to one another in an attempt to forget 
their unbearable restlessness. 

"What do you think/ 7 asked Denzo, "is the name of 
this island? It seems far out in the south. But it cannot 
be one of those southern islands it is too cold for that. 
Perhaps, we are in the extreme east." The question which 
was beyond the comprehension of an experienced fisher 
man like Denzo naturally remained a mystery to the rest 
of them. 

"Is this a part of Japan?" put in Toraemon. "If the 
island is in the extreme east, it must be somewhere further 
east than Izu. But I have never in my life heard that if 
you go further east it gets colder. Doesn't the end of the 
earth lie in the north?" 

"As for the end of the earth," explained Denzo, "it makes 
no difference which way you go, east or west or south or 
north. It is a fact that the end of the earth lies evenly in 



ON AN ISLAND OF ALBATROSS 11 

the east, west, south and north. I don't know whether or 
not this island lies at the end of the earth, but I do know 
that a rescue ship will not come this way tomorrow or the 
day after tomorrow, for that matter. It may be that we 
must live on this rocky island for many years to come. But 
I have a good idea and there is no harm in practicing it, as 
far as I can see. Why not imagine this is the beginning 
of a new world and start a life all over again? Let every 
one be big and bold in heart." 

The four men, seeing no objection to this proposition, 
agreed to it unanimously. In other words, they decided 
to call that memorable day the beginning of the First Year 
of the Era of the Solitary Island and band together to make 
life on the island as much worth living as possible and 
disavow all the sceptical philosophies of life. 

The next day, January 14, as soon as they awoke, they 
went out of the cave in search of food. The sea still looked 
too rough for them to catch fish and shellfish and so in 
stead they decided to capture albatrosses which flew down 
to the island in such large numbers. The birds looked like 
snow covering the craggy tops of the island. They were so 
tame and unafraid of the stalking men that they were easily 
caught one after another. Having caught almost too many 
to carry, the men returned to the cave with a heavy load 
of the birds. With the nails they had taken out of the 
planks, they prepared the meat and feasted on it, although 
they found that the bird meat was not half so tasty as fish 
or clams. They pounded the leftover bird meat with a 
stone and dried it in the sun, calling it stone-baked, and 
sometimes they preserved the meat in salt for a change of 
taste. 

Denzo came back with the three small pails that also 



12 MANJIRO 

had been pushed up on the shore by the waves. After fixing 
them in such a way that the rain water would drip into 
them, he designated them as "wells." The one which looked 
the newest of the three was called "the Well of Life"; the 
one shaped like a measure box branded with a character 
"Yamaju" on it was called "the Well of Reserve"; and one 
which was like a barrel of shoyu sauce was called "the Well 
of Spring Water." And he prescribed a strict law concerning 
the use of the "wells" that the water in these pails after 
a rainfall should not be drunk as long as the water in the hol 
low of the rock stayed. The reason was that the water of 
the rock hollow would soon be dried up by the sun. 

The thing that inconvenienced them most was the fact 
that they could not drink water as much as they wished. 
When they had been there about a month., it happened 
that a spell of dry weather settled down for about twenty 
days without any prospect of rain. Needless to say, the 
water in the hollow of the rock was completely gone. The 
water in "the Well of Spring Water" and in "the Well 
of Reserve" was gone and even the last pailful of water 
in "the Well of Life" too was used up. They gave a feeling 
of moisture to their mouths by chewing stems of a grass 
which contained some juice. Sometimes they licked at the 
rock wet with the night's dew. After this bitter experience 
Denzo prescribed three regulations concerning the use of 
the water which were much more strict: 

Article I. Don't waste the water. The unlawful act of 
drinking on the sly is strictly forbidden. 

Article II. For each albatross to be eaten, water in one 
oyster shell is allowed. Refrain by all means from drinking 
more than this allotment. 

Article III. Don't drink water when you eat seaweed, 



ON AN ISLAND OF ALBATROSS 1} 

etc. Try to wipe off the sdt as best you can from the sea 
weed before you eat it. It is advisable in this connection 
to swallow spittle in the mouth. 

These were the regulations, but as the men were all un 
lettered, they learned the regulations by heart and kept 
them faithfully. 

They were so emaciated and so pitiable to look at that 
any metaphor would be too dull to describe them. Their 
food was limited to albatross, seaweed and shellfish, which 
had to be eaten raw since the flint, pots, kettles and other 
cooking utensils had been all lost when the boat capsized. 
Denzo made something like cotton out of a handful of 
blades of withered reed by threshing them thoroughly. 
Again and again he struck this cottonlike material together 
with a nail between two stones, hoping to produce fire, but 
no matter how hard he tried, it was all in vain. 

The albatrosses which once were so tame were beginning 
to fear the men. When the hunters approached to within 
a few yards, the birds would run off and finally fly away if 
the men continued to chase them. So, lying in ambush 
behind a rock, they would jump upon the birds when they 
came near enough and club them or stone them. This 
made the birds all the more wary and at last they took 
refuge up in the high rocky mountains. It was only among 
the steep rocks which the men could not reach that the 
birds laid their eggs and hatched their broods. Then at 
the end of May, they began their migration to an unknown 
distant place together with their fledglings. 

About this time Denzo had an accident which caused 
him a serious wound. He had been chasing birds all day 
on a rocky fell that rose above the cave. He finally man 
aged to catch two and threw them down from the top of 



14 MANJIRO 

the cliff toward the cave entrance. As he was clambering 
down, he suddenly lost his footing and fell down the preci 
pice. The fall might have killed him had it not been broken 
by a clump of reeds to which he managed to cling. Al 
though he was bruised all over his body, he managed to, 
get back to the cave. After this accident Denzo gradually 
became weaker so weak in fact that he lingered inside 
the cave day in and day out. 

Jusuke, younger brother of Denzo, finding his wounded 
leg getting no better, began also to stay in the cave to be 
nursed by Denzo. Toraemon and Goemon, though not 
really ill, looked feebler and thinner and were in a constant 
state of depression. 

Manjiro alone remained strong both in body and spirit. 
One day, he went on a brave adventure scaling the high 
est eminence on the island, which, although it was an ascent 
of only a quarter of a mile, had remained unchallenged, 
so steep and perilous was it. He reached the top after a 
hard climb over the steep side of the fell. There he found 
a spacious flat place and what appeared to be an old well, 
the sides of which were lined with stones, with a small pool 
of dark water at the weed-covered bottom. Not far from 
this old well there were what appeared to be two tomb 
stones, somewhat oblong in shape, but they were so weather- 
beaten that the characters on them were almost completely 
obliterated. While Manjiro stood there looking around 
blankly for some time, he suddenly noticed more than ten 
whales floating peacefully out in the sea. 

Upon returning to the cave, he told Denzo and the others 
how he had seen what appeared to be an old well and two 
tombstones on the top of the fell. Denzo asked whether 
the tombs were covered with moss, and he seemed to be 



ON AN ISLAND OF ALBATROSS 15 

thinking of his old home in Nishinohama where his ances 
tral tombs were. Suddenly he covered his face with his hands 
and said, "Must we die like the men who lie under those 
tombstones?" Jusuke, Toraemon and Goemon all began 
to cry. After a while Denzo ceased to weep, but when 
Manjiro began to tell how he had sighted a school of 
whales, Denzo wept all over again and said, "My dear 
Manjiro, it is a sin to tell such a thing/' For he was over 
come at that moment with an irresistible desire to eat a 
big juicy steak of whale meat. 

It was on June 27 that a piece of good fortune unex 
pectedly came their way. That morning Manjiro had gone 
down to the seaside bright and early and was picking up 
some shellfish when he happened to sight a tiny black dot 
far away on the horizon. "It's a ship!" He danced with 
joy and his voice rang in the quiet morning of the lonely 
island. "Hurray! It's a ship! Goemon Nushi! Toraemon 
Nushi! A ship is sighted!" They had also come to the 
water's edge to pick up some shellfish. Running up to 
where he was, they looked out over the sea and they too 
jumped for joy. It was a ship, to be sure! Moreover, it 
seemed to be coming toward the island. It was a strange 
ship of a strange country with many sails spreading on its 
three masts. Now it came so near that men in "pipelike 
sleeves" could be seen clearly walking on the deck. All of 
a sudden, however, she changed her course toward the 
northwest and was ready to sail away apparently in utter 
disregard of the island and the stranded men on it. 

"Oh, Buddha! Hear our prayer and don't let that ship 
go away!" said Goemon, kneeling on the beach. But the 
ship continued its course and sailed away from the island. 
Toraemon was so disappointed that, accompanied by Goe- 



16 MAN; IRQ 

mon, he went back to the entrance of the cave where he 
lay and cried bitterly. Manjiro tried to gather shellfish and 
seaweed at the beach since he was hungry and Jusuke had 
eaten almost nothing for the last two or three days. But 
he could do nothing of the sort. He simply stood on the 
beach watching the receding ship and prayed that it would 
come back to the island by some miracle. Suddenly he 
noticed the ship in the offing drop anchor and put out two 
boats. They were coming to the island too! Manjiro ran. 
He ran to the entrance of the cave where Toraemon and 
Goemon were. He shouted, 'The boats! They are coming! 
Look!" The three men ran up a small hill nearby and re 
peatedly shouted to inform the boats that there were ship 
wrecked men on the island and that they must come to 
the island at once. The men picked up a plank that had 
been thrown up on the shore by the waves and tying 
Toraemon's checkered underwear to one end of it, they 
waved it furiously until they almost fainted. The boats 
apparently understood what it was all about, for they veered 
their course and came straight toward the stranded men. 

The men on the island waved their hands as much as 
to say, "Come quick, come quick!" and the men in the 
boats took off their caps in response. They came quite 
close to the shore now, but finding no place to land, the 
strangers in the boats made signs to them to take off their 
clothes and tie them on their heads and swim across. But 
the three men on the cliff hesitated for some time, a little 
afraid of those red-haired and blue-eyed foreigners with 
white skin. They noticed that there was a black man too. 
Manjiro, determined and courageous, went down the cliff 
and taking off his clothes, tied them on his head and 
jumped into the sea just as the strangers had instructed 



ON AN ISLAND OF ALBATROSS IJ 

him. They rowed up one of the boats and helped him into 
it. Thinking it was God's help, Manjiro knelt down and 
worshiped the strangers in gratitude. At this the black 
sailor burst out laughing. Goemon and then Toraemon 
jumped into the sea, each carrying his kimono on his head 
to be rescued in the same way. 

But those three men were in such an excitement that 
they forgot all about Denzo and Jusuke, who were lying 
weak and feeble back in the cave, Toraemon tried to make 
the strangers understand how the matter stood, but his 
words being of no use, he pointed to the island and made 
signs that there were still two men left there. Then one 
of the white sailors said something to the others and they 
rowed back to the shore right under the cave. At this 
moment Denzo was wrapping a piece of cloth around one 
of Jusuke's feet. Suddenly a black man came into the 
cave uttering an outlandish language and tried to drag 
Denzo out. Denzo's heart leapt into his mouth and he 
tried to run away from the black man, when a white man 
appeared and stood between the two making signs as much 
as to say, "Calm down! Calm down! We are not going 
to eat you. Your friends have already been rescued in our 
boat. We are all friends." 

The strange white man smiled good-naturedly, while 
the strange black man grinned showing terribly white teeth. 
Denzo heaved a sigh of relief and exchanging glances with 
Jusuke said, "Let's go." Then he went down the cliff, 
helped by the white man while Jusuke followed almost 
carried in the arms of the black man. Sure enough, Goe 
mon, Toraemon and Manjiro were already standing in the 
boat, meek and smiling. 

Denzo took off his kimono and tying it on his head, he 



l8 M AN J IRQ 

threw himself into the sea as suggested by the white man. 
The black man, carrying Jusuke in his arm, caught at a 
rope which had been tossed from the boat and both were 
pulled up safely. 

The white man made signs to Denzo as much as to 
say, "You have not forgotten any valuable things in the 
cave, have you? If you have, don't hesitate to say so, for 
we shall send for them." 

"Sir, we are only poor stranded men/' Denzo managed 
to answer also by a gesture, "how is it possible that we 
should have left some valuable things on the island? In 
deed, our eyes are filled with tears of thankfulness for all 
you have done to save us from the island." 

"We are very happy, too," said the white man. "But 
let us hear what you have left in the cave. Speak up." 

"Kimono, bird feathers, the shells of turtles, and the 
dried meat of birds." 

The white man nodded a great nod and told the black 
man something in a strange tongue. They began to pull 
the oars smoothly toward the ship out in the sea, three 
times faster than an ordinary Eve-oared Japanese boat. The 
setting sun was already hovering over the horizon when 
the two boats reached the waiting ship. 

On this day Captain Whitfield of the John Holland 
made the following simple entry in his logbook: 

Sunday, June 27, 1841. 

This day light winds from the S.E. The Isle in sight 26 
1.00 p.m. Sent in two boats to see if there were any turtles. 
Found 5 poor distressed people on the Isle. Took them off. 
Could not understand anything from them more than that 
they were hungry. Made the latitude of the Isle 30 deg. 31 min. 
N. 



ON A 

RESCUE 
SHIP 



THE SHIP which rescued the five Japanese fishermen was a 
large vessel with three tall masts hoisting more than ten sails 
and jibs and spreading its weblike cordage in all directions. 
The main truck perching high on the royal topmast was 
faintly visible through the cloud of shrouds, yards and 
sails, and it seemed to reach the sky. A long jib boom was 
sticking far out over the water from the bow like an arm 
of a giant. The crew consisted of more than thirty men 
both white and black. John Howland was the name of the 
ship; it was a whaler from New Bedford, Massachusetts, 
U.S.A., and the captain was Mr. William H. Whitfield. 

The rescued men, either half naked or in tattered Id- 
mono, were ghostly emaciated and sick from long hunger 
and exposure, with their lifeless faces half hidden in their 



2O MANJIRO 

long, dry, shaggy hair. When they were brought before 
Captain Whitfield for questioning, some of them were 
unable to stand and weakly squatted on the deck. They 
all looked at the captain feebly from the bottom of their 
deeply sunken eyes, half in fear, half in expectation. "You 
have saved us and you can do anything you like to us/' they 
seemed to say. 

The captain smiled a little and asked several questions, 
"Where do you come from?" or "What have you been 
doing on that island?" and so on. They simply shook their 
heads or waved their hands to show that they could not 
understand what he was talking about. They said timidly 
something in their own tongue, but he could not make 
out a word. All he could gather from their gestures was 
that they were very, very hungry. 

Then the captain sent for the chief cook and told him, 
"Give them some food at once, but remember, don't give 
them too much before they have fully recovered." 

A little later, the captain somehow was able to find out 
that they were shipwrecked Japanese fishermen who had 
been stranded on the island for six months. 

The next morning, June 28, the captain ordered that 
several men together with Manjiro be sent in a boat to the 
cave of the island to bring back the belongings that the 
shipwrecked men might have left on the island. Manjiro 
could not understand why he alone was to be taken to 
the island with those men. He feared they might be taking 
him to the island to leave him there because he was too 
young to be a sailor. So he cried and begged in his own 
language, "Let me stay on the ship with my countrymen, 
for Heaven's sake." But it was no use. It was with great 
difficulty, however, that he understood at last that he was 
only going to the island to be their guide. After searching 



ONARKSCUESHIP 21 

the cave thoroughly, they brought back what they found 
to the ship old clothes, feathers, and turtle shells. The 
five men thanked the captain from the bottom of their 
hearts for his kindness but those moldy clothes and smelly 
feathers seemed no longer of any use to them now. 

The captain made the following entry in the logbook 
of the John Howland on that day: 

Monday, June 28, 1841 

This day light winds from S. E. the island in sight. To the 
Westward, stood to the S. W. at 1 P. M. landed and brought 
off what few clothes the five men left. 

They were given coats and leather boots and although 
they did not feel so uncomfortable in the close-fitting coats 
which were quite different from their kimonos, they found 
that the leather boots were almost unbearable. 

A little before noon that day, the ship weighed anchor 
and headed southeast. The five men were shown into a 
room below, which appeared as wide as an eight-mat room, 
and were told they had better take a good rest there. Three 
days later they recovered their spirits and in five days their 
bodies regained their former strength. They did not like 
to be idling away their time, so on the seventh day they 
said to the captain that they were willing to do some work 
along with the crew men. 

Jusuke's injured foot was gradually getting better under 
the care of the first officer. He applied an acid-smelling 
plaster to the affected part, covering it with a piece of oiled 
paper, and then he bandaged it. As it was improving day 
by day, Denzo and Toraemon were much impressed by 
the skillful treatment which the American seaman had 
administered. 

On the eighth day the ship took its course toward the 



22 MANJIRO 

southeast. On the tenth day, a watchman, who was in the 
crow's-nest perched high on the foremast looking through 
a telescope, shouted, "Bloooows! Ah bloooows!" 

"Where away?" shouted back Captain Whitfield. 

"Two points abaft the starboard beam." 

Man jiro at once understood that a whale had been sighted. 
Running up on deck he saw, about two miles away, a large 
sperm whale lazily swimming in the trough of the sea with 
its broad, glossy back glistening in the sun and spouting a 
rainbow colored vapory jet from time to time. The ship 
began chasing the whale and when it shortened the dis 
tance to about fifty fathoms, it hove to and lowered four 
boats at once. Quickly sliding down the boat-falls as soon 
as the boats touched the water, the whalemen jumped into 
them. Each boat carried six. They began rowing in chase 
of the whale, which at last had become alive to its danger. 
Desperately it began to outdistance the pursuers. 

Manjiro and those who were left in the ship breathlessly 
watched the boats race for the lead. Soon one of the boats, 
its steerer standing at the bow with a harpoon, went ahead 
of the other boats about two fathoms, and no sooner had 
the boat been tossed upon the peak of a swell than w/iiz 
went a harpoon and with amazing accuracy lodged in the 
body of the whale. The boat was at once fast to the whale. 
The oarsmen backed water, hot and strong, pulling and 
stretching the line and passing it round and round the 
loggerhead, but the whale began to swim away, towing the 
boat which soon was shooting through the churning water 
faster than a clipper under full sail. As soon as the whale 
relaxed its efforts to escape, two other boats came closing in 
and sent their harpoons into it so that their united lines 
were available even if the whale sounded. The tormented 
body of the whale, from which a red tide now poured, 



ON A RESCUE SHIP 23 

twisted and jerked and wallowed in blood. Now half of its 
body appeared on the surface like a quaint-looking rock 
rising from the sea. One of the long, slender lances used by 
the headsmen had pierced its heart. It shot a column of 
bloody spray high into the air from its spout and then 
quivered violently until at last it lay quietly, its massive 
body floating at the mercy of the waves like the capsized 
hull of a ship. 

Manjiro and others stood on the deck, watching this 
spectacle, deeply impressed. They were convinced that 
their sea-bass fishing in Tosa was nothing to this thrilling 
fight with a whale. They suddenly remembered a saying 
in Tosa that seven ports would thrive with a catch of a 
whale. If they could use the whaling methods of those 
foreigners, seventy ports might thrive. I'll be a whaler 
someday! said Manjiro to himself. 

Manjiro and the others retired to a comer of the deck 
in order to keep out of the way and curiously watched the 
men at work. The whale was towed by one of the boats 
to the ship and was made fast to its side, and the process 
of flensing began. All the strips of the blubber were cut 
in a spiral direction. When nearly the whole of the blubber 
was removed in a continuous piece, it was cut into proper 
lengths for the try-pot. The work went on in good order. 
Men were busy at the try-pots to boil out oil, others were 
filling the barrels with oil, still others were sending barrels 
down to the hold by using slings and tackles. Everyone 
had his own share in the work, which he quickly and skill 
fully carried out. 

When the work was over, the ship headed southeast 
again. A flock of gulls kept flying close behind the ship 
until it was nearly dark, attracted by the odor of the whale 
which had soaked into the ship. 



24 MANJIRO 

The following day, when Manjiro was perched on the 
mainmast looking through a telescope, he discovered a 
large whale and a small one floating among the waves. 

"Whales! Whales!" he shouted at the top of his voice 
to the men on the deck. The boats were at once lowered. 
Seeing the danger, the large one tried to swim away holding 
the small one in its breast fins, but the boats encircled it 
and killed it in the same way as they did the day before. 
However, they let the whelp whale escape unmolested. 
Manjiro was given a new sailor cap by the captain as a 
reward for discovering the whale, while Denzo, Jusuke, 
Toraemon and Goemon were also given similar caps as 
rewards for the good job they did at the slings and tackles 
sending down the oil barrels to the hold and cleaning the 
deck which had been smeared with oil. 

The ship kept steadily south-southeast when finally six 
months' voyage brought them to a harbor called Honolulu, 
on Oahu Island of the Sandwich Archipelago, late in No 
vember after catching fifteen large whales. At the very 
sight of the land which the Japanese fishermen had so much 
wished to walk on, they wanted to get permission to go 
ashore immediately. But the captain summoned them and 
explained the situation in the hand language something 
like this: 

"Now look here, I will go ashore and visit the Governor's 
Office in order to take steps for getting permission for your 
landing at the earliest date. Besides, I shall fix the place 
for you to stay. Now, you wait for a while before you land. 
Understand?" 

Denzo answered, in gesture: "Captain, we understand 
quite well what you said just now. We'll wait." 

"When you are allowed to go ashore, I am afraid, you 
will find it hard to make a living at first. It will be neces- 



ON A RESCUE SHIP 25 

sary for you to get some aid from the Governor's Office at 
least for the time being." 

Although Captain Whitfield was a kindhearted man, he 
was straightforward and outspoken. When he happened to 
reprove his crewmen, he never fretted and fumed. All he 
did was to utter a stern word or two staring them hard in 
the face. The next moment he would look pleasantly non 
chalant as if nothing had happened. So the crew loved him 
and obeyed him faithfully. 

Thus Manjiro and the other four were left in the ship 
to wait until further notice. They often got together and 
discussed the problem of getting jobs when they were al 
lowed to go ashore. They decided unanimously that they 
should learn the foreigners' language and they asked a sailor 
staying on board the ship to teach them how to say simple 
words. Being the oldest of them all, Denzo was found to 
be the slowest pupil, while Manjiro was by far the best. 

Captain Whitfield seemed to have had such a lot of 
business to transact at Honolulu that it was nearly one 
month before he came to take them ashore. First they went 
to the Governor's Office accompanied by the captain. 

The Governor was an American about fifty years of age 
whose name was Dr. Gerrit Parmele Judd. He had been 
a medical practitioner in America and had come to this 
island to seek his fortune. He gave up practice and became 
a successful politician. The popularity which he had grad 
ually won among the islanders resulted at hst in his being 
chosen governor of the island. 

Governor Judd brought a map of the world, which Man 
jiro and the others had never seen before, and unfolded it 
before them. Pointing here and there over the map, he 
questioned Manjiro, using simple words. 

The Governor smiled and kindly explained. 'This is a 



26 M A N J I R O 

folding map. Now look here. This is the sea. This is a great 
land. This is an island. Well, were you born here or 
there?" 

"We were born here/' replied Manjiro pointing to an 
island. 

Governor Judd exchanged looks with Captain Whitfield 
and they both nodded. 

"Do you worship Buddha?" 

"Yes, we do/' answered Manjiro, Jusuke and Goemon 
in unison. Then the Governor produced from the cupboard 
a Japanese smoking pipe, twenty pieces of silver, one piece 
of gold and one piece of copper of the Kan-ei Era. "What 
are these?" asked he of Manjiro. 

"This money," answered Manjiro, "comes from our 
country." 

"Then do you know a place called Osaka?" 

"Yes, I know." 

"What sort of place is Osaka?" 

"Me not saw Osaka. But Denzo here know it well. I 
hear Osaka a good port and a big, big place." 

"Yes, Osaka is the best harbor in Japan. Now I under 
stand quite well that you are Japanese. This long smoking 
pipe and the twenty-three coins were given to me fourteen 
years ago by men of a merchant ship belonging to Osaka. 
They were a bunch of good fellows and very good seamen 
too. Now you shall stay in this island until further notice, 
for I will see to it that the Government pays all your ex 
penses while you are here. In the meantime, I'll give each 
of you a silver dollar as my personal gift, for you'll need 
some money for the present." 

Manjiro and the others humbly bowed in thanks, bend 
ing low at the waist. With these silver coins in their hands, 



ONARESCUESHIP 2J 

they filed out of the Governor's room and were shown into 
a guest room of the Office where they were served with 
bananas and coffee for the first time in their lives. 

Thus the five men received the grants from the Govern 
ment to pay the expenses for bed, board and clothing 
through the good offices of Captain Whitfield. He liked 
Manjiro in particular for his cheerfulness, politeness and 
willingness to learn. He would certainly regret it to his 
dying day, should he leave Manjiro to himself in this is 
land. So when a question was raised whether it was all 
right to take Manjiro to America all the men except Man 
jiro were puzzled, because they were bora in the same 
province and, after drifting together thousands of miles, 
had landed in a strange country and naturally found it 
hard to part with one of their members. Even if they were 
destined not to touch the soil of their beloved homeland 
again, it would be an unpardonable act to give up Manjiro 
who was no better than a helpless boy. Although Japan lay 
ever so far away at the dim distant end of the ocean, "a 
crime would run one thousand miles," as their popular say 
ing had it. When they met the people of Nishinohama or 
Nakanohama of Tosa even in their dreams, how could they 
keep their countenance? 

But Captain Whitfield was a great benefactor to them; 
in fact, if it had not been for him they would long since 
have perished. They turned the problem over and over and 
expressed every possible opinion. To make a long story 
short, they decided to leave the choice with Manjiro. 
Whereupon, Manjiro nonchalantly made his intention 
known that he would sooner go and see for himself what 
was the real truth of America. 

Captain Whitfield, very pleased with what Manjiro had 



28 M AN J I RO 

just said, added assuringly, "I'll take good care of him, so 
don't you worry." Then he took Manjiro on board the ship 
while Denzo and the others came to the wharf to bid him 
farewell 

The remaining four were allowed to stay with the family 
of Kaukahawa, a retainer of Queen Kakaluohi, The house 
was a fairly large one with a thatched roof and the rooms 
were matted with palm leaves. In those days, the houses 
along the streets in Honolulu were for the most part 
cottages thatched with palm leaves. Only the churches were 
built with spired roofs. There were neither the stone walls 
nor the towers of a castle in Honolulu like those which 
they had seen at Kochi back in Tosa. Indeed, Honolulu 
looked far poorer and less impressive than Kochi, they 
thought. 

But strange to say, the trees here were thick with green 
leaves despite the fact that it was the end of November. 
The harbor, facing south, was almost one mile in diameter 
and there were always more than fifteen whaling ships at 
anchor in it. At the sterns of those ships were hoisted, with 
out exception, the flags of America, bright with stars. 

Denzo and the others lived at the Government's expense 
until the next summer, by which time they had become 
somewhat familiar with the language and the custom of the 
place so that they were able to go on errands and do simple 
chores. Anyway, as they did not like to remain under the 
Government's care indefinitely, they went to see Governor 
Judd, hoping he would assign to them some jobs, but the 
former medical man kindly said, "You need not work nor 
worry about anything at all. You are under Government 
protection and you can stay here at the expense of the 
Government" 



ONARESCUESHIP 2Q 

So they let another year pass in this way, but at last they 
felt they could no longer go on like this, and again they ap 
plied to the Governor for some work. Finally, Denzo and 
his brother Goemon were employed temporarily as serv 
ants at the houses of the Governor's relatives and friends, 
their jobs being drawing water, hewing wood, carrying 
lunch boxes, and cleaning the house. Toraemon became an 
apprentice to a carpenter through the good offices of the 
Governor, while Jusuke was suffering from a relapse of his 
wounded foot. His condition was steadily worsening. 



TO 
FAIRHAVEN, 

MASS. 



WHILE the John Howland carrying Manjiro kept steadily 
south, Captain Whitfield grew to like the boy, who was 
good-natured and a willing and hard worker, and before 
long treated him like his own son. The captain decided 
to call him John Mung as his name Manjiro was too much 
for the sailors. Having lost his father when a mere child, 
Manjiro, hungering for fatherly love, became firmly attached 
to this stern but kind captain. He was brighter than the 
others, he had picked up English and spoke it with con 
siderable ease. He studied hard in his spare moments and 
soon he was able to write some simple English words. He 
found it easier to learn the English alphabet, which was 
much simpler than the Japanese one. The captain loved 
John Mung all the more and the crew, too, began to like 



32 MANJIRO 

the boy and treated him kindly and called him by his new 
name. 

He certainly missed the fellow countrymen with whom 
he had parted at Honolulu but as the captain was kind and 
there were on the ship three teen-age sailors La Fayette 
Wilcox, for instance, was only sixteen with whom he 
could be friendly, he was not lonely except when he thought 
of his home. Moreover, the life on the whaling ship was so 
exciting that he had little time to think of his home. 

The ship touched at an equatorial island among the 
Kingsmill Group to get a fresh supply of fuel and water. 
It was a small island somewhat over two miles in circum 
ference and its inhabitants were all black people who cov 
ered only their loins with the leaves of trees. Some of them 
came to the ship in their canoes to sell bows and arrows. 
The crew gave them only small pieces of scrap iron or other 
odds and ends in exchange for those weapons. 

The ship engaged in whaling in the waters of the Kings- 
mill Group and in March, 1842, it arrived at Spanish Guam 
Island which lay due south of the Ogasawara Islands. John 
Mung set foot on the island with several crew members. 
It was a large island which seemed about ten miles in cir 
cumference, and the bay where a good harbor lay was over 
three miles across. The houses of the natives which num 
bered about three hundred were thatched with palm leaves, 
like the houses in Honolulu. 

Leaving Guam Island at the end of April, the ship went 
up north and after coasting along only about one hundred 
miles off the coast of Japan, she changed her course toward 
the south-southeast and reached Emirau Island, a British 
territory, at the end of November. It was an island also 
about eight miles in circumference with about three hun- 



TO FAIRHAVEN, MASS. 33 

dred thatched houses. They stayed here about one month 
and then headed southwest until they reached Guam Is 
land again in February of the next year. Thus the ship went 
in every direction in her voyage, making a large circle in the 
Pacific Ocean west of Oahu. 

After staying for one month at Guam, the John Howkmd 
set sail in a south-southeasterly direction and the end of 
April that year saw the ship sail via Cape Horn, and go 
up north. At last, on May 7 ? 1843, the John Rowland, 
completing its long, long voyage of three years and seven 
months, entered the port of New Bedford, Massachusetts. 

The sailors, who had been up before daybreak while the 
John Howland, weather-beaten, heavy with whale oil, was 
steadily plowing through the calm sea of Buzzards Bay, 
were all excited at this long-awaited homecoming, but per 
haps no one was so excited as the sixteen-year-old Japanese 
boy, who was determined to see the New World with his 
own eyes. By the time the ship sailed between Palmer's 
Island and Fort Phoenix and dropped anchor at last in New 
Bedford Harbor, the sun was beginning to shine through the 
early morning mist, on the wings of the gulls flying around 
the ship, and on its main royal mast. Soon Captain Whit- 
field appeared on the deck where Manjiro had kept leaning 
over the bulwarks to watch the harbor and the town, where 
about thirty ships of all types lay at anchor and where a 
town of big painted strange-looking houses and church 
steeples was in full view on this bright May morning. 

"WeVe at last come home, John Mung!" said the captain, 
coming beside him. 

"I can't believe my eyes, Captain!" said Manjiro. 

'This is New Bedford/' 

"It's like a dream!" 



34 MANJIRO 

"We'll soon go ashore, John Mung." 

"I can hardly wait/' said Manjiro excitedly. "What are 
those big houses, Captain?" 

"That's the custom house and that's a church, if you know 
what they are." 

"Your house, Captain, can you see it?" 

"Nay, not from here; it's in Fairhaven on the other side 
of this river." 

"Is that a river? Looks like the sea." 

"Aye, that is the Acushnet River, John Mung." 

Soon the ship was visited by a party of relief sailors com 
ing in a rowboat from the shore; and Captain Whitfield, 
John Mung, and the other crewmen at once went ashore in 
the boat that had just been made vacant, each carrying a 
seaman's bag bulging with things from foreign countries. 
They were happy; their eyes shining in their haggard faces. 
They had been working hard on the homeward-bound ship, 
because the original crew of twenty-seven men had been 
reduced to about fifteen; some had left the ship at Calio, 
some at Ascension and other places. On the wharf, a crowd 
of friends, relatives and families welcomed them but Cap 
tain Whitfield felt lonely because he was a widower. He at 
once took John around the town. 

The boy from the lonely fishing village in Tosa had never 
seen such a bustling town in his life, not even in his dreams; 
and simply dumfounded, he stared at everything open- 
mouthed. The wharves, warehouses, churches, offices, 
stores, houses, streets and parks which he saw for the first 
time in his life, took his breath away, and made his feet 
difficult to move. But when he saw women walking along 
the streets in bonnets, muslin ruffs and hoop skirts, balanc 
ing their pink, white, blue, green parasols, with the deep 



TO FAIRHAVEN, MASS. 35 

embroidered border, it was too much even for his curiosity. 

Captain Whitfield, John Mung, and some of the seamen 
went to the Seamen's Bethel and offered prayers of thanks 
for their safe return "through the peril of the deep." John 
Mung did not understand very well the meaning of the 
prayers, but he was impressed by the singing of hymns and 
the sound of the organ. While they were praying, he was 
thinking of his widowed mother saying the sutra in the 
village temple far away somewhere in the world. 

Then John Mung, still dazed and breathless, accom 
panied by Captain Whitfield, crossed a mile-long bridge 
spanning the Acushnet River and reached Fairhaven where 
the captain lived. Fairhaven which was on New Bedford 
Harbor was also a prosperous town full of fine houses, 
though it was not so big and thriving with the whaling in 
dustry as New Bedford. As Captain Whitfield was a 
widower, his house had been left vacant and unlivable 
during his absence and although he loved John like a son, 
he could not have the boy live with him in his own house. 
Therefore, he asked one of the townsmen by the name of 
Eben Akin who had been a third officer of a whaling ship 
under Captain Whitfield to let John stay with his family. 
In the neighborhood, there lived together three sisters and 
the middle one, Jane Allen, was teaching at the Stone 
School in Farm Lane, a private school where she had 
about thirty pupils. One day Mr. Eben Akin asked John 
Mung whether he would like to go to school. John an 
swered that he wanted to do so by all means. As it was un 
likely that he would be able to return to Japan in the near 
future, he thought he should get some education in 
America. 

John Mung went to school for the first time in his life. 



36 MANJIRO 

In a large paneled room, about thirty feet square, stood 
rows of desks and chairs. About thirty pupils sat at those 
desks having a lesson in reading. The teacher stood on the 
platform, writing on the blackboard with a piece of chalk. 
The pupils at first kept the strange freshman at a respect 
ful distance, but before long, friendship prevailed and they 
began to play with him and to treat him kindly as one of 
their number. John Mung stayed on with Mr. Akin and 
went to school every morning, returning home late in the 
afternoon. As he was a great lover of books, Miss Jane 
Allen used to lend him many useful books so that he could 
read them in his spare time. 

Soon after John Mung joined the family of Mr. Eben 
Akin, Captain Whitfield went to New York to sell the 
whale oil which the John Rowland had brought back from 
the long whaling expedition. Not only did he conclude a 
very profitable business deal but he also remarried in New 
York, on May 31 of that year. He married Miss Albertina 
B. Keith of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and returned home 
in the height of happiness with his beautiful bride. Then 
he purchased a fourteen-acre farm with some buildings in 
Sconticut Neck, a mile or so from Fairhaven, for one 
thousand dollars from one Alice P. Fuller. There they es 
tablished their new home in a house they built, to which 
John Mung, after a while, came to live to make himself 
useful in doing the household chores. On the farm Captain 
and Mrs. Whitfield, with the help of John Mung and 
a hired farmhand, kept several cows, horses, pigs, and about 
one hundred chickens and also raised wheat, corn, potatoes, 
grapes and so on. 

It is told that, as a person of consequence in the town, 
Captain Whitfield had his own private pew in one of the 



TOFAIRHAVEN, MASS. 37 

three churches. One Sunday morning Manjiro went to 
church with him and sat beside him in that pew. One of 
the deacons of the church, who had been horrified, came 
to see Captain Whitfield after a few weeks and told him 
that the Japanese boy would have to sit in the pew for 
Negroes, because some of the members had objected to 
having Manjiro sit in the captain's pew. Captain Whitfield 
bowed politely and made no reply, although he wanted to 
say, "As long as I live, I shall never attend your church." 
Immediately he took a pew in another church but soon met 
with the same result. 

Before long, the captain found that a Unitarian Church 
was willing to admit John Mung into the fold, so that he 
decided to take the boy to this church every Sunday. 
Eventually the captain and his family became its members. 
The church's principal supporter was Mr. Warren Delano, 
Sr., who was an influential townsman and the great-grand 
father of the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who once 
wrote, "I well remember my grandfather telling me all about 
the little Japanese boy who went to school in Fairhaven and 
who went to church from time to time with the Delano 
family." 

Once he was deeply moved when he heard a sermon in 
which the pastor said that even a humble man was often 
called upon to do an important job. He did not clearly 
understand what was meant by being "poor in spirit" though 
the pastor talked about it at some length. He was en 
couraged, and filled with hope, however, when the pastor 
said that many men of humble birth proved to be capable of 
doing great service to the world. He was astonished when 
he was told that one of the greatest followers of the Lord 
was a fisherman. When the sermon was over, he said to 



38 M A N J I R O 

himself, I am glad that a fisherman's blood is in me. What 
can I do when I am a man? 

Manjiro was happy in this small New England town 
because, as the captain's foster son, he was allowed to do 
whatever was normal for any Fairhaven boy of that period, 
but sometimes he felt very lonely thinking of his poor 
widowed mother. Then he would take out a small tattered 
cotton kimono which his mother had made for him and 
bury his face in it and sob. He would wipe his tears with it 
and talk to it in Japanese as if he had been talking to his 
mother. He thought then as if his mother had been there 
to cheer him up because he knew that it was his mother 
who had made it for him and the only thing he had in his 
possession to remember her by. He always said on such 
occasions, "Mother, I will come back to you someday!" 

One day, Job C. Trippe, who was a classmate of John 
Mung, happened to come into the latter's room and found 
him crying with his face buried in the small tattered ki 
mono. When John told him why he was crying in such a 
manner, Job Trippe began to cry and they both cried to 
gether for some time. But when he suddenly noticed that 
John Mung's head was sticking out of a big hole in the 
kimono, he began to laugh and they both laughed together. 
Much impressed by Manjiro's attachment for his mother, 
Job Trippe wrote a few days later a very touching composi 
tion on the theme of mother love. Those who heard him 
read this composition in class were deeply moved. 

When John Mung came to live with Captain and Mrs. 
Whitfield at the Sconticut Neck farm, he lived in a home 
for the first time in his life. When a small boy, he had 
lost his father, and his mother was poor. She used to go 
down to the beach every day to help the fishermen draw 



TOFAIRHAVEN^MASS. 39 

dragnets to get a few small fish for her children. But in 
Sconticut Neck, he lived with his foster father and mother 
who were always kind to him, although like any other New 
England parents, they were by no means soft. At last, he 
could satisfy his hunger for fatherly love from Captain 
Whitfield. The three often worked together on the farm 
and he was as happy as a boy could be. He worked hard 
and they liked him. 

On Fourth of July he was taken by Captain Whitfield 
to Fairhaven to see the sham fight and the parade, which 
he always recalled and talked about even before the Japa 
nese officials. In Sconticut Neck, he observed the quaint 
custom of Halloween and celebrated Christmas with the 
tree, candles, presents, turkey dinner and carols in its New 
England setting. 

In Sconticut Neck he soon found that there were several 
playmates with whom he could go fishing when he was not 
too busy farming or reading books. He made many friends. 
On May Day, John Mung and other children went a-May- 
ing before sunrise in the nearby field to gather wild flowers 
and tree branches, and they returned to the village in 
triumph, John Mung carrying the Maypole. It was told 
by the late Mrs. Eldridge G. Morton that on a May Day 
when she was still a small child, John Mung hung a May 
basket on her door with the following verse: 

Tis in the silly night 
A basket youve got hung. 
Get up! Strike a light! 
And see me run. 

to which he added, "But no chase me/' John Mung fol 
lowed this and many other New England customs of the 



^O M A N J I R O 

day and thoroughly enjoyed them even if he did not under 
stand them very well. 

He continued to read books when he was free from the 
work in the field or at the cowshed, so that Captain Whit- 
field was more and more impressed by the boy's strong 
desire to learn. Mr. Louis Bartlett, a mathematician, who 
managed school at 42 Spring Street, was also impressed by 
the diligence and love of learning of this boy and said that 
he would teach John Mung mathematics and surveying, if 
he had any desire to learn. The young man readily became 
one of the pupils of Mr. Bartlett in February, 1844, and 
studied mathematics, surveying, reading and writing in his 
spare hours and proved to be the brightest student in the 
class. In June of that year, Captain Whitfield went whal 
ing again from the port of New Bedford on board the 
William Eliza without John Mung, because not only was 
his service needed around the farm but the captain thought 
that the boy's education should not be interrupted. 

The work in the field was finished for the winter, and 
John Mung could have lived a fairly easy life doing nothing 
in particular at Captain Whitfield's if he wanted to do so. 
He was too grateful to merely bask in the motherly care 
of Mrs. Whitfield, nor could he reconcile himself to the idea 
of idling away his time. Thinking of his future, he wanted 
to use this time to learn some trade while he could, so he 
became in February, 1845, an apprentice to a cooper named 
Mr. Huzzy, a manufacturer of whale-oil barrels, whose 
trade was considered a respectable one in the whaling com 
munity in those days. There were two other apprentices in 
the house of Mr. Huzzy, but as the work was too hard and 
the food too bad, they soon left the house without giving 
any notice. John Mung, however, stayed on patiently. 



TO FAIRHAVEN, MASS. 41 

While he worked hard as the cooper's apprentice, he read 
books and attended Mr. Bartlett's school whenever he had 
time to spare. 

In the summer of that year when the work at the Sconti- 
cut Neck farm was in full swing, he returned to it to be a 
farmhand again. The early autumn saw him return to Mr. 
Huzzy, but before long he became ill, having overworked 
himself, and had to return to Sconticut Neck in October. 
When he became quite well again under the care of Mrs. 
Whitfield, he resumed his studies of mathematics and navi 
gation, whenever he was not too busy on the farm. But 
sometimes when he thought of the thrill of chasing whales 
in the broad open sea, he could not help thinking that the 
job of taking care of pigs was rather boring. 

He was then a lad of nineteen, feeling a nostalgia for the 
sea. He wanted, moreover, to put into practice on the ship 
the knowledge of navigation and surveying he had acquired 
from Mr. Bartlett. But the opportunity to do so did not 
present itself at that time, so he decided in February, 1846, 
to go back to Mr. Huzzy's to continue his apprenticeship 
in the cooper's trade. 

It happened that a whaler from New York named Ira 
Davis, who was once the harpooner on the John Howland, 
came to Fairhaven in order to organize a crew for the 
Franklin, which was bound for the Pacific under his cap 
tainship. He went to see John Mung and asked him to join 
his crew; he had already been told by Isachar Akin, whom 
he also asked to sail on the Franklin, about the courage and 
skill which John Mung had demonstrated on the John 
Howland. 

Upon learning that his former shipmate, Isachar Akin, 
had consented to the proposal and that he would be ap~ 



42 M A N J I R 

pointed first officer, John Mung accepted the offer at once, 
since it seemed to be the very thing for which he had 
been waiting all this while. He thought it might be a good 
chance to return to Japan. He went to see Mrs. Whitfield 
immediately and told her that he had decided to go whaling 
on the Franklin, and asked her approval. But he did not 
breathe a word about any possibility of his returning to 
Japan. 

"I'm indeed glad to hear that, and Fm proud of you, 
John, and Fm sure Captain Whitfield would have been 
pleased to hear it. You ain't a small boy any more, and I 
reckon Mr. Bartlett learned you a thing or two about sailing 
a ship and whaling. You'll make a good whaler like my 
husband some day, Fm telling you. Take good care of 
yourself, John, and God bless you!" 

"Thank you, Mrs. Whitfield. I like it here very much. I 
like the people here. You have been kind to me; and the 
captain . . . Oh, how can I thank him enough? I'll miss you, 
and Fairhaven, and Sconticut Neck, but I want to go to sea. 
Perhaps, I may be able to see the captain, if the William 
Eliza and the Franklin happen to meet somewhere in the 
Pacific Ocean. How I long to see him!" 

John Mung said goodbye again and again to Mrs. Whit 
field and picked up William, the baby, from the floor and 
fondled him for a few minutes before he took leave of the 
Sconticut Neck farm. Then he went on board the Franklin 
without delay. 

The Franklin was a ship of 273 tons. She was about 100 
feet long and carried a crew of twenty-four. John Mung 
soon found to his great joy that ten of them were from the 
New Bedford area, some of whom he already knew; he 



TO FAIRHAVEN, MASS. 43 

found also that twelve of them were teen-agers, the youngest 
only fifteen. On May 15, 1846, the ship weighed anchor 
from New Bedford and sailed into Boston Harbor, where 
it stayed for three days. War was in the air in Boston 
Harbor, with the loaded cannons on the fortified islands 
menacingly pointing toward the sea and frigates busily keep 
ing watch against possible emergency. The war with 
Mexico had already started. 

The Franklin headed out east across the Atlantic, touched 
at Fayal Island in the Azores and stayed there for two days; 
then it headed south and reached Sao Thiago of the Cape 
Verde Islands where they bought pigs and fuel from the 
natives. Going farther south, the ship called at the Cape 
of Good Hope and continued her voyage. One day when 
the ship was sailing near British Guiana, a sailor who was 
watching from the topmast shrouds suddenly shouted, "A 
giant turtle!" He pointed to the trough of the sea about 
fifteen fathoms away from the starboard. "There it is!" 
cried the men on the deck. W/ifel went a harpoon from 
one of them but it fell short of the mark. Another one flew 
and this time it lodged deep in the body of the ten-foot 
monster turtle, which struggled so wildly and fiercely that it 
was impossible to pull the rope. Manjiro at once took off 
his clothes, jumped into the sea and swam over to the 
struggling turtle. Sitting astride it he plunged a dagger into 
its neck. This brave action on his part won the great ad 
miration of the entire crew. 

John Mung had ample opportunity to use the nautical 
instruments on the Franklin, such as the compasses, sex 
tants, chronometers and so on, and successfully to employ 
the art of navigation which he had learned from Mr. Bart- 



44 MANJIRO 

lett. He quickly grasped how to steer a big ship, how to 
find out the ship's position and many other things which a 
navigator should know. He often gave time to survey the 
coast lines or the sea for the sake of practice. He was ad 
mired by all the sailors of the Franklin for the skill which 
he ably demonstrated. 

The ship sailed on, catching whales in the waters of 
Sumatra and Java, and in February, 1847, reached Kupang 
on Timor Island, which belonged to the Portuguese. Ku 
pang, however, was a Dutch town of about two hundred 
houses, with a good port situated at the end of the bay 
which stretched ten miles deep into the land. While the 
Franklin was staying in this port for thirty days, John Mung 
often went ashore to see the town where Dutchmen lived 
among the natives. 

This voyage proved to be a great eye opener for John 
Mung. At the ports of call, as a young man who was deter 
mined to see the world for himself, he met many men and 
women of different races, saw many scenes and experienced 
many things. The ship set sail from Kupang and next went 
to New Ireland in the Bismarck Archipelago where John 
Mung saw the cannibals with their faces smeared with 
clay and their hair powdered white, but he could hardly 
tell whether they were men or women. The sailors tried 
to get the cannibals' shields and other weapons but since 
they had to run a risk of being caught and devoured, they 
left those deadly tools with the cannibals. 

Then the Franklin caught whales in the waters of the 
Solomon Islands but she had to stay at one of the islands 
for a few days to undergo some repairs, after which she 
headed north and reached Guam in March, 1847. Here 
John Mung wrote a letter to Captain Whitfield. 



TOFAIRHAVEN, MASS. 45 

Guam, March 12, 1847 
Respected Friend: 

I will take the pen to write you a few lines and let you know 
that I am well and hope you were the same. First thing I will 
tell you about the home, then time I left. Well, sir, your boy 
William is well all summer but the cold weather sets in he 
will . . . smart, a little cunning creature I ever saw before. He 
will cry after me just as quick as he would to his mother. Your 
wife and Amelia and Mr. Bonney's family and your neighbor 
hoods they all well when I saw them. I did went to Mr. Huz- 
zeys and stayed there about six months and then I left them . . . 

He goes on to pay a tribute to Mrs. Whitfield, who was 
a considerate, hard-working and respectable person and 
then he said that he believed that the captain was his best 
friend in all the world next to great God. He also expressed 
his intention to land in Ryukyu, if possible, and do his best 
to open a port there to supply necessaries to foreign whal 
ing ships. He left this letter, together with Mrs. Whitfield's 
letter, addressed to her husband in Guam so that he might 
pick them up when he entered the port. After a month's 
stay at Guam, the ship left the island and caught more 
whales in the East China Sea. She sailed by the coast of 
Taiwan and reached the Ryukyu Islands. 

John Mung always kept handy a kimono in which he 
wanted to return to his native land, but his heart failed 
him when the opportunity to go ashore presented itself. 
Some of the men lowered a boat and approached a seaside 
village where they bartered four rolls of calico for two 
cows. But they feared that if they stayed too long on the 
island they might get into some trouble. In fact, they saw 
several islanders come toward them menacingly, so they 
cut the boat from her moorings and returned hastily to the 



46 M A N J I R O 

ship. Now the ship headed east and went near the lonely 
island on which John Mung and the others had been 
stranded. From the entries in the logbook of the John 
Howland he had gathered that the island was in all prob 
ability Torishima of the Hachijo Islands. There they caught 
more whales and angled for fish. In August of that year, 
when the Franklin was sailing a hundred and sixty miles 
off the coast of North Japan, she met unexpectedly with 
about twenty Japanese fishing boats. 

This particular part of the sea seemed to have taken 
on a different color because of a large school of bonito rid 
ing on the Black Current of the Pacific Ocean. The fisher 
men in the boats felt almost dizzy, so busy were they in 
hauling in their catch. The Franklin lowered her sails in 
order to take her share in this heavy haul. Everyone took 
out his tackle and fished for bonito until about two hundred 
of them were hooked out of the water. Just then two Japa 
nese boats came toward the Franklin, perhaps resenting that 
she was intruding on their point of vantage. John Mung 
put on his kimono and wrapped a headband around his 
head in the Japanese style and stood on the deck calling out 
to the boats as loud as he could. 

"Where do you come from? Those are Japanese boats, 
I take it. What province do they belong to?" 

John Mung spoke Japanese for the first time in many 
years. Not in a dream but in a full waking moment he 
shouted his mother tongue as loudly as he pleased to his 
fellow countrymen. But he felt ashamed of himself to find 
that he was tongue-tied and had forgotten some Japanese 
words. 

"What part of Japan do those boats come from, eh? Are 
they from Tosa?" 



TOFAIRHAVEN, MASS. 47 

"Sundai, Sundai," was the answer from the boats. 

"Sunday?" wondered John Mung. "Why? This is not 
Sunday." 

Then it dawned on him that they had pronounced the 
name Sendai (a town in North Japan) in their dialect. 

John Mung lowered a boat at once and carrying with him 
a present of two boxes of bread, rowed toward the fishing 
boats from "Sundai," until the bow of his boat almost 
touched the side of one of the Japanese boats. He offered 
a few loaves of bread to the fishermen from "Sundai" which 
they accepted suspiciously and only stared at for a moment, 
unable to make head or tail of them, because they had never 
seen bread before. John Mung spoke to a young man who 
was apparently the headman. 

"Are your boats going to Tosa?" 

The young man looked puzzled as if he could not under 
stand John Mung's Tosa accent. 

"I don't know," was the answer. 

"Then don't you know whether there is a boat that goes 
to Tosa?" 

"I don't know," was again the answer of the young man. 

"Can't you understand what I say? Tell me if any of 
your boats is going to Tosa." 

"I don't know," repeated the young fisherman and tak 
ing out some bonito that he had kept in storage, he offered 
them in return for the present, saying, "Katsuo!" 

It was possible that they acted as if they could not under 
stand very well what John Mung said because they wanted 
to have nothing to do with a stranger, fearing they might 
get into trouble. John Mung gave up any further attempt 
to make himself understood and signed as much as to say, 
"We have caught enough bonito, so I must decline your 



48 MANJIRO 

offer with due thanks." Seeing that it was no use trying to 
make further negotiations, he returned to the ship a dis 
appointed man. He stood on the deck blankly staring at 
the sea until someone drew his attention to the headband 
which he had forgotten to take off. 

Most of the men in the ship who had been curiously 
watching John Mung negotiate with the Japanese fisher 
men felt sorry to know that his hope of returning to Tosa 
in one of those boats had been dashed. 



AN 
EMPTY HOPE 



THE Franklin steadily took a southeast course for many 
days on end, making unusually good headway before the 
wind. In October, 1847, she entered the port of Honolulu 
and lay at anchor for about a month during which the ship 
took in fuel and fresh water. It was seven long years since 
John Mung bade farewell to Denzo and the others in Hono 
lulu. 

He waited patiently for shore leave, and as soon as it was 
granted he went to look for them, On inquiring of an office 
clerk and a tailor whom he had known as to the where 
abouts of Denzo and the other Japanese, he was told that 
Denzo and his brother had gone home to Japan, that Jusuke 
had died, and only Toraemon was still staying there as an 
apprentice to a carpenter. He proceeded at once to the 



50 M A N J I R O 

carpenter's house, where he found Toraeinon busily sawing 
a timber with a large saw. 

Greatly surprised at the sight of John Mung, Toraemon 
said, "Oh! Manjiro Nushi!" Then he said in Eng 
lish, "This is, indeed, an unexpected meeting. What 
brought you here?" 

John Mung said, "Oh! Tora Nushi!" and continued also 
in English, "I am glad to find you well. I came here a couple 
of days ago in a whaleship called the Franklin and heard 
that you were still here and that Den Nushi and Goemon 
Nushi had gone back to Japan. I also heard that Jusuke 
was dead and gone. Poor man!" 

"Yes, poor man!" said Toraemon. "I feel as if my heart 
would break when I think of him. 1 may die in this strange 
land but my spirit will go back to my old country/ That 
was what he said just before he breathed his last. I remem 
ber, it was a mighty windy day in January of last year when 
he passed away. Den Nushi and Goemon Nushi sailed to 
Japan on the Colorado at the end of October, last year. 
Indeed, I wanted to go back with them, but I did not dare 
to go in that ship because I was told that Captain Cox was 
a devil if ever a man was. I kind of feared I might get into 
some trouble if I sailed with that skipper. Now, Fve said 
enough for the present. Let me hear from you all about 
what you've done since you left." 

John Mung began to tell his long story, how he had been 
taken to America by Captain Whitfield, how he had spent 
the last seven years; how he had been employed on a whaling 
ship and how he had at last come to this place. As it was 
the first reunion in many years they both had many things 
to talk about. 

About twenty days went by, when one day the carpenter, 



AN EMPTY HOPE Jl 

returning in a hurry from the town, said, "Toraemon, I met 
just now a sailor who told me that the Colorado had just 
made port. He also said that he had seen Denzo and the 
other Japanese still in the ship/' 

It was such an unexpected piece of news that Toraemon 
could not believe his ears at first. He went to see Manjiro 
at once and broke the news. Then they ran together to the 
harbor where they saw the Colorado at anchor, and hiring 
a boat at once, they rowed to the ship and went on board. 
Sure enough, they found Denzo and his brother standing 
on the deck. 

Denzo began to tell the story of his last seven years to 
John Mung: He and his brother lived at first under the care 
of Governor Judd, but feeling too proud to accept charity, 
they soon decided to work. Inexperienced in any trade and 
having no capital to buy land, they managed to make a liv 
ing as servants or day laborers for the relatives and friends 
of Governor Judd. As for Jusuke, his condition was grad 
ually getting worse, so that he was at last sent along with his 
two brothers to the house of Pookun in a village called 
Kualoa, six miles away, to get special medical treatment 
from a famous doctor there. Jusuke died in January, 1845, 
at the age of thirty-one, in spite of all efforts to cure him. 
A funeral service was held for him at the Kualoa Church by 
his brothers, Pookun and a few other friends of the deceased. 
He was buried in the graveyard of his former master's family, 
which was not far from Kualoa. Denzo took his brother's 
death to heart and became so dejected that Pookun had to 
look after him while his brother Goemon stayed at the 
mission house there to work as a servant. 

Once when Queen Kakaluohi came to this village on her 
annual tour of inspection, escorted by the chief official 



52 MANJIRO 

Tuwanahawa, they stopped at Pookun's house where Denzo 
was staying. Tuwanahawa told them that it was the queen's 
wish to inquire after his and his brother's health and to 
know that everything was all right with them. They 
thanked the queen for her kindness and then told the chief 
official how they had been getting along on the island and 
expressed their wish to make a living by farming and fishing, 
if that were possible. A few days later Tuwanahawa told 
Denzo and his brother, "You shall have the land to farm." 
Realizing that the queen must have granted their wish, 
Denzo asked the chief official to take steps to express their 
gratitude to her. 

Denzo and his brother built a house of their own on the 
newly granted land by the sea, and busied themselves farm 
ing and fishing. They made themselves fishing tackle after 
that of Tosa and fished chiefly for bonito. They sold their 
catch at the markets in Honolulu. They were so skillful 
that either of them could catch fifty bonito while a native 
of the island could get only ten. Their farm land, warmed 
by the sun, yielded a good harvest of potatoes. In the back 
yard they kept pigs for the first time in their lives, accord 
ing to the custom of the natives. Moreover, as they were 
exempted from all taxes, they were able to live as com 
fortably as they could wish. When Goemon had nothing 
to do in the field or in the sea, he often went to work as a 
servant for a certain missionary. 

One Sunday morning, when a preaching meeting of this 
missionary was over, someone in the congregation shouted, 
"Well, Goemon! Can you recognize me?" 

"How could I have forgotten you?" said Goemon. "To be 
sure, you are Captain Whitfield who saved our lives. We 
always remember you with heart and soul." 



AN EMPTY HOPE 53 

Captain Whitfield, looking very pleased, laughed heartily 
and then asked Goemon how his friends had been getting 
along. Goemon told the captain all he and his friends had 
done since they saw him last but when he told that Jusuke 
had died, the captain looked very sad and said, "Bless his 
heart, poor Jusuke! How badly he must have wanted to go 
back to Japan before he died!" 

In tears the captain and Goemon went to visit the grave 
of Jusuke. Later the captain suddenly said, "I can help you 
go back to Japan, if you still want to go. Mr. Cox, who was 
once a crew member of the Rowland, is now the captain of 
a whaling ship called Colorado, which is about to leave for 
Japanese waters. If you want to go back, I can ask him to 
take you to your country in that ship. So you'd better get 
ready to sail, if that is your wish. You may depend upon it, 
he is a very nice man, and I am sure he will take good care 
of you. By the way, John Mung is living quite happily in 
Fairhaven. He is doing fine at school." 

Then the captain and Goemon went together to Denzo's 
cottage on the seaside, which was a small ramshackle affair 
with not a single chair to sit on. When Denzo saw the 
captain and Goemon, he was so glad that he could hardly 
speak. He invited them to sit on two barrels which were 
standing on the dirt floor. Although the captain did not like 
the look of the shabby cottage and its surroundings, he 
suddenly said, looking toward the sea, "Well, well, what a 
nice and simple life this is!" He then told Denzo about his 
plan of arranging their free passage to Japan. He asked 
Denzo to come to the harbor to talk the matter over if he 
wanted to return to Japan. Before he left the cottage, he 
gave Denzo and his brother two silver coins each. 

On the following day Goemon, Denzo and his brother 



54 M A N J I R O 

went to the harbor to see Captain Whitfield. He eyed their 
clothes disapprovingly and said, "I'm afraid you cannot 
go back to your country in those clothes. You'd better put 
these on when you go," Then the captain gave each of them 
a suit of woolen clothes, a pair of shoes, a hat and a few 
shirts. Goemon packed them together into a bundle and 
carrying it on a pole over his shoulder as Japanese farmers 
did, he returned to his seaside cottage. Denzo and Goemon 
were overjoyed and at once went to Honolulu to see 
Toraemon. 

"Tora Nushi! We have good news for you. At last we 
can go home/' They explained the matter in detail and 
tried to talk him into returning to Japan. 

Denzo and the other two went to see their friends in 
Honolulu to say goodbye. Dr. Judd and the missionary gave 
them some money, clothes and other presents, wishing them 
good luck. Some of their friends exchanged words of part 
ing with tears in their eyes, because they had become very 
good friends by then. 

Returning to the seaside cottage, Denzo and his brother 
cheerfully set about the preparations for their voyage home. 
They could not contain the joy of going home after so many 
years of loneliness in a strange country. Although they 
found that the fields in which they had sweated so hard were 
something they could not part with so easily, they offered 
the potatoes and corn in the field to the neighbors and 
returned the land to Twanahawa. Six chickens, four ducks, 
and two pigs, which they had kept, were given as presents to 
Captain Whitfield. 

Captain Whitfield again asked Mr. Cox to look after the 
three men just before the Colorado set sail. The three went 
on board, while Captain Whitfield came to see them off. 



AM, E MP T Y HOP E 55 

But just as the ship was weighing anchor, ready to set sail, 
Toraemon changed his mind. 

"I'm not going back/' he blurted out. Denzo, surprised 
out of his wits, told him persuasively that if he did not 
return now, most likely he'd never return. Whereupon, 
Toraemon said that Captain Cox was a "son of a dog" and 
would bring a great deal of trouble to them in the ship. 
He would not listen to any of Denzo's advice and went 
ashore all by himself. It seemed that he had harbored some 
suspicion about the character of Mr. Cox. 

The Colorado left Honolulu late in November and, going 
south, engaged in whaling in the waters of the South Sea 
Islands, finally putting in at Guam Island to spend the 
year's end. Then she headed north, coming close to Hachijo 
Island the early part of March, but the sea was too rough 
to lower a boat. So, passing about ten miles off the island, 
she headed northeast and kept her course along the coast 
of Boshu. The ship then came so near the shore of what 
appeared to be Matsumae that it came into view very 
clearly. Captain Cox told Denzo that the cape in sight was 
Matsumae, and brought the ship to within four miles of the 
coast. Then the captain, Denzo, his brother and six men 
went ashore in a boat at the northern part of the cape. 
They set out to look for a village or a house. They found 
two small vacant huts. Inside one of them they found 
Japanese sandals and straw raincoats hanging on the wall. 
A pair of well-used straw shoes covered with dry dust was 
on the dirt floor. The ashes in the fireplace seemed dead 
and cold. "Ohi! Ohi!" Denzo and his brother shouted at 
the top of their lungs, but neither a human voice nor an 
echo was heard in answer to the shout. At the back of the 
house they found a small patch planted with taro. There 



56 MANJIRO 

was no doubt that this was Japanese territory but not a liv 
ing soul was to be found anywhere. They went up a hill, 
made a bonfire and waited for a long time, but no one came. 

'This/' said Captain Cox at last, "is a lonely place, no 
better than an uncharted island. To stay here is out of the 
question. Denzo, I'll let you go ashore at a more suitable 
place, so you'd better come along with us to the ship for 
now/' 

When Denzo and his brother came ashore, they believed 
that they had come at last to the land they had dreamed 
about so often, after so many years of waiting. So they 
begged the captain to be left alone on this island. 

"If I left you alone here at this lonely place/' said he, 
"how could I explain myself to Captain Whitfield who 
asked me to look after you and see you safely returned to 
Japan? For heaven's sake, don't stay in such a deserted 
place. I'm sure we'll find many other places more suitable 
to land." 

"Please," implored Denzo, "we beg of you, Captain, leave 
us alone here." They both clasped their hands over their 
heads and bowed humbly. 

"I will do nothing of the kind," said the captain in flat 
refusal. So at last, Denzo and his brother had to return to 
the ship, sad and disappointed. The Colorado then went 
up north and caught more whales in the eastern waters of 
the Aleutian Islands, where they had to spend forty stormy, 
sunless days. They returned to Honolulu the early part of 
August, catching twenty-three whales in all. 

Denzo told the above story to John Mung and said that 
he and his brother had just returned to Honolulu from the 
voyage that very day. When Denzo's story was over, John 
Mung put in, "I think Mr. Cox is not so black as Tora Nushi 
paints him." 



ANEMPTYHOPE 57 

"Well," insisted Toraemon, "I still think that he is a 
blackhearted man all right/' 

Judging from what Denzo had said, it seemed as if Mr. 
Cox might have tricked Denzo and his brother into board 
ing the Colorado, as Toraemon had suspected, and let them 
work for nothing. However, it was possible at the same 
time that he knew full well the strict isolation policy of 
Japan at that time and the possible consequences that 
might ensue from violating it. He himself had landed in an 
obscure nook of Matsumae and had tried to find a house 
and had made a bonfire on a hill in an attempt to see Denzo 
and his brother returned safely among their men. After all, 
he was a good man who dared not abandon the two men in 
that lonely place, particularly when he had been asked by 
Captain Whitfield to be kind to them. 

The Franklin carrying John Mung was setting sail any 
time then, so giving up the talk that seemed to know no 
end, he said goodbye to them, wishing them good luck till 
they should meet again. 

Denzo and Goemon, on returning to Honolulu, visited all 
their former friends who had been kind enough to give them 
presents when they were leaving town before and told how 
their attempt to return to Japan had failed, and how they 
had to return to Honolulu. They asked their former friends 
to continue to be kind to them, and retired to a place 
called Maeha, about ten miles from Honolulu, and settled 
down there as humble peasants. 



IN 

THE 
GOLD RUSH 



THE Franklin left Honolulu for the South Seas and an 
chored on November 6, 1847, at Guam. About this time, 
Captain Ira Davis became insane and committed all sorts of 
violent acts so that the crew decided to take him to Manila 
on Luzon Island. The ship continued whaling during this 
voyage until she made port at Manila the latter part of May. 
As there was an American consulate in Manila, some of 
the members of the crew went to see the consul, explained 
the matter to him and asked his advice. As a result, it was 
decided that the insane captain should be returned to 
America on a transport. John Mung often went ashore on 
official business and whenever he found time to spare, he 
hung about the town. It was full of people of different 
races and nationalities, including Americans, Spaniards, 



60 M AN J IR O 

Dutchmen, Englishmen, Hindoos, Chinese, Filipinos, and 
others, who mingled together so that the place seemed like 
an emporium of races. 

The Franklin having been thus bereft of her captain, Mr. 
Isachar Akin, first officer, became acting captain. John Mung 
was chosen second officer unanimously by the crew, who 
had been admiring his personality and the pluck and skill 
with which he caught whales. 

Leaving Manila in July, the Franklin went to the waters 
of Batangas, Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands where it en 
gaged in whaling before it turned back to Guam. Getting 
a supply of fuel and water at this island, the ship again put 
to sea and in October she entered Honolulu. Before she 
left the port for the last whaling voyage and for home, John 
Mung wrote the following letter. It clearly shows that he 
had experienced the Christian faith which no doubt he had 
learned from Captain Whitfield: 

Honolulu, 
Oct. 30th, 1848 

Oh! Captain how can I forget your kindness. When can I 
pay for your fatherly treatment. Thank God ten thousand 
times and never will forget. 

I was sorry your ship being leaky and oblige you into the 
port before your season, however, God will see all this. I often 
offer prayers to God to give you the success should it please 
to God. Your success will under the divine providence in a 
great measure depend upon your own conduct. The God will 
direct you into the straitest [?] path of the sea. Hope you re 
turn safe and self preservation. I and my good Albertma and 
Amelin find them injoying the health and happiness. We were 
lying with 700 bbls. of sperm oil and have to go another season 
on the line. 

July 9th had the gam with Captain Woodard I followed 



IN THE GOLD RUSH 6l 

him up on the deck inquire for home and find the death of my 
boy William Henry [Captain Whitfield's son]. I was very 
sorry every time think about William Henry. Give my best 
respects to all your friends and your kind neighbors, and my 
affection your wife Amelin and Mr. Bonney family. Tell them 
what quarter of the world that I am in. 

I never can forget kindness they have done to me. It is hard 
thing for me to join the words together therefore come to 
close. 

JOHN MUNG 

After leaving this island and crossing the Indian Ocean, 
the ship sailed off the coast of Madagascar late in May via 
the Cape of Good Hope. She sailed into the Atlantic and 
at last came back to the port of New Bedford in August of 
that year. It was a long voyage, extending over a period of 
three years and putting a girdle round the globe. The catch 
of whales during this long voyage numbered about five hun 
dred, and several thousand barrels of whale oil came into 
their possession. 

John Mung earned three hundred and fifty dollars as his 
share of the profit and returned to the house of Captain 
Whitfield at Fairhaven, his second home. The captain, 
who had also returned home from the sea a few days before, 
was waiting for him. He thought that the captain might 
scold him for running away from home during his absence, 
but the captain didn't say a word about it. On the contrary, 
he congratulated John Mung upon his successful whaling 
voyage and also upon his having been appointed second 
officer of the Franklin. John Mung told the captain how he 
accidentally had met Denzo, Goemon, and Toraemon, and 
how they had tried in vain to return to Japan. Whereupon 
the captain said that the place where they had landed and 



62 MANJIRO 

which they thought was Matsumae, was in all probability 
not Matsumae after all. He said that a large number of 
islands were lying like steppingstones north of Matsumae 
and here and there on these islands there were cottages 
built by Japanese settlers. It must have been those cabins 
that Denzo and the others found there. And Captain Whit- 
field concluded that there was nothing wrong with the step 
taken by Mr. Cox under the circumstances. 

In 1848, while John Mung was on a long whaling voyage, 
America was stirred by the discovery of gold in California. 
The Gold Rush began. Upon his return to Fairhaven, the 
thought of adventure haunted his mind. Why not go to 
California to dig for gold? California, too, was closer to 
Japan. He wanted to return home to his widowed mother of 
whom he had not heard since he last saw her back in 1841. 
He thought he could somehow make things easier for her 
by helping her make a living, if he returned. In the second 
place, he wanted to go back to Japan as soon as possible 
to tell his countrymen that Japan could no longer remain 
isolated from the rest of the world. He thought it urgent 
for his countrymen, who had much to catch up with, to 
open their eyes to the importance of learning modern 
science and adopting Western civilization. He was quite 
happy living with Captain Whitfield's family; he had good 
friends like Job Tripp. Most of the people of Fairhaven 
were kind to him. He thought he could get a permanent 
job as a seaman or a cooper and settle down in America 
without any trouble. But he felt it his duty to go back 
to Japan and do everything in his power to awaken the 
people before it was too late. However, he kept his plan to 
return to Japan a secret, thinking that Captain Whitfield 
would probably be greatly disappointed if he told him 
about it. 



IN THE GOLD RUSH 63 

"I know if I should tell Captain and Mrs. Whitfield 
about my plan, they would probably never consent to it. 
They would think it too wild and too vague, and they would 
fear for my safety. I remember the captain once told me 
that I should certainly be put to death the moment I landed 
in Japan; no one is allowed to enter Japan from abroad. I 
remember Mrs. Whitfield once told me, 'You will make a 
good whaler like Captain Whitfield/ Yes, I might, if I try 
hard enough. Mr. Huzzy told me that I had the talent of a 
cooper. Perhaps I can be a successful cooper in New Bed 
ford. But I always hear the voice of my old country calling 
me. I shall always be unhappy and lonely in my heart, if I 
don't see my mother once more, although I am happy now, 
living with Captain and Mrs. Whitfield, and I have many 
good friends here. I am sorry for my people; they know 
nothing about the rest of the world. Now is the time to let 
them know. I must return to help my countrymen open 
their eyes. I know it's a terrible thing to leave the house 
without telling the truth to Captain and Mrs. Whitfield, 
but they will understand some day. I'll only tell them that 
I am going to California to dig for gold. I shall never forget 
all my life their kindness and the good things they have 
taught me. Pardon me for my wickedness, but I must go." 

In October, 1849, John Mung and a friend of his called 
Tilley started the long trip by working their passage on a 
lumber ship from New Bedford to California via Cape 
Horn. Not only was it the least expensive method of travel 
ing, but it was also the safest way in those days when the 
overland journey by train was still in the future. 

He and Tilley arrived in San Francisco toward the end of 
May of the following year. They stayed there for three days 
and were amazed at this booming town during the Gold 
Rush. Then they went to Sacramento in a paddle steamer. 



64 MANJIRO 

John Mung had never sailed in a steamer before, although 
he had had an ample opportunity to observe steamers while 
in Fairhaven. Experienced seaman that he was, he was 
impressed by its speed and its ability to go in any direction 
irrespective of the wind and current. From Sacramento 
they took a train inland for a distance of about one hundred 
and twenty miles. Such a long train journey was also an eye- 
opening experience for Manjiro. He marveled at the great 
rapidity with which the objects by the side of the train sped 
away as the train went by. In all likelihood, Manjiro was 
the first Japanese national who ever experienced a journey 
by train and steamer. 

At the foot of a mountain they got off the train, and on 
horseback and on foot they traveled over a dangerously steep 
path until at last they reached a gold mine. The weather 
was changeable here, very cold up in the mountain and very 
hot at its foot, and many people who had come to try their 
luck died. A mining town had come into existence almost 
overnight with mushrooming gambling houses and brothels 
crowded with gold diggers and outlaws. 

Manjiro and his fellow worker Tilley went to the mining 
office and registered as gold miners. For it was the rule at 
that time that anyone who worked in this mine should sell 
all the gold or silver ore he had discovered to this office. 
Manjiro and his friend went to the North River mining lot 
and were employed by a certain contractor who lent them 
shovels, quarrying tools, tubs, basins, boxes and so forth. As 
it was already summer, it was unbearably hot inside the pit 
and many miners deserted this mine and went down the 
mountain to pan for gold in the river bed. 

Manjiro and Tilley worked hard in this gold mine for 
about a month, at the end of which they had earned about 



INTHEGOLDRUSH 65 

one hundred and eighty pieces of silver. With this money 
they bought mining tools and started their gold digging in 
the river bed. They stayed at an inn which cost them as 
much as two dollars a day each, in spite of the fact that they 
ate nothing but pork and onions. They went to the river 
every day to find gold. On a lucky day, they found gold 
worth about twenty pieces of silver but when they were 
unlucky, they found absolutely nothing. 

One day, just before sunset, Manjiro discovered a gold 
nugget almost as large as an egg. He did not know what to 
do, because it was too dangerous to take it with him to the 
inn where so many ruffians were waiting to take advantage 
of anyone who possessed plenty of gold. "Oh, yes, I have a 
good idea," whispered Manjiro to himself. "I'll bury it in 
the ground where IVe found it and Fll stay right here until 
tomorrow morning." He did not breathe a word about the 
gold nugget even to Tilley. He simply said, "I'm not going 
back to the inn tonight." As soon as Tilley went away, he 
buried the gold nugget in the ground where he had found 
it, placed a large stone over the spot and sat on it all night. 
He went straightway to the office the first thing in the mom- 
ing and exchanged it for money. 

Thus they worked as gold diggers on their own and at the 
end of about two months Manjiro saved six hundred pieces 
of silver. He then decided to use the money for passage 
home. So he gave all his mining tools to Tilley, bade him 
farewell, and returned to San Francisco alone early in 
August. 

In October, 1850, he embarked on a ship bound from 
San Francisco to Honolulu, intending to return to Japan 
with Denzo and his other three fellow countrymen from 
there. Again he worked his passage, because the ship's cap- 



66 M A N J I R 

tain was very pleased to get the help of an experienced sea 
man like Manjiro. Upon his arrival in Honolulu, he went 
to see Toraemon and sent for Denzo and his brother, who 
were fanning at Maeha. They all put their heads together 
at once to discuss their passage back to Japan, but one thing 
seemed to stand in their way. Goemon, brother of Denzo, 
had been converted to the religion of the foreigners. More 
over, he had married a pretty native woman and was living 
happily with her. 

When Goemon heard about the plan to return to Japan, 
he did not know what to do. It was not in him to leave his 
beloved wife alone, perhaps never to see her again. But if he 
lost this chance to go back now, he might lose it forever. As 
to his foreign religion, he would be able to escape trouble 
by keeping it a secret if questioned by Japanese officials. But 
to bring a foreign woman into Japan was out of the question. 
Denzo's heart was greatly troubled because he could not 
decide what course his brother should take. It was as diffi 
cult to make his brother give up his good wife as it was to 
leave him behind in the strange land. But Denzo himself 
was firmly determined to take this opportunity of going 
back. 

They talked in Japanese, fearing the nature of their con 
versation might be known to others. Right or wrong, there 
was an old saying in Tosa, "to make a devil of one's heart/' 
Denzo looked into his brother's face, but seeing it turn pale, 
he said to John Mung, "Manjiro Nushi, listen! I have been 
living all these years only to see my old country again/ 7 

John Mung nodded deeply but kept still until Goemon 
broke the silence at last by saying, "I will go!" 



HOMEWARD 
BOUND 



WHILE John Mung and his companions were discussing the 
plan to return home, word reached them by chance that a 
ship bearing several Japanese had arrived. John Mung at 
once ran to the harbor and visited the ship to meet them. 
But as their Japanese was entirely unintelligible to him, he 
sent for Denzo, who understood dialects. It was found that 
these newcomers from Japan were Torakichi and five other 
men of the Tenju-maru, a tangerine boat from Kishu, who 
had been rescued by an American ship when their boat was 
drifting at the mercy of a strong gale. Denzo and his friends 
had seen boats from Kishu, which often visited their native 
place. These newcomers also remembered the people of 
Tosa warmly and were very glad to learn that they might 
be able to return to Japan together. 



68 MANJIRO 

Toraemon suddenly changed his mind and said that he 
would rather stay in Honolulu where he had many friends 
and that it did not make much difference whether he lived 
there or in Tosa. Greatly surprised, Denzo and John Mung 
tried all they could to persuade him to go with them. But 
Toraemon would not hear of such a thing. He said he was 
afraid that this attempt to return home would end in failure 
as it had before. After all, since he was doing very well as a 
cooper in Honolulu, he did not experience any homesick 
ness that might otherwise have been growing in his heart. 

The three men, though greatly disappointed with Torae 
mon, decided to leave him behind. They were to be allowed 
to sail in the ship that was to convey the rescued sailors of 
Kishu to Japan, but John Mung soon found that he was 
unable to put up with the captain of the ship. A few days 
before the ship was scheduled to sail, John Mung was mend 
ing a barrel on the deck since he had nothing to do then. 
Seeing John Mung at work, the captain came up to him 
and ordered that he mend all the broken barrels in the ship. 
"Aye, aye, sir/' said John Mung and fell to work at once. 
When he had mended all the barrels, the captain brought 
all sorts of broken pieces of furniture and piled them high 
on the deck, saying, "You mend all these things. That's my 
order. Do you hear?" John Mung had some skill as a cooper, 
but as to furniture making and repairing he knew little. 

"I'm sorry, sir," John Mung answered, "I can't repair all 
those things." The captain, without saying so much as a 
word, slapped him on the cheek. The act, which might have 
been reserved for a slave, enraged him. 

"I am not your slave," declared John Mung. "You are 
putting on airs with that clay pipe sticking out of your 
mouth. Don't you know how to behave like an honorable 
seaman?" 



HOMEWARDBOUND 69 

Uttering a curse, he refused point-blank to repair the 
broken chairs and tables before him. Greatly annoyed, the 
captain tried to frighten him into obedience, but he looked 
the captain in the face and held his own. "I'm not sailing 
with you in this ship/' said Manjiro defiantly. He decided 
to put off going back until another opportunity presented 
itself, and he and Goemon and Denzo, much disappointed, 
left the ship. Torakichi and the other Kishu sailors, know 
ing how heartbreaking it was for the three men, said simply, 
"We're sorry for you/' 

John Mung and the two brothers went straightway to see 
Toraemon, the cooper, who laughed at them as much as to 
say, "It served you right." But suddenly, knitting his brows, 
he told them that there was some difficulty. 

Every day, for four or five successive days, Goemon's wife 
had come to see him demanding, "Where is Goemon? Tora 
Nushi, you know where he is/' Toraemon had simply said, 
"I don't know." Although she was such a good, gentle 
woman, there'd be much trouble this time. Goemon had 
slipped out of his house without letting his wife know any 
thing about his plan. Word that their attempt to go back to 
Japan had failed again would surely be rumored all over 
Honolulu. Even worse, it might be reported in the Polyne 
sian and the Friend which were two rival newspapers in 
Hawaii always trying to beat each other with such stories. 

When Denzo and Goemon returned to their house in 
Maeha, ten miles from Honolulu, they found Goemon's 
wife kneeling before a picture of Christ and praying a fer 
vent prayer. At the sound of footsteps she jumped up and 
seeing Goemon standing there, she flung herself upon him 
with a cry and clung fast to his shoulders. Overwhelmed 
by joy, she wept with her face pressed on his breast and then 
she kissed him again and again. Denzo had been quite 



JO M A N J I R O 

accustomed to see her kiss her husband, but this time he 
found it more than he could stand. So he left them alone 
and quickly went out to work in the field, taking a hoe from 
the dirt floor of the cottage. 

John Mung was waiting for a chance to go back to Japan 
by working his passage. He had asked some of his friends 
in town whether or not it was possible to find a suitable ship 
for him. One day, he heard the news that a certain ship was 
ready to sail for China. It was an American merchant ship, 
the Sarah Boyd, which entered Honolulu late in November, 
1850, and was sailing for China to pick up a cargo of China 
tea. John Mung brought this good news to Denzo and his 
brother, and at once they all went to see Captain Whitmore 
of the Sarah Boyd. 

When John Mung told the captain their story and asked 
his permission to sail in the ship, the captain refused, saying, 
"I know very well how you wish to return to your old coun 
try. But I am sorry to say that the ship that goes to Shanghai 
to take on a cargo passes far south of Japan. Besides, a 
merchant ship, unlike a whaling boat, must run her course 
according to a schedule. It is out of the question to change 
her course in order to touch at a Japanese port. You see, 
the Sarah Boyd belongs to a shipping company and it is 
essential, therefore, to deliver her cargo of tea within a fixed 
time to the merchants for whom no delivery is too early. At 
any rate, I can't act on my own authority as to changing 
her course/' 

In spite of these words, Captain Whitmore was touched 
by their passionate desire to go home. So he spread a chart 
before them and explained. 

"You see, this is the China Sea. This is Satsuma of Japan. 
The ship sometimes passes through the waters of Satsuma 



HOMEWARD BOUND Jl 

in a fair wind. If that's the case, landing on one of those 
islands near Satsuma might be possible. It all depends upon 
a favorable wind." 

John Mung, Denzo and Goemon began talking the 
matter over among themselves. They might be taken to 
Shanghai and back to Honolulu, were the wind unfavorable. 
Yet if they lost this chance, they might never have another 
one. Sail they must in this ship, come what may. They put 
their heads together to discuss how they should enter their 
native country whose doors were so tightly closed. At last 
John Mung hit upon a happy plan when all the others failed. 
According to his plan, he would buy a small boat to be car 
ried on the Sarah Boyd, and when she entered the waters of 
Japan, the boat would be lowered to reach the land. Denzo 
and Goemon thought it a splendid idea and at once sec 
onded it. Captain Whitmore, also thinking that the plan 
might work, said, "How clever you are, John Mung!" And 
he nodded approvingly. 

Leaving the Sarah Boyd, the three men went straight to 
see Toraemon and tried to talk him into joining in their 
scheme. But Toraemon would not listen to such a proposal, 
on the ground that crossing the sea in a small boat was too 
dangerous. Evidently he had given up the hope of ever 
going back to Japan. 

John Mung proceeded to the U.S. consulate in Honolulu 
and thanked the American authorities there for the kind 
ness shown him and his friends. Mr. Elisha H. Allen, U.S. 
consul, wrote a letter introducing them and asking all those 
who might come into contact with them to treat them 
kindly. He also mentioned in the letter about the desire of 
the American people to establish good relations with Japan 
even before Commodore Perry came to Japan. 



J2 M A N J I R O 

Consulate of the United States, 

Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands 

To all whom these presents shall, doth or may come; I, 
Elisha H. Allen, Consul of the United States of America, 
Hawaiian Islands, send greetings: 

Know ye, that satisfactory evidence has been produced to 
me that John Manjiro, Denzo, and Goemon left the southwest 
part of the Island of Nippon, Japan, in a fishing vessel and 
were wrecked; and after remaining on an uninhabited island 
for about six months they were taken off by Captain Whitfield 
of the American whaleship John Holland, who brought them 
to the Sandwich Islands. Denzo and Goemon remained here; 
Manjiro went cruising for whales, and in the year of eighteen 
hundred and forty-four reached the United States of America. 
He remained there two years, spending his time in farming, 
learning the cooper's trade and attending school. He went on 
another voyage sperm whaling, and returned to the United 
States in the year of eighteen hundred and forty-nine. Last 
October he arrived here again, after having visited California, 
the gold region of the United States of America. 

Captain Whitmore has kindly consented to take them in the 
bark Sarah Boyd, a vessel belonging to the United States of 
America, and leave them near the Loochoo Islands. Some 
friends here aided them in making preparations for their voy 
age and I trust they will be kindly treated by all they may meet. 

I am informed by the Captain of the Seaman's Friend So 
ciety, that John Manjiro has sustained a good character and has 
improved in knowledge. He will tell his countrymen of Japan 
how happy the Americans would be to make their acquaintance, 
and visit them with their ships, and give gold and silver for 
their goods. 

Given under my hand and the seal of this Consulate at Hono 
lulu this thirteenth day of December in the year of our Lord 
Eighteen Hundred and Fifty. 

ELISHA H. ALLEN 
U. S. Consul 



HOMEWARD BOUND 73 

John Mung got busy going around visiting people and 
trying to buy a small boat which was necessary for their 
voyage. He had some money and gold dust which he had 
found in California. But as a newly launched boat was too 
expensive, he tried to buy a second-hand one that was still 
seaworthy. Fortunately, he heard the news that a certain 
Englishman was willing to part with a second-hand boat 
which was apparently in good condition. So he went and 
bought it with complete equipment for a hundred and 
twenty-five dollars. 

John Mung christened this boat the Adventure and took 
it on board the Sarah Boyd. Some of the people of Hono 
lulu, hearing about this brave adventure, came to help them 
with the preparations for sailing. The Reverend Samuel C. 
Damon, appealing to the public in the newspaper Polyne 
sian to contribute money for their benefit, raised funds for 
them from many citizens of Honolulu. The Polynesian 
printed the following article written by the Reverend S. C. 
Damon on November 14, 1850: 

Expedition for Japan. The public is aware that from time to 
time wrecked Japanese have been brought to the Sandwich 
Islands. There are now three who were brought hither by Cap 
tain W. H. Whitfield in 1841. One of them, John Manjiro, 
accompanied Captain Whitfield to the United States, where 
he was educated in a good common school, besides having 
acquired the cooper's trade. 

He has returned to the islands, and here finds his former 
shipmates, two of whom propose to accompany him, and if 
possible, return to Japan. He has purchased a good whaleboat 
and outfit; Captain Whitmore of the American ship Sarah 
Boyd, bound from Mazatlan, Mexico, to Shanghai, China, hav 
ing kindly consented to leave them somewhere off the Loochoo 
Islands and from thence they hope to make their way to Japan. 



74 MANJIRO 

To complete the outfit is wanted a compass, a good fowl 
ing-piece, a few articles of clothing, shoes, and a nautical al 
manac for 1850. Will not some benevolent person aid forward 
the enterprise? The subscriber will be responsible for the safe 
delivery of the articles referred to. 

S. C. DAMON 

From this article in the newspaper, Goemon's wife 
learned, to her great sorrow, that her husband again was 
secretly planning to return to Japan. But she knew already 
that her husband had irretrievably made up his mind to 
return home and she could do nothing about it. She man 
aged to be resigned to her fate. 

John Mung wrote to his benefactor, Captain Whitfield, 
thanking him deeply for his great kindness of the past many 
years, and deeply apologizing for his act of ingratitude in 
leaving him for good without saying goodbye to him. He 
asked the captain to give away his possessions he had left in 
the house to his friends back in Fairhaven. 

Goemon and Denzo went to see their friends in Honolulu 
to say goodbye. But as the ship was setting sail sooner than 
expected, the farewell calls had to be done in a hurry and 
they went on board the ship a little lonely and sad, although 
they were going home at last. 



A HAPPY 
LANDFALL 



THE Sarah Boyd, measuring a hundred and twenty feet in 
length, and carrying a crew of seventeen, left Oahu on 
December 17, but as she soon met bad weather she lost her 
normal speed considerably. When the ship reached a point 
four miles from Ryukyu on January 2 7 according to the 
Japanese calendar, after almost seventy long days of sailing, 
John Mung and the other two were overwhelmed with the 
joy of returning home at last. He wrote at once to his friends 
in Oahu telling them of this great joy and asked them to 
tell Toraemon to come to share it, sending the letter through 
the kindness of Captain Whitmore. 

"That direction/' said Captain Whitmore, pointing 
toward the island in the distance, "may hide death in store 
for you, I am afraid, for your country strictly bars out any- 



76 M A N J I R O 

one from abroad. Why don't you give up the whole idea of 
going back to your country and instead go to China with us 
and return to Honolulu in this ship?" 

"How can I do such a thing? If I don't take this chance, 
I may never see my mother. Besides, I must return to my 
countrymen at once and tell them that they must open their 
eyes before it is too late. They cannot remain isolated from 
the rest of the world forever/' answered Manjiro, firmly 
determined to run any risk. "Thank you for your advice but 
my mind is made up." The captain still looked as if he 
could not understand John Mung at all and said, "All right, 
but remember, if you run into trouble, you have nobody but 
yourself to blame." 

At last the captain ordered his men to stop the ship and 
had the Adventure lowered on the rough sea. He shook 
hands with each of the Japanese just before they went into 
the boat and said, "This is a risky landing, my friends. The 
sea is rather choppy today. Come back to the ship if you 
fail to reach the shore. Don't take chances, understand? 
The law of your country to keep out foreigners is so strict 
that I'm afraid I shall never see you again. Now let me wish 
all of you and the Adventure the best of luck!" 

"Thank you, sir, for all you have done for us," said John 
Mung. "But the time will come, Captain, sooner or later 
when your ship will freely enter Japanese ports." 

Captain Whitmore smiled and simply said, "Who 
knows?" The three men exchanged words of farewell with 
the sailors and thanked them for everything. Then they 
went into the boat and began to pull it over the tossing 
waves toward the island. The m.en of the Sarah Boyd kept 
watching the boat for a long time, waving their hands. 
When they saw it safely approach the island, they started 



AHAPPYLANDFALL 77 

the ship under full sail and soon went out of sight beyond 
the western horizon. 

The three men directed the boat close to the rocky shore, 
but a heavy wind and rain began to rage and prevented 
them from landing. It was dark already. So they decided 
to spend that night under the lee of the cliff and wait for 
the dawn. The boat was heavily loaded with food, their 
personal effects, and presents, but it was so strongly built 
that it could easily stand the stormy sea. 

The wind and rain ceased with the dawn of January 3. 
The houses with orange gardens came in sight beyond the 
beach to which the three men rowed the boat. Denzo went 
ashore first to take in the general situation. As he had 
retained his Japanese language better than anyone else, he 
went to one of the houses and asked the name of the place, 
but the people in that house were scandalized at the sight 
of a man in foreign clothes, and their peaceful New Year 
family breakfast ended in bedlam. 

Uttering some outlandish words, they raised a hue and 
cry and ran out of the house. Denzo tried to explain that 
he was a harmless fellow, but his Tosa dialect was no more 
intelligible to the natives than their speech was to him. 
Running away from those excited people, he went back to 
the boat and reported what had happened. "They don't 
understand me/' said Denzo. "I'm afraid Fve forgotten 
Japanese. I've been away so long." 

John Mung fastened the boat to the shore, and with a 
pistol in his pocket, he headed toward the straggling houses, 
Denzo and Goemon following. He met a native on the 
road, but his word being unintelligible, he imitated a man 
who drank water out of his hands until the native led them 
to a well. They fetched their kitchen tools from the boat 



yg M A N J I R O 

and cooked beef and pork, for they had not eaten anything 
since the night before. To crown the joy of the feast, they 
drank coffee. As they were taking an after-dinner rest, a 
group of natives came, and thinking that these three men 
were stranded foreigners, took them to a cottage which 
seemed to be a watchman's lodge. 

The islanders treated them kindly, giving them drinking 
water, potatoes, and rice. In the meantime, a village official 
who had been sent for and who was accompanied by some 
village clerks arrived to investigate the matter. 

The official questioned the men as to their nationality, 
their names, the port of embarkation, the port of debarka 
tion, and their possessions. He disarmed John Mung and 
told them that they would be sent to the Village Office for 
further examination. The place where they landed was a 
village called Mabunimagiri in the southern extreme of 
Okinawa Island, Ryukyu. 

John Mung and the others were taken to a village called 
Nakao where the Village Office was located, escorted by 
more than ten armed officials who never took their eyes off 
them. Denzo who had trouble with his eyes was allowed to 
ride in a litter. Although the three men were not treated 
harshly by any means, they were closely watched by the 
escorting officials who thought they might be foreigners 
after all. 

The two villages, Mabunimagiri and Nakao, were con 
nected by a road four miles long. On arriving at Nakao, 
the three men were first sent to the house of a farmer called 
Peichin. That night they were summoned to the Village 
Office to be cross-questioned till a late hour. But they could 
not understand each other very well, so the investigation 
was adjourned till the next morning. The investigation con- 



AHAPPYLANDFALL 79 

vinced the officials that they were of Japanese nationality. 
Peichin, too, in whose house the three men were staying, 
testified that the stranded men were Japanese as he had 
seen them eat rice with chopsticks. But as to whether they 
were dangerous characters or civilized people even the of 
ficials apparently found it hard to tell. 

It was on January 14 when the days of New Year jubila 
tion were over, that John Mung and the others were again 
summoned to the Village Office, where a senior official and 
three lower officials from Satsuma carefully examined their 
personal effects and books. The books were examined page 
by page with special attention and curiosity. The topo 
graphical survey textbook must have struck them as sus 
picious, for the official's eyes were riveted on the enigmatic 
symbols in it, while the three menial officials, whose eyes 
also pored over those illustrations, thought it no more than 
a book of nonsense. They whispered to themselves that 
those circles made with a pair of compasses were like play 
ful pictures drawn on the ground by foreign children. Then 
the senior official from Satsuma said admonishingly, "No! 
These must be symbols used in some profound learning." 

The senior official from Satsuma, whose name was Sho- 
noshin Ogawa, was a good-natured young samurai. He told 
the village officials to be kind and helpful to the castaways, 
and advised John Mung not to let rashness get the better 
of him under any circumstances. He told about a fisher 
man of Sendai called Sajuro who had returned from Russia 
where he had been rescued in a shipwreck, and how he had 
killed himself, unable to stand the harshness of his trial. 
The official from Satsuma assured John Mung that the 
Lord of Satsuma would always treat stranded men with 
mercy. The severe questioning to which John Mung and 



80 MAN J IRQ 

the others had been put, before they were turned over to 
the Governor of Nagasaki under the Tokugawa Govern 
ment, was in accordance with the law a matter of for 
mality after all. John Mung and the others felt relieved by 
this and thanked him for his kind advice. Of course, they 
had never dreamed of the popular outcry, "Down with the 
Tokugawa Government/' which was increasingly making 
itself heard in Satsuma. 

They were still detained in the house of Peichin as ordered 
by the senior Satsuma official and were constantly watched 
by two of the five Satsuma officials and two Ryukyu officials 
by turns. But as to their treatment there was nothing left 
to be desired. Their food was paid for by the local govern 
ment. Peichin served his guests liberally at every meal with 
various kinds of delicious food such as pork, chicken, fish 
and eggs, while occasionally Ryukyu whisky was among 
the gifts from the lord. As to their clothes, Japanese haori 
and hakama were given by the chief of Ryukyu, and as it 
was soon summer, mosquito nets, summer kimonos, and 
underwear were also given to them. This kind of life lasted 
seven months and finally it was decided that John Mung 
and the others should be taken to Satsuma on July 18. 
Guarded by the officials again, the three men, carried in 
litters, left Peichin's house in the evening with their Ameri 
can articles borne by some natives. Peichin walked with 
them to the village border to bid them farewell. As it was 
quite dark, they could not get a roadside view of the coun 
try. No sooner had they arrived in Naha, capital of Ryukyu, 
than they were taken to a ship which was ready to set sail. 
The port of Naha and its neighborhood were hidden in 
darkness from their observation. 

The ship cast anchor just outside the port of Yamakawa, 



A HAPPY LANDFALL 8l 

Satsuma, on the evening of July 29. Two boats were put 
out from the ship to carry them to Kagoshima before the 
dawn of the thirtieth. They were taken in or out of the ship 
always under cover of darkness, which prevented them from 
observing the ports. As soon as they landed, they were taken 
into custody at Nishidamachi, Kagoshima, guarded by some 
petty samurai. Satsuma was a great feudal province, and 
the guards showed the utmost politeness to the men as the 
Lord of Satsuma privately desired. They were served with 
all sorts of delicacies of land and sea and with wine as fine 
as ever they drank. The lord granted them gifts of the 
summer kimonos, underwear and hemp garments and even 
the winter haori and the cotton padded kimono which they 
did not need as yet. 

The trial of the castaways lasted for several days under 
an official who would leave no stone unturned to find out 
what he could. One day, Lord Nariaki himself summoned 
the three men. After feasting them, he sat with them alone 
in order to ask them all sorts of questions about America. 
The three men had already shaven the temples of their 
heads according to the Japanese custom. They were dressed 
in kimonos, and that day they put on the hakama which 
were the gifts from the lord to be received in audience. 
The lord summoned them not merely because he was in 
terested in examining their foreign articles and clothes but 
because he wanted to get as much information as possible 
about the political, educational and military conditions in 
America. He also asked them about American manners, 
fashions, and customs concerning weddings and funerals. 
Denzo and Goemon, nervous and shy in the presence of the 
lord, felt tongue-tied, but John Mung boldly told the lord 
how highly civilized and progressive America was, citing 



82 M A N J I R O 

all sorts of examples. The lord listened intently to John 
Mung's talk, nodding a little from time to time. But when 
John Mung said that in America the value of a man was 
judged according to his ability, the lord nodded a great nod. 
The trial was held every day for forty-eight days, at the 
end of which a report from the lord to the Tokugawa Gov 
ernment was at last written to this effect: 

Mabunimagiri of Ryukyu: three strange-looking men in a 
boat were drifted ashore on January 3. Our officials who had 
been sent there to examine them, found that they were Denzo 
and his brother Goemon of Usaura, Takaoka-gun, Tosa, and 
Manjiro of Nakanohama. Those three and Jusuke, brother of 
Denzo, and Toraemon of Usaura put to sea for fishing in 
January of the Year of the Cow and had met a storm which 
sent them to a lonely island in the direction of the Dragon. 
They lived chiefly on bird meat until June 27 when a foreign 
ship passed by the island. Approaching at their signal, the ship 
was found to be an American whaling ship. They asked for 
help and were taken onto the ship which in October reached 
Oahu. They were placed under the care of the captain's friends 
there, except Manjiro who was told he would be taken to the 
mainland. Sailing in November, the ship reached America in 
April of the next year. After a few years there, Manjiro left 
and came back to Oahu, where he and his friends earned their 
living until they heard about a ship bound for China. Their 
request to be conveyed on board the ship to Japan was refused, 
the passage to Japan being closed as yet. Whereupon, they said 
they would sail in a ship with a small boat, which they would 
purchase, and when Japan was sighted, they would ask permis 
sion to lower the boat. Jusuke had been dead these five years 
and Toraemon was left behind as that was his own wish. Leav 
ing the port in December, the ship came to where Ryukyu was 
in sight and the boat was pushed off. The wind and waves were 



A HAPPY LANDFALL 8j 

too rough to land, so staying overnight behind a cliff, they 
landed the following day, while the ship sailed away toward 
the west according to their statement. If they had been brought 
to the shore by the ship, we could have prohibited them from 
landing. But we could do nothing about it since they came 
ashore in a boat in which no foreigner came with them. They 
were again put to examination which proved again that they 
were quite innocent of the evil foreign religion or other crimes. 
So we have decided to keep them under protection until we 
hand them over to the Governor of Nagasaki. 



HOME 
AT LAST 



THE THREE MEN, accompanied by the officials, left Kago 
shima on September 16, 1851, and reached the port of 
Kyodomari two days later, whence they embarked on a 
transport again under cover of darkness. This ship had 
thirteen sails and eight oars and on its deck was built a 
pavilion showing a family crest of a bridle. The ship mark 
of the feudal Satsuma clan was hoisted at its bow. The 
party arrived safely at Nagasaki on the twenty-ninth of the 
same month. 

On October 1, John Mung and the two other Japanese 
were taken ashore and sent to the Office of Nagasaki, where 
they were examined by Governor Maki Shima while their 
statements were minutely recorded in a book, The Narra 
tives of the Castaways. The trials were held eighteen times 



86 M A N J I R 

but what they said was the repetition of what they had 
already told at Satsuma. Again they related their experi 
ences abroad, the names of the countries they had visited, 
the customs and manners, food, industries, farm products, 
geography, flora, ceremonies, politics and military condi 
tions of those countries. 

John Mung's observations recorded in The Narratives of 
the Costa-ways, unlike those of other castaways, are gen 
erally correct and to the point. Speaking of the politics 
and finance of Hawaii he says: 

Honolulu, which is the capital of Hawaii, is on Oahu and 
has become very prosperous in recent years as ships from all 
parts of the world enter this port. The wealth of the seven 
islands is estimated at one hundred and twenty thousand silver 
coins, of which sixty thousand belongs to King Kamehameha 
while the other sixty thousand belongs to the governor from 
America who owns half of the land. If America tries to take 
possession of these islands, Britain would protest and if Britain 
tries to do the same, Spain would likewise protest. Though 
a small country, it belongs to none of them and, therefore, the 
ship mark of this country is a combination of the marks of 
these three countries. All the seven islands are rather moun 
tainous, but a few sandy places on them are good enough for 
the cultivation of potatoes or onions. It is said one hundred 
and twenty thousand silver coins are raised every year by taxes, 
mainly those levied on ships entering the port. 

Then in referring to the government of America he says 
something like this: 

Having been founded by Englishmen, the country is full of 
them. They are white-complexioned and the color of their 
eyes is a little yellow. As there is no hereditary king in this 



HOME AT LAST 07 

country, a man of great knowledge and ability is elected king 
who holds his office for four years and then he is succeeded 
by another. When the administration is good under a certain 
king and his popularity continues, he sits on the throne for 
another four years. He lives a very simple life and goes out 
on horseback accompanied by one servant. Officials there are 
not haughty; indeed, it is hard to tell them from ordinary 
citizens. The present king is called Taylor, an Englishman by 
blood, who, during the war with Mexico which was fought 
over the border question, led his army to a great victory which 
won for him so great a fame that at last he was made king. 
This year being the Year of the Rat, another king is to succeed 
the present one. 

As to the criminal law, he says: 

The prisoners have certain freedoms within an enclosure 
and they are made to do something in their line, such as mak 
ing cloth or various other articles. The term of imprisonment 
is determined by the gravity of a crime. A murderer is usually 
punished with death. When he is to be executed, a scaffold is 
raised on which he is made to stand with a noose around his 
neck, and upon the reading of the death sentence the trap 
door upon which he is standing opens, causing him to fall, to 
be hanged by the neck. However, I have not seen an execu 
tion myself. 

John Mung had no knowledge of Commodore Perr/s 
plan to visit Japan which was to be executed in 1853. How 
ever, he refers to the general situation which made Perry's 
expedition necessary. 

Seven years ago, a warship from a port called Boston went 
on a cruise visiting various countries for a survey. Upon en 
tering a port of Japan to get water and fuel, this warship, I 



88 M A N J I R O 

hear, was ordered to leave at once and was compelled to do 
so without accomplishing its purpose. When a survey ship 
or a whaleship runs into a storm, it often runs short of fresh 
water and fuel, and the captain of the ship asks the local 
authorities at the nearest port for permission to take on fresh 
supplies, even offering a hostage, if necessary. But the Japanese 
authorities make a great fuss on such an occasion and flatly 
refuse to comply with the reasonable request, to the great 
discomfort of the captain and crew. Such stories have often 
been reported in detail in newspapers. Generally speaking, 
the Japanese are quick-tempered, while the people over there 
are broad-minded, and as their country is now being opened, 
they have no design to take land from any other country. 
American ships have entered the port of Nagasaki three times, 
pretending to be English or Dutch, but each time they have 
been found out and forced to leave the port. In sailing to 
China from California, a ship carries many passengers as well 
as its cargo and, therefore, it cannot be loaded with enough 
coal. The distance between America and China being a mat 
ter of fourteen or fifteen hundred rf, it is almost impossible 
for the ship to make a long voyage back to California to get 
coal when it has run short of it. So I understand, they desire 
to have a coaling station in Satsuma, Nippon. I happened to 
read this story when I was in Oahu last year. 

At the end of the trial the men were put to the usual 
test of stamping on the picture of Christ. John Mung often 
attended the Sunday services in Fairhaven, and as Goemon 
was a servant to a Honolulu missionary, he used to hear 
Christian sermons and say Christian prayers. But they 
knew nothing about the bronze tablet of the crucifix, so 
they stamped on it nonchalantly, only to please the in 
quisitorial official. 

'Tell me, how did you feel when you stamped on the 
tablet?" asked the official. 



HOME AT LAST 89 

"I felt rather cold/' replied John Mung whose feet had 
been so accustomed to the foreign shoes which he had been 
wearing for so many years that he must have felt particu 
larly cold when his feet touched the bronze tablet. 

When the investigation was over, they were again put 
into custody at a feudal town called Sakura-machi, where 
upon John Mung was enraged and became rebellious when 
he was put into prison instead of being released at once 
as he had expected. Denzo, seeing John Mung lose his 
temper, advised him in English, "Take it easy! Take it 
easy! Mr. John Mung/' 

In the dark prison house, there were several other pris 
oners and while John Mung and the two others were hud 
dling together in one dark comer someone accosted them 
unexpectedly. 

"If it is not Den Nushi! . . ." 

"If it is not Manjiro Nushi!" 

It was Torakichi and the four others of the Tenju-maru 
of Hidaka, Kishu, the men whom John Mung and the others 
had met in Honolulu. According to Torakichi, he and his 
party were taken to China from Honolulu by an American 
ship and then returned to Nagasaki by a Chinese ship, to 
be sentenced to only three days 7 imprisonment according 
to the law. 

The men from Kishu thought that the imprisonment 
was rather a matter of formality and, indeed, they received 
kind treatment, except for the fact that they were not al 
lowed to go out. In the evening, the Joruri tellers (a kind 
of Japanese ballad singers) often came to entertain them 
by reciting the romance of Osome-Hisamatsu and other 
famous tales. John Mung was much impressed by the 
words of romance in those tales and realized the beauty of 
the language for the first time in his life. 



90 MAN JIRO 

Both the Kishu and Tosa parties were released from 
the prison at last and the three men belonging to the Tosa 
party were sent to the house of Sanjiro Nishikawa, purveyor 
to the Tosa clan. Those articles which they brought from 
America were returned to them, except a barometer, an 
octant, seventeen English books, gold dust, gold coins, silver 
coins, a musket with a bayonet, two pistols, shot and foreign 
dice, which were all confiscated by the officials. The Ad- 
venture, which had cost them one hundred and twenty-five 
dollars, also had to be given up. Thus the trial of the cast 
aways having been completed at last, they stayed on with 
Sanjiro Nishikawa waiting for the arrival of the officials from 
Tosa who were coming to take them home. In the mean 
time, the Kochi clan of Tosa received the following letter 
in October: 

We notify you that Denzo, Goemon and Manjiro of Usaura, 
Takaoka-gun, in the Province of Tosa, who had been rescued 
by a foreign whaling ship and landed in Ryukyu, were handed 
over to us by Governor Matsudaira of Satsuma. We request 
that you send your officials to the Nagasaki Office where we 
intend to commit the repatriates to your authority, 

On receipt of this letter, the Tosa clan decided to let 
Sasuke Horibe proceed to Nagasaki to receive the three 
men and bring them to Tosa. Horibe, accompanied by 
several officials, left Kochi by sea in early June, 1852, 
reaching Nagasaki in the middle of June. Just before 
the party of Manjiro left Nagasaki, the Governor of Naga 
saki issued the following statement: 

I do hereby certify that Denzo, his younger brother Goemon 
of Usaura, Takaoka-gun, in the Province of Tosa, territory of 



HO ME AT LAST 91 

Lord Matsudaira of Tosa, and Manjiro of Nakanohama, Harita- 
gun, in the same province, were stranded on a desert island in 
the Year of the Cow, were rescued by an American ship, lived 
in foreign parts for several years, returned to Ryukyu, and upon 
examination at this office of their lives abroad, they proved to 
be innocent of being converted to Christianity and other evil 
faiths; in short, they are fit to be returned to their native 
province. 

It is imperative, however, that they should not live here 
after outside the said province and that we should be duly noti 
fied in case of their death. 

Articles acquired or purchased abroad, such as gold dust, 
coins, gold, silver and copper, guns, bullets, drugs, an octant, 
foreign dice and also the boat and its tackle shall be confis 
cated. Japanese silver pieces shall be granted in exchange for 
the gold dust and foreign coins. 

Those confiscated articles as listed in the above letter 
were mostly John Mung's property, for Denzo and Goemon 
had taken no chance and had conformed to the law ban 
ning the articles of foreign countries. 

The three men, accompanied by Sasuke Horibe and his 
party, sailed from Nagasaki on June 25, 1852, a year and 
a half after their landing in Ryukyu, and entered Urado on 
June 30. They were made to stay at an inn of Urado and 
were summoned to the Office there every day to be ex 
amined again, despite the written statement proving their 
innocence issued by the Office of Nagasaki. Manjiro and 
the other repatriates repeated what they had told the offi 
cials of Nagasaki about their experience abroad. 

They told the officials of Tosa what they had told the 
officials of Ryukyu, Satsuma and Nagasaki. Manjiro had 
been held in Ryukyu for six months, at Satsuma for two 



92 MANJIRO 

months and at Nagasaki for ten months, chiefly for investi 
gation. It was more than he could stand. Naturally he grew 
impatient when he knew that he was about to be put to 
another long session of interrogation in the very province 
where his family, all his relatives and friends were eagerly 
waiting for his return. 

"What is the meaning of all this?" Manjiro demanded. 
"I told them everything already." 

"That may be so but you haven't told us anything yet/' 
said the official. As was the case with other clans, the 
Tosa clan wanted to learn firsthand from Manjiro as much 
as possible about foreign countries. Far from regarding 
Manjiro and the others as outlaws, the officials treated them 
most hospitably, giving them good food and fine clothes. 
On September 24, Manjiro was asked to appear before the 
members of the family of the Daimyo of Tosa in a suit of 
foreign clothes just to show what it looked like. 

The investigation being over, Manjiro left Kochi on the 
early morning of October 1, with Denzo and his brother, 
and reached Usaura on the evening of the same day. They 
found that Denzo's family had ceased to exist and that not 
a trace of his former house was to be seen, so Denzo and 
his brother went to one of their relatives to live temporarily. 

Leaving Usaura on the morning of October 2, Manjiro 
set out on foot on the last leg of the long journey which 
stretched seventy miles through the familiar countryside. 
He spent three nights at roadside farmhouses and reached 
Nakanohama at last on the afternoon of October 5. 

Word had already reached the village that Manjiro was 
coming, and his family, relatives and almost all the villagers 
were on hand to welcome him at the village headman's. 
When they met Manjiro, however, for the first time in 



HOMEATLAST 93 

twelve years, they could hardly believe their eyes. The 
Manjiro in front of them, elegantly dressed in his formal 
hdkama and haori, looking much more dignified and intel 
ligent than the village squire, was quite different from the 
poor fisherman's boy they remembered so well. 

"Mother, here I am at last!" said Manjiro. 

"Is that really you, my son?" said his mother as though 
she were unable to believe that the fine young man in front 
of her was her own son. 

"Yes, I am indeed your son/' 

They both stood there for a while unable to speak. Then 
Manjiro took his mother in his arms and they both cried. 
Many villagers cried, too. 

"Is it possible," one of them said in a whisper, "that that 
poor fisherman's boy could have become such a gentleman?" 

"I really don't understand," said another. 

"It's so good to see you again," said Manjiro to the 
villagers; "this is certainly the happiest day in my life! I 
thank you for every kindness you have shown my family 
while I have been away/' 

Then Manjiro accompanied by his family and friends 
went to the village graveyard and "reported" his return 
home to his father. While he offered a prayer of thanks, 
the smoke rising from the burning incense offered to the 
spirit of the father filled the air of the early Autumn, and 
suddenly he remembered Fairhaven and Captain Whitfield. 

That night there was a great rejoicing and feast in the 
house to which his relatives and friends came. When 
Manjiro told his story about foreign countries and how he 
had lived among foreigners, they all listened in amazement. 
But when the talk was over, someone asked him, "Do they 
have thunderstorms and the four seasons in America?" 



(J4 MANJIRO 

Another, "How is it possible to live without rice?" Manjiro 
answered those questions in detail although he thought them 
silly. They are simple people, after all, said Manjiro to 
himself. At any rate, when Manjiro sipped sake and ate a 
broiled red sea bream fresh from the sea of Tosa and boiled 
rice and red beans prepared by his mother, he knew he had 
returned home at last. 

But the happy reunion was abruptly brought to an end 
when it was only three days old. A messenger came from 
the Daimyo of Tosa telling him that it was the wish of the 
lord that he should become an official instructor at the 
school of the Tosa clan in Kochi. Much as he regretted 
leaving Nakanohama, of which he had dreamed so often 
when he was roaming up and down the world, he decided to 
accede to the wish of his feudal lord. Besides, he gladly 
thought that the opportunity to teach his countrymen the 
ways of civilization and to let them know that it was no 
time for Japan to keep her doors closed to the rest of the 
world had presented itself unexpectedly. He found in the 
Kyojukan School in Kochi a class of students hungry for 
knowledge about foreign countries, to whom he taught 
various subjects of science as well as English. 

He knew that he was constantly watched by "too many 
eyes" and that he had to use great discretion in the class. 
He did not say in so many words publicly that Japan should 
open the country to foreigners, but he did not hesitate for 
a moment to teach them the facts about the civilized world, 
so that the students could decide for themselves unmistak 
ably what was to be done about the future of their country: 

"I remember when I told an official who investigated me 
at Kagoshima that the American horse was bigger and 



HOMEATLAST 95 

stronger than the Japanese horse, he got very angry, think 
ing perhaps I was telling a lie at the expense of our country. 
There are many countrymen who believe that I don't hold 
my own country in respect, if I tell them that America and 
other Western nations are more advanced in science than 
Japan. But it is a fact. Fd rather not say definitely that 
Japan should open its doors to foreigners at once. Perhaps, 
it is better to do a thing gradually. But whether we like it 
or not, the day will come when Japan must put an end to 
its closed-door policy; because only then can we build our 
country into a modern nation. When that day comes, the 
opportunity for you young men will be limitless and a bright 
future will surely dawn upon our country." 

In recognition of the service rendered by Manjiro as an 
instructor, the Daimyo of Tosa presented him with a sword, 
granting him the privilege of wearing it at his waist. But 
Manjiro, having lived many years in America, distrusted 
the samurai's side arms. He often tied the sword with a 
Japanese towel and carried it about as if it were a nuisance. 

"I have no use for a sword in time of peace," he would 
say to anyone who asked him why he did such a strange 
thing. 

Manjiro had already told the Daimyo of Satsuma and 
other Japanese officials who investigated him about some of 
the enlightening facts concerning America and its people. 
Almost everything he said was a revelation to those who had 
for centuries been living in insular isolation. Never did he 
hesitate to point out to them that America was not a coun 
try of "foreign barbarians, 7 ' as some people believed, but, on 
the contrary, much more advanced in many ways than 
Japan. The influence of his revelations had been limited 
to the local clans with which he had come into contact, but 



96 M A N J I R O 

when he was invited by the Tokugawa Government, soon 
after Commodore Perry and his fleet appeared in the Bay 
of Uraga in 1 853, he had a vital role to play for the wakening 
of the Japanese people to world civilization. Upon his ar 
rival in Yedo, the former capital of Japan, he was examined 
by Magistrate Saemon Kawaji before he was officially taken 
into government service. 

Answering the questions put to him by the investigating 
official, he revealed his own observations about America to 
the amazement of his listeners. Never can we overestimate 
the value of these observations which undoubtedly in 
fluenced the policy of the Tokugawa Government in favor 
of the opening of the country to foreign intercourse when 
Commodore Perry revisited Japan in February, 1854. They 
were recorded in a report made by the investigator. Touch 
ing upon the geography, people and products of America, 
he is quoted as saying: 

The United States of America occupies the vast area of 
North America extending from about 30 degrees to approxi 
mately 50 degrees [N.L.]. The west coast faces Europe across 
the seas, large and small; the south borders on Mexico. The 
North and South Americas are separated by the Gulf. The 
northern borders abut on the various countries belonging to 
England. The United States of America, which has thirty- 
eight states now, has pushed forward its borders and has be 
come a powerful nation. The country is generally blessed with 
a mild climate and it is rich in natural resources such as gold, 
silver, copper, iron, timber and other materials that are neces 
sary for man's living. The land, being fertile, yields abundant 
crops of wheat, barley, com, beans and all sorts of vegetables, 
but rice is not grown there simply because they do not eat it. 

While I was in California, large quantities of gold and silver 



HOME AT LAST 97 

were discovered. People flocked to the gold mines from all 
parts of the world, even from China. I saw some people who 
had made fortunes from their gold mines riding in carriages 
having silver wheels and I also saw they were using many gold 
or silver wares. 

Both men and women are generally good-looking but as they 
came from different countries of Europe, their features and 
the color of their eyes, hair and skin are not the same. They 
are usually tall in stature. They are by nature sturdy, vigor 
ous, capable and warmhearted people. American women have 
quaint customs; for instance, some of them make a hole through 
the lobes of their ears and run a gold or silver ring through this 
hole as an ornament. 

Then Manjiro went on to tell the officials about the 
strange customs of the Americans: 

When a young man wants to marry, he looks for a young 
woman for himself, without asking a go-between to find one 
for him, as we do in Japan, and, if he succeeds in finding a 
suitable one, he asks her whether or not she is willing to marry 
him. If she says, "Yes," he tells her and his parents about it 
and then the young man and the young woman accompanied 
by their parents and friends go to church and ask the priest 
to perform the wedding ceremony. Then the priest asks the 
bridegroom, "Do you really want to have this young woman 
as your wife?" To which the young man says, "I do". Then 
the priest asks a similar question of the bride and when she 
says, "I do," he declares that they are man and wife. After 
ward, cakes and refreshments are served and then the young 
man takes his bride on a pleasure trip. 

Both American men and women make love openly and ap 
pear wanton by nature, but they are unexpectedly strict about 
their relations. Husband and wife have great attachment for 
each other and their home life is very affectionate. No other 
nation can be a match for the Americans in this respect. 



9$ MANJIRO 

Refined Americans generally do not touch liquor. Even if 
they do so they drink only a little, because they think that 
liquor makes men either lazy or quarrelsome. Vulgar Ameri 
cans, however, drink just like Japanese, although drunkards 
are detested and despised. Even the whalers, who are hard 
drinkers while they are on a voyage, stop drinking once they 
are on shore. Moreover, the quality of liquor is inferior to 
Japanese sake, in spite of the fact that there are many kinds 
of liquor in America. 

Americans invite a guest to a dinner at which fish, fowl and 
cakes are served, but to the best of my knowledge, a guest, 
however important he may be, is served with no liquor at all. 
He is often entertained with music instead when the dinner 
is over. 

When a visitor enters the house he takes off his hat. They 
never bow to each other as politely as we do. The master of 
the house simply stretches out his right hand and the visitor 
also does the same and they shake hands with each other. 
While they exchange greetings, the master of the house in 
vites the visitor to sit on a chair instead of the floor. As soon 
as business is over, the visitor takes leave of the house, because 
they do not want to waste time. 

When a mother happens to have very little milk in her 
breasts to give her child, she gives of all things a cow's milk, 
as a substitute for a mother's milk. But it is true that no ill 
effect of this strange habit has been reported from any part 
of the country. 

On every seventh day, people, high and low, stop their work 
and go to temple and keep their houses quiet, but on the other 
days they take pleasure by going into mountains and fields to 
hunt, while lower class Americans take their women to the 
seaside or hills and drink and bet and have a good time. 

The temple is called church. The priest, who is an ordinary- 
looking man, has a wife and he even eats meat, unlike a Japa 
nese priest. Even on the days of abstinence, he only refrains 



HOME AT LAST 99 

from eating animal meat and he does not hesitate to eat fowl 
or fish instead. The church is a big tower-looking building two 
or three hundred feet high. There is a large clock on the tower 
which tells the time. There is no image of Buddha inside this 
temple, where on every seventh day they worship what they 
call God who, in their faith, is the Creator of the World. There 
are many benches in the church on which people sit during 
the service. All the members of the church bring their Books 
to the service. The priest, on an elevated seat, tells his congre 
gation to open the Book at such and such a place, and when 
this is done, the priest reads from the Book and he preaches 
the message of the text he has just read. The service over, they 
all leave the church. This kind of service is held also on board 
the ships. 

Every year on the Fourth of July, they have a big celebra 
tion throughout the land in commemoration of a great victory 
of their country over England in a war which took place 
seventy-five years ago. On that day they display the weapons 
which they used in the war. They put on the uniforms, and 
armed with swords and guns, they put up sham fights and 
then parade the streets and make a great rejoicing on that day. 

Then Manjiro related his observations about the arms 
and ships of America, pointing out their superiority over 
Japanese arms and ships: 

As the gun is regarded as the best weapon in America, they 
are well trained how to use it. When they go hunting they 
take small guns, but in war they use large guns since they are 
said to be more suitable for war. Ports and fortresses are pro 
tected by dozens of these large guns so that it would be ex 
tremely difficult to attack them successfully. Before Europeans 
came to America, the natives used bows and arrows, but these 
old-fashioned weapons proved quite powerless before firearms 



1OO M AN J IRQ 

which were brought by Europeans. Now the bow and arrow 
has fallen into disuse in America. To the best of my knowl 
edge, they have never used bamboo shields, as we do, although 
they use sometimes the shields of copper plates for the pro 
tection of the hull of a fighting ship. They are not well trained 
in swordsmanship or spearsmanship, however, so that in my 
opinion, in close fighting, a samurai could easily take on three 
Americans. 

American men, even officials, do not carry swords as the 
samurai do. But when they go on a journey, even common 
men usually carry with them two or three pistols; their pistol 
is somewhat equivalent to the sword of a samurai. As I said 
before, their chief weapon is firearms and they are skillful in 
handling them. Moreover, as they have made a thorough study 
of the various weapons used by foreign armies, they believe 
that there are hardly any foreign weapons that can frighten 
them out of their wits. 

Both a whaling ship and a fighting ship are built essentially 
in the same way and the only difference is that the latter 
carries guns. In other words, a whaling ship is strongly built 
and can easily be converted into a fighting ship. Usually a 
fighting ship is manned by about a hundred men, but in time 
of war, this number can be increased to one thousand five 
hundred men. A fighting ship of a certain type which is lightly 
built can attain a high speed carrying several guns. A long 
boat can also be used as a fighting ship, because it can be fitted 
with a three-inch gun to fight the enemy in a shallow sea right 
up to the beach. 

More and more both fighting ships and merchant ships 
driven by the steam engine have been built of late in America. 
These steamships can be navigated in all directions irrespective 
of the current and wind and they can cover the distance of 
two hundred n a day. The clever device with which these 
ships are built is something more than I can describe. While 
in America I had no chance to learn the trade of shipbuilding, 



HOMEATLAST 1OI 

so that I would not say that I can build one with confidence. 
Since I have looked at them carefully, however, I shall be able 
to direct our shipwrights to build one, if I could get hold of 
some foreign books on the subject. 

I have sailed in my time on American whaling ships through 
the North and South Pacific Ocean, not to speak of Japanese 
waters, the South Seas, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic 
Ocean; I have learnt the art of observing the heavenly bodies 
and the method of navigation. If I only had a large ship, I 
could sail it to any part of the world. 

Then the official asked Manjiro about President Fillmore 
and Commodore Perry, but he found the names too difficult 
to pronounce. He read those names written in the Japanese 
syllabary which was pronounced something like President 
Hiruore and Commodore Peruri. So Manjiro said: 

The way you pronounce the names of the President and his 
messenger, I gather that they are not Americans. Perhaps they 
are Dutchmen after all. I never heard such names while I was 
in America. The letter which is said to have been addressed 
to the Shogun by the President in question is highly suspicious. 
If I see the letter, however, I can instantly tell whether or not 
it is a genuine one. Be that as it may, it has been a long 
cherished desire on the part of America to establish friendly 
relations between Japan and that country, particularly in view 
of the fact that whenever an American vessel is shipwrecked 
in Japanese waters, the survivors are treated very harshly, as if 
they were so many beasts, by the Japanese authorities. The 
Americans think that the people of other countries should not 
be discriminated against, because they believe that the people 
of the world must live like brothers. Even when a ship be 
longing to a country with which America has no intercourse is 
wrecked, the survivors of the ship are always rescued and kindly 



1O2 M AN J I R O 

treated by Americans. I can tell this from my own experience. 
They think that the establishment of friendly relations between 
Japan and America will put an end to the harsh treatment by 
the Japanese officials of the shipwrecked American sailors. I 
cannot understand, however, why they should ask in the said 
letter to open trade between the two countries, because America 
produces enough goods necessary for its people's living and 
also they know quite well that Japan can do without foreign 
trade. 

While I was in America I did not hear any good or bad 
remarks in particular about our country but I did hear Ameri 
cans say that the Japanese people were easily alarmed, even 
when they see a ship in distress approaching their shores for 
help, and how they shoot it on sight, when there was no real 
cause for alarm at all. I also heard them speak very highly 
of Japanese swords, which they believe that no other swords 
could possibly rival. I heard too that Yedo of Japan, together 
with Peking of China and London of England, are the three 
largest and finest cities of the world. 



AN ERA 
DAWNS 



COMMODORE PERRY and his fleet which consisted of the 
Susquehanna, his flagship, the Mississippi, and the sloops- 
of-war Saratoga and Plymouth, suddenly appeared off the 
town of Uraga on July 8, 1853, to negotiate with the Japa 
nese Government to "open the country to the rest of the 
world." On July 14, accompanied by his officers and es 
corted by a body of armed marines and sailors in all 
about three hundred men and while the band was play 
ing he went ashore and presented to commissioners espe 
cially appointed by the Shogun his own credentials and a 
letter from President Fillmore to the Emperor. Fully aware 
of the importance of the occasion, the Yedo Government 
had massed two hundred flags and bunting bedecked boats 
in the bay and eight thousand full-dressed samurai near the 



104 MANJIRO 

landing place. But a few days later, at the polite but in 
sistent request of the Japanese officials, the American fleet 
sailed for Hongkong with the understanding that it would 
return the following spring to receive the Emperor's re 
ply. 

At the news that the "black ships" had appeared in the 
Bay of Yedo, the island empire of centuries-old tranquil 
isolation was thrown into confusion and turmoil. A state 
of emergency had been declared in Yedo while the samurai, 
in battle array, guarded its seaboard and strategic points 
and the alerted firemen ran about the streets; the citizens 
were panic-stricken and women and children trembled and 
tried to run away from Yedo. The 'loyalists" throughout 
the country stirred and demanded their "divine country" 
be kept inviolate from "barbarous foreigners" and opposed 
any attempt to conclude a treaty with them. The Tokugawa 
Government had to face a storm. 

It sent a messenger posthaste to Tosa to ask Manjiro 
to come up to Yedo as quickly as possible to serve and 
save the country now confronted by a great crisis brought 
about by the visit of Commodore Perry's fleet Although 
Manjiro was then teaching at one of the clan's schools in 
Tosa, he accepted the invitation from the Tokugawa Gov 
ernment thinking that he might be able to make himself 
more useful in Yedo with his knowledge of foreign coun 
tries. He left Kochi for Yedo on August 1, 1853. 

On November 6, Lord Abe, who was a progressive cabinet 
member, appointed him a managing official worth twenty 
bushels of rice, with two retainers in his service. He was 
given the right to wear two swords like a regular samurai 
and the privilege of adopting the surname of Nakahama, 
from the name of his native place, Nakanohama, as his only 



AN ERA DAWNS 105 

name had been Manjiro like any other humble fisherman 
of the day. A fisherman's boy, who otherwise would have 
been destined to be a fisherman for the rest of his life 
under the centuries-old strict caste system, awoke one mor 
ning a great vassal to the Shogun! 

When Manjiro came to Yedo at the request of the Sho 
gun, he was kept in protective custody and no one was 
allowed to see him without official permission; the Shogun 
feared that any information originating from Manjiro 
could be used against the security of the country, which was 
threatened by the sudden appearance of Perry's fleet in 
Uraga Bay. Chief Secretary Egawa of the Department of 
Navigation, Survey and Shipbuilding filed the following 
petition with the Shogun in September, 1853: 

At the time when Manjiro, who had lived in America, was 
summoned to Magistrate KawajTs mansion for questioning, I 
had the occasion to be there, and put certain questions to him 
in regard to the matters I am anxious to know. If it please 
you, let him, therefore, come to my house two or three times 
to answer my questions in the presence of three or four learned 
men in my service. 

But even the petition from such an important vassal was 
pigeonholed, so chary was the Shogun of Manjiro's being 
used for some inscrutable purpose. Chief Secretary Egawa, 
however, thought that Manjiro's service was of great value 
in his office and he repeatedly petitioned the Shogun to 
appoint Manjiro as his assistant, which at last was granted 
on November 22. As Egawa took great interest in Man 
jiro, he allowed him to live in the premises of his mansion 
in Honjo, Yedo, although the Shogun at first did not ap 
prove of this. Then he obtained official permission for 



106 MANJIRO 

the return to Manjiro of all the foreign articles which the 
government had confiscated from their rightful owner. 
Some of these things, particularly the scientific books, were 
very useful to him when he assisted Chief Secretary Egawa, 
the most enterprising engineering official of his day, and 
also when he taught many classes of aspiring students. 

In the meantime, Commodore Perry reappeared in the 
Bay of Yedo with his fleet on February 11, 1854, and, despite 
the protests of the Japanese, selected an anchorage about 
twelve miles farther up the bay, nearly opposite Yokohama 
and within about ten miles of Yedo. 

Again a state of emergency was declared, but this time 
the Yedo Government knew that it must face the inevitable 
and sign a treaty to open the country. On this occasion the 
Japanese officials even tried to be friendly with the Perry 
mission with good grace; they entertained the Commodore 
and his staff at a formal Japanese banquet in which sake, 
raw fish and many other strange things were served and 
they even allowed themselves to be invited to the flagship 
Susquehanna to taste the meat of "f our-f ooted beasts." But 
when the Japanese officials saw sailors sing and dance in a 
minstrel show, they laughed and laughed, forgetting their 
usual dignity. 

Commodore Perry presented to the Shogun a model 
train, a telegraphic apparatus, books, and in return the 
Shogun presented the fleet, among other things, with two 
hundred straw bags of rice and three hundred chickens. 
The officials took the occasion to impress the foreigners with 
the brawn of the Japanese people. They had brought to 
gether ninety-three professional wrestlers at Uraga and held 
exhibition matches in the traditional custom. Then all of 
the ninety-three wrestlers, each carrying a 130-pound straw 



AN ERA DAWNS 

bag of rice on each shoulder, proceeded to the landing place 
in procession. Many Japanese officials and people of Uraga 
were thrilled when they heard for the first time the band 
play marches and they asked the band to play more. They 
were also impressed, though unable to understand the de 
vice, by a telegraphic apparatus which the Americans 
demonstrated by stretching a mile-long wire on the beach. 

The Tokugawa Government had invited Manjiro to 
Yedo with the intention of using him as an official inter 
preter and adviser for the negotiations with Commodore 
Perry. But on learning that Manjiro not only spoke Eng 
lish very fluently but advocated progressive ideas in favor 
of the opening of the country, isolationist elements in the 
government took exception to assigning such an important 
job to him. They feared that he might reveal some of the 
secrets of the country to the Americans and conclude the 
negotiations on their terms. They particularly feared that 
these barbarians might kidnap Manjiro and take him aboard 
one of the ships in an attempt to use him as a cat's-paw 
against the interests of the country, should Manjiro's use 
fulness be revealed to them. 

Lord Nariaki of Mito, spiritual leader of the nationalist 
movement of his day, sent a letter to Egawa advising him 
to prevent Manjiro from coming into contact with the 
foreigners, which read something like this: 

While there is no justification for doubting the character of 
Manjiro a commendable person who has returned to this 
country for which he has a great attachment those bar 
barians took advantage of his boyhood, bestowed special favors 
upon him alone by teaching him the art of counting. This 
may be construed as some insidious wile on the part of those 
barbarians. Moreover, as he had been saved by them and had 



1O8 M A N J I R O 

been under their care from his boyhood until he was twenty 
years of age, he owes a debt of gratitude to them and, there 
fore, it is inconceivable that he should act contrary to their 
interests. 

Under no circumstances should he be permitted to go on 
any one of the ships or meet those barbarians when they land, 
even if you have thoroughly established that he is above sus 
picion. Nor is it advisable to let Manjiro know anything about 
what we discuss. 

Be that as it may, you might use your discretion and try to 
get information about the barbarians in the hope of preventing 
them from taking advantage by using Manjiro as a tool therefor. 

The Lord of Mito advised in the postscript that Manjiro 
should be placed under secret surveillance lest "a baby 
dragon escape riding on the winds and clouds when a storm 
comes." He also advised that Manjiro should be placed 
under no constraint whatsoever but instead should be given 
good treatment because, should he perchance become re 
sentful, his services could not be counted upon. 

As a result, he was not allowed to meet anyone of Perry's 
party and was kept behind the scenes. No one, of course, 
could rival Manjiro in English and his knowledge of foreign 
countries, but the government had to employ interpreters 
who were not half so good. In fact, the negotiations were 
mostly conducted in Dutch as the interpreters understood 
Dutch better than English. It is recorded, however, that 
their knowledge of Dutch was quite limited and almost 
totally lacking in diplomatic terminology. Besides it was 
as archaic as that of Grotius. 

Manjiro apparently took the whole turn of events phil 
osophically, believing that it was no use exciting isolationist 
elements in the government in the presence of Commodore 



AN ERA DAWNS 1CX) 

Perry. He knew that the odds were definitely against him 
and decided that all he could do under the circumstances 
was to teach his countrymen the facts about the rest of the 
world and open their eyes to modern science, believing that 
that was the best thing he could do in the interest of his 
country. Thus, although he secretly resented the govern 
ment's measure to bar him from the negotiations with 
Commodore Perry's mission, he said to himself, The time 
will come soon when everything will be all right. 

In the meantime, on March 31, 1854, there was concluded 
the first treaty, known as the Kanagawa Treaty, which 
among other things officially opened the ports of Shimoda 
and Hakodate to American ships, thus ending the old 
closed-door policy of Japan. 

In spite of the Kanagawa treaty, Japan's doors actually 
remained closed to foreign commerce, and it was reserved 
for another citizen of America to open them. This was 
Townsend Harris (1803-78), the first U.S. consul general 
in Japan. Arriving in August, 1856, he concluded in June 
of the following year a treaty securing to American nationals 
the privilege of permanent residence at Shimoda and Hako 
date, the opening of Nagasaki, the right of consular juris 
diction and certain minor concessions. Still, however, per 
mission for commercial intercourse was withheld, and Harris, 
convinced that his great goal could not be reached unless 
he made his way to Yedo and conferred directly with the 
Shogun's ministers, pressed persistently for leave to do so. 
The Yedo administration was already weakened by the 
growth of a strong public sentiment in favor of abolishing 
the dual system of government that of the Mikado in 
Kyoto and that of the Shogun in Yedo. Openly to sanction 
commercial relations at such a time would have been little 



110 MANJIRO 

short of disastrous. The Perry treaty and the first Harris 
treaty could be construed as mere acts of benevolence to 
ward strangers; but a commercial treaty would not have 
lent itself to any such construction, and naturally the 
Shogun's ministers hesitated to agree to an apparently suici 
dal step. Harris carried his point, however. He was received 
by the Shogun in Yedo in November, 1857, and on July 29, 
1858, a treaty was signed in Yedo, agreeing that Yokohama 
should be opened July 4, 1859, and the commerce between 
the United States and Japan should thereafter be freely 
carried on there. 

In 1854, the year when Commodore Perry revisited Japan, 
Manjiro married, through a go-between, a pretty seventeen- 
year-old daughter of Gennosuke Danno, who owned and 
taught in a fencing school in Honjo not far from Egawa's 
mansion where Manjiro was living. Her name was Tetsu 
and although she had an elder sister who was as pretty and 
demure as any samurai's daughter, the go-between thought 
that the younger one, who was more vivacious than her 
elder sister, was more suitable for the young man who had 
lived in America for many years. 

Before Manjiro married the pretty daughter of the fenc 
ing instructor, he had often thought that he would marry 
a girl he loved, as was the Western custom. But 
he found that it was almost impossible, for no respectable 
maiden would let herself love a young man unless she were 
engaged to marry him. In those days honorable marriages 
were arranged by go-betweens at the request, or with the 
approval of the parents, often even against the girl's will. 
Manjiro could not bring himself to follow this custom 
blindly. So after his engagement to the girl was arranged, 
he met her alone several times. One day he took her for a 



AN ERA DAWNS 111 

walk around the duck pond in Egawa's mansion. Looking 
at the stars reflected in the duck pond, the girl asked Man- 
jiro, "Why do they say that good girls should not fall in 
love?" 

"Because it is our custom, but a custom will change/' 

"Do American girls fall in love before they marry?" 

"Yes, they usually do." 

"I think Japanese girls begin to love after they marry; 
of course, I mean, their husbands/' Then she asked, "Is it 
all right for a girl to fall in love before she is married?" 

"I think it's natural in a country like America." 

Then they walked together along the shore of the starlit 
pond in the Japanese garden. Her prettiness in the summer 
kimono was still visible in the darkness. At a bend of the 
lane, he held her firmly and kissed her. 

"We are very happy, aren't we?" 

"Oh, I am the happiest girl in all Yedo," said Tetsu, smil 
ing coyly. 

About this time, Lord Abe had the Adventure, in which 
Manjiro had reached Ryukyu, brought around from Naga 
saki to Yedo for inspection. Subsequently several longboats 
were built after this model which became the prototype of 
modern Japanese longboats. Lord Abe was a statesman of 
great caliber and was promoted to be a member of the 
Cabinet when he was only twenty-five years of age. Among 
many important vassals to the Shogun, no one could rival 
him in ability, popularity and personality, so that Lord li 
and Lord Izumi of the rival faction, who became jealous 
of the great reputation of this young official, hated him and 
plotted to oust him. So the latter always carried a resigna 
tion in his pocket, ready to tender it at any moment's notice. 

Lord Abe knew that Japan could no longer remain iso- 



112 MANJIRO 

lated from the rest of the world and appointed Tarozaemon 
Egawa to a position of supervising the sea defenses and other 
engineering works and invited Manjiro to come to Yedo 
from Tosa to advise the government. In full realization of 
the necessity of making a survey of Japanese waters and of 
learning the art of navigation, as soon as he appointed Man 
jiro as assistant to Egawa, he instructed Manjiro to submit 
a report on his own plan of developing the sea power of this 
nation. He also instructed Manjiro to translate E. C. 
Branter's book on navigation which he had brought from 
America and after two years' painstaking work he com 
pleted the translation, and greatly contributed to the art of 
navigation in Japan. In 1855, Egawa suddenly died. In the 
meantime, Lord Abe, whose health declined considerably, 
at last tendered his resignation and was succeeded by 
Masamitsu Hotta. Two years later in 1857, Lord Abe also 
died in the prime of his life at the age of thirty-nine. Thus 
Manjiro lost in less than two years two great patrons who 
understood and encouraged him in all his undertakings 
when others distrusted him. Indeed, had it not been for 
these patrons, he might have ended his life in obscurity in 
Kochi. 

In April, 1857, Manjiro became an instructor at the Naval 
Training School which was established at Yedo that year 
and taught navigation and ship engineering to many trainees 
who were destined to be important figures in the Japanese 
Navy. Then in October of the following year, he proceeded, 
by order, to Hakodate in Hokkaido to serve in the governor's 
office as a whaling instructor. While there, he probed the 
possibility of starting a whaling industry in that area. He 
returned to Yedo in the spring of 1859, He was quite busy 
that year; he compiled A Short Cut To English Conversa- 



AN ERA DAWNS 113 

fo'on, which became the standard book on practical English 
in those days. It was superior to all the other books on the 
subject already in circulation, because through the proper 
use of the Japanese alphabet, it enabled the student to 
pronounce English much more accurately than any other 
book of its kind at that time. 

Earlier, he had proposed that the government undertake 
a whaling business believing that not only could it be a 
profitable enterprise but it would afford a good chance to 
train young men in navigation and sounding. This proposal 
was eventually approved by the government and he was 
appointed supervisor of the proposed whaling enterprise in 
1859. He at once set about the task of fitting out a schooner 
called the Kimigata I which had been presented to the 
Tokugawa Government by the Russian Government He 
painted it black, built a crow's-nest, and installed proper 
equipment for processing whales. He supervised the con 
struction of the whaleboats at Ishikawajima and trained 
about twenty fishermen from Ajiro who were to man the 
whaling ship. All this while he continued teaching English' 
to his students. 

The entry in his diary under the date of July 29, 1859, 
reads: 

Mr. Egawa and I went by boat to Ishikawajima, the site of 
the ship-building. We rested in one of the whaleboats, then 
went to inspect the Russian ship off Shinagawa. Returned 
home very late. 

Seeing officials, visiting the shipyard, training the crew, 
teaching English, Manjiro spent busy days, but he was 
happy because the preparations for another whaling voyage 
were making good progress. The September 18 entry 
in the diary says: 



M A N J I R O 

Fair weather and moderate winds. All well with the world. 
The family are safe and sound. The two shipwrights of Tosa 
came to see me. Mr. Otori came to learn English. 

As soon as the preparations were completed in March, 
he set sail from Shinagawa, thrilled with the foretaste of 
hunting whales in the Pacific, a thing he had dreamed 
about for many years. But before a single whale was caught, 
the expedition completely failed. The schooner was over 
taken by a storm near the Ogasawara Islands and only with 
great difficulty did he manage to return to the port of 
Shimoda after cutting down one of the masts. WTien the 
storm blew over, he navigated the crippled schooner into 
the Bay of Shinagawa for repair to make another attempt 
to go whaling. 



A 

GOODWILL 
MISSION 



ABOUT this time, the Tokugawa Government decided to 
send a goodwill mission to America for the ratification of 
the treaty which had been concluded between Townsend 
Harris and the government. Manjiro was appointed official 
interpreter and instructor in navigation to be sent with the 
party sailing on the Kanrin-maru. 

The mission, consisting of seventy-seven men headed by 
Lord Chikami and Lord Muragaki, left Shinagawa on board 
the U.S. warship Powhatan in February, 1860. Simultan 
eously, a Japanese warship, the Kanrin-maru, sailed from 
Uraga for America, carrying Lord Kimuru, Captain Rintaro 
Katsu, Yukichi Fukuzawa, Manjiro and about ninety other 
men. This man-of-war, which the Tokugawa Government 
had purchased from Holland, was equipped with an auxil- 



Zl6 MANJIRO 

iary engine of one hundred horsepower and was a convenient 
ship in which both new and old combined a steamer in 
home waters and a sailing vessel in the high seas. 

The Powhatan touched at Honolulu, while the Kanrin- 
morn sailed straightway for San Francisco, reaching there on 
March 17, 1860. It was a long stormy passage and only 
Manjiro's skill to navigate the ship prevented it from being 
shipwrecked. A newspaper of that city carried the following 
article: 

A Japanese warship, the Kanrin-maru, made port at San 
Francisco at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon after a successful 
voyage of thirty-seven days since she left Uraga, Japan, under 
the direction of Captain Katsu. Lord Kimura, admiral of the 
Japanese Navy, is among the passengers on board the ship. 
It is learned that the ship is acting as a sort of harbinger to 
the Powhatan, that is now en route to this country, charged 
with the important mission of transporting the Japanese Am 
bassadors. 

The admiral is always followed by four retainers who are 
ready to wait upon him most reverently. But he seems to 
know better than to treat them like slaves. Some of the crew, 
who wore straw sandals, were eying us curiously from the deck. 
These men seemed to be far better-mannered than the Chinese 
in California. As we boarded the ship, we were much struck 
by its cleanness and apple-pie orderliness. We had the pleasure 
of meeting Lord Kimura in his cabin. He seemed to be en 
trusted with the important mission. When we entered his 
room, he squatted while one of the servants was trying to do 
up a most elegant coiffure for the lord. Soon he appeared on 
the deck in his formal dress: a pair of pure white socks, a dark 
brown coat, and a blue skirt all of excellent quality. He 
wore two swords at his side. All the officials wore beautiful 
swords, sharp and shining . . . 



A GOODWILL MISSION 117 

The American newspapers featured the arrival of the 
vessel showing affection as well as curiosity for the Japanese. 
The strange customs of the Japanese were a constant source 
of interest 

Lord Kimura and his party landed at San Francisco for the 
first time and were escorted to the International Hotel. In 
the lobby they formally met the Mayor of San Francisco and 
other dignitaries of the city. It was a curious sight to see all 
the Japanese officials squatted on the floor except Lord Kimura, 
who sat on the sofa when Governor John G. Downey of Cali 
fornia appeared to greet the strangers. It passed their com 
prehension to see the Governor appear alone without being 
followed by a solemn procession of his retainers. They thought 
him to be an impersonator. It was only when Captain Brook, 
an aide to the Governor, repeatedly endeavored to explain that 
the man was the real Governor that at last they exchanged 
greetings with him through the interpretation of Manjiro who 
spoke English very fluently. The Governor expressed his con 
gratulations on the occasion of the two nations, separated by 
the Pacific, entering upon a new friendly relationship to open 
trade between them. 

Lord Kimura and Captain Katsu, shaking hands with every 
one present, bowed politely in Japanese style, while Manjiro 
acted as interpreter. When the name and the office of the 
man to be introduced was announced by Manjiro, Lord Kimura 
received him in a gentlemanly and refined manner. The oc 
casion was an important affair even for America, for it was 
an epoch-making event in the history of America-Japan rela 
tions, so the U.S. Government and the public tried to give 
the Japanese a warm welcome. On that day each Japanese 
wore a fine dress and two swords, but the costume of Lord 
Kimura was particularly beautiful. The Japanese costume is 
entirely different from that of the Chinese. A banquet was 



Il8 M AN J IRQ 

held in the great hall of the hotel in honor of the Japanese. 
They ate a small portion of each dish, but they seemed to be 
quite satisfied. Captain Katsu, when served with ice cream, 
said, "I have never tasted such a wonderful thing in my life." 

Captain Katsu speaks English fairly well but not so well 
as Manjiro, official interpreter, who speaks English fluently as 
he was educated in Fairhaven, Mass., when he was a boy. 
Captain Katsu is never seen with a hat on. The temple of his 
head is shaven, and his hair, which is sticking up like black 
needles/ is tied at the end so that it is pointing forward. All 
the officials have their hair in like manner. Half a dozen 
smart-looking officials have wide-brimmed white hats resem 
bling those worn by the Chinese in California on a rainy day. 
The rest of them put on straw bonnets with string which go 
under their chins lest they should be blown off. 

While in San Francisco, the Japanese officials received every 
attention from the citizens as well as the officials. One of the 
peculiarities first manifested by the foreign dignitaries was a 
disinclination to regard women as equals, in consequence of 
which the feminine sex was forbidden to set foot on their vessel. 
This is said to have been owing less to adherence to their own 
prejudices than to a misapprehension of the social position of 
women in America. 

The party of delegates, after San Francisco's warm recep 
tion, boarded the Powhatan again for Panama. Crossing 
the Isthmus by train, they boarded the Roanoke, an Ameri 
can man-of-war, and eventually reached Washington. They 
were accorded a rousing welcome there as the official guests 
of the U.S. Government. Sixty rooms of the Willard Hotel, 
one of the best hotels in Washington, were placed at their 
disposal, and great banquets were held in their honor. In 
short, it was as warm a welcome as ever the U.S. Govern 
ment and the U.S. Army and Navy had given to any foreign 
delegation. 



A GOODWILL MISSION 119 

Lord Chikami and Lord Muragaki were received in 
audience by President Buchanan and they exchanged the 
notes of ratification of the Japanese-American Treaty. On 
May 13, they received a gala send-off from the American 
public and embarked on the Niagara (4580 tons), one of 
the largest ships of America at that time, and via the Cape 
of Good Hope, Java, and Hong Kong, the party returned 
safely to Shinagawa. 

In the meantime the Kanrin-maru, which had been badly 
damaged by a storm when crossing the Pacific, had to be 
docked for repair at the Mare Island Navy Yard near San 
Francisco. While in San Francisco, Manjiro bought many 
"articles of civilization/' such as a sewing machine and a 
daguerreotype apparatus with which he became the first 
photographer in Yedo. He particularly wanted to take a 
picture of his mother. But photography (daguerreotype) 
was still in a crude and primitive stage and it produced a 
picture of a man whose kimono appeared "left-side-front." 
So before anyone had a picture taken of himself, he had to 
wear his kimono actually "left-side-front" and his swords on 
the right side of his waist in order to appear properly dressed. 
Manjiro and Yukichi Fukuzawa, who was later to found 
Keio University, each bought a Webster's dictionary, the 
first two English dictionaries ever openly imported into 
Japan. 

Ten years before, during the hectic days of the Gold 
Rush, Manjiro had waited in San Francisco for a ship to 
take him to Honolulu and thence home. In 1850, San 
Francisco was a city of tents, shanties with goods, boxes and 
barrels strewn all over the place and sunk in the liquid mud 
of the streets. At that time, the population suddenly grew 
from two thousand to twenty thousand in less than a year 
as steamers one after another arrived with emigrants from 



120 MANJIRO 

the East over the Isthmus. Manjiro had seen more than 
five hundred vessels lying in the bay, most of them deserted 
by their crews. Many rotted, others were beached, and were 
converted into stores and lodging houses. He knew a street 
corner where he had seen a signboard saying, "No man, not 
even a fool, can walk on this street." It was a booming but 
filthy town, full of outlaws who took the law into their 
hands while the city government was too corrupt and ineffi 
cient to repress them. Now he was struck with the orderli 
ness of the town where there had been no order. It had 
grown into a fine prosperous city with stone or brick build 
ings and wide streets, where decent-looking and law-abiding 
men and women thronged. He remembered that gold dust, 
then private coins, and money of various countries had been 
in circulation but now the banks refused to accept foreign 
coins. While he was in San Francisco in 1860, he saw mail 
communication established with the East by a pony express, 
the charge being five dollars for a half-ounce letter. 

The Kanrin-maru, on her homeward voyage, put in at 
Honolulu where the party was received in audience by King 
Kamehameha. Manjiro visited Toraemon, the cooper, and 
other old acquaintances in Honolulu for the first time in 
eleven years. They were greatly surprised to see him wearing 
a large and a small sword like a brave samurai and said 
gladly, "Jhn Mung has risen in the world." 

He also went to see the Reverend Samuel Damon, whom 
he always remembered gratefully, because if it had not been 
for this kindly preacher who raised the money for their boat, 
Manjiro and the others might have been unable to return 
to Japan safely. The pastor could hardly recognize him at 
first and was much pleased to learn that Manjiro had be 
come a fine-looking official of the Japanese Government. 



A GOODWILL MISSION 121 

While Manjiro was in Honolulu, he wrote a letter to 
Captain Whitfield and asked the pastor to send it to him 
by a special mail ship bound for Fairhaven, Massachusetts, 
along with a kimono as a souvenir: 

Sandwich Island, May 2, 1860. 
Captain William H* Whitfield, 

My Honored Friend I am very happy to say that I had an 
opportunity to say to you a few lines. I am still living and 
hope you were the same blessing. I wish to meet you in this 
world once more. How happy we would be. Give my best 
respect to Mrs. and Miss Amelia Whitfield, I long to see them. 
Capt. you must not send your boys to the whaling business; 
you must send them to Japan, I will take care of him or them 
if you will. Let me know before send and I will make the 
arrangement for it. 

Now I will let you know that I have been to the Gold Mine; 
here stayed 4 months, average eight dollars per day, beside 
expenses, from here I made up my mind to get back and to 
see Dear Mother and also shipped in one of the American 
merchantmen. In this vessel I arrived at Sandwich Island. I 
found our friend Mr. Damon and through his kindness bought 
whale boat and put her into a merchantman. This vessel was 
going to Shanghai in China. 

It was January very cold that part of country; Time I went 
on shore south off Great Loo Choo it was gail with snow. The 
Capt. of vessel he wish me to stay with him and to go to 
China, but I refused it, because I wanted to see Mother. 

The boat is ready for me to get in, myself, Dennozo & 
Goyeman jump into the boat, parted with ship at 4 PM. After 
ten hours hard pull we arrived lee of Island and anchored until 
morning. I went on shore amongst the Loo Choose, but I 
cannot understand their language, I have forgot all Japanese 
words. I stay here six months, under care of the King of Loo 
Choo, waiting for Japanese junk to come. 



122 MANJIRO 

In the month of July get on board junk and went into the 
harbour Nagashirki Island, off Kie-u-see-u, waiting to get per 
mission for 30 months before we get to our residence. After 
all the things is properly regulated we were sent to our residence. 
It was great joy to Mother and all the relation. I have stay 
with my Mother only 3 days and night the Emperor called 
me to Jedo. I became one emperian officer. At this time I am 
attached this vessel. 

This war steamer was sent by Emperor of Japan to the com 
pliment of the President of America. We went to San Fran 
cisco, California, and now homeward bound, at Sandwich to 
touch Island to secure some coal and provition. I wish to send 
the letter from San Francisco but so many Japanese eyes I 
can't. I wrote this between passage from San Francisco to 
Island. Excuse me many mistakes. I can write better after 
our arrived Japan Jedo. 

I wish for you to come to Japan, I will now lead my Dear 
Friend to my house, now the port opened to all the nations. 
I found our friend Samuel C. Damon. We are so happy each 
other I cannot write it all When get home I will write better 
account. I will send to you suit of my clothe. It is not new, 
but only for remember me. 

I remain your friend, 

JOHN MUNGERO (May 25, 1860) 

The Reverend Samuel Damon also wrote a letter to Cap 
tain Whitfield telling all about his impression of John 
Mung "dressed like a Japanese official with two swords/' 
who had come to see him when the homebound Kanrin- 
mctru touched at Honolulu. He sent this letter together 
with John Mung's to Captain Whitfield. 

Captain W. H. Whitfield, 

Dear Sir, Accompanying this letter I forward you a com 
munication from your protg<, John Mung, the Japanese. You 



A GOODWILL MISSION 123 

will be doubtless as much surprised to hear from him as I was 
to see him. I have written out an account of his visit to 
Honolulu for the next No. of "The Friend/' This I shall send 
to you, and it will furnish you the information which I am 
confident will be most interesting to you. He speaks of you 
with the most grateful feelings and also of your family. He 
wished to learn all about your children. I have taken the 
liberty to read the letter, which he left with me for you, and 
also to retain a copy of the same. It is a very great source of 
satisfaction to me to have seen him again. For years I have 
striven to learn something about him, but I could not obtain 
the least information. Judge then of my great surprise to have 
him come to my study, dressed like a Japanese official, with 
"his two swords." 

He was very free and communicative, often called, and 
brought the captain of the steamer, who was a man of much 
intelligence. John has really become a man of importance in 
Japan. I could not state in print all he told me about his posi 
tion, but let me say that it is my decided opinion that John 
Mung acted a most important part in opening Japan. The in 
formation which he furnished the Japanese Government was 
of immense importance. His translation of BowditcVs Navi 
gator is most remarkable. [Some think that the book must 
have been E. C. Branter's book on navigation.] 

He left with me to be forwarded to you a suit of his Japa 
nese costume! Unless I can send it by some gentlemen going 
overland, I will forward the same by some New Bedford 
whaleship. 

I have become so much interested in John that I want you 
to write me and tell me when and where you first found him, 
for I am quite astonished at the ability which he displays. 

I think when you write him you had better send your letter 
to my care, for we have frequent opportunities of sending let 
ters to Japan. A vessel, the Leo, arrived from Japan today. Do 
you feel like paying a visit? He is placed in a position where 



124 MANJIRO 

he is constantly watched, in other words, there are "many eyes 
in Japan," so he says. The reason why he had not written us 
has been that he could not get his letters out of the country. 
He told me that at the end of two years, or when Yedo was 
open to foreigners that he hoped I would visit Japan. He of 
fered me the hospitality of his house. 

Your honorable friends, the Diamonds, the Smithes, the 
Damons, the Harris (the lawyers) are all well. 

Now, I shall expect a letter from you and if you send one 
for John Mung, alias Captain Mungero, etc., I will send it to 
him by the very earliest opportunity. 

Yours, 

SAM C. DAMON 

P.S. Remember to your fellow townsman, 
Cap. S. Cox and family. 



AFTER 
YEARS 



MANJIRO returned to Japan on board the Kanrin-maru on 
June 24, I860, but something unexpected was in store for 
him. The captain of a certain American ship staying at 
Yokohama invited him to the ship to celebrate his safe 
return from America. Without fully realizing the conse 
quences that followed the fraternizing with foreigners, who 
were still looked upon with suspicion and fear in Japan, 
John accepted the invitation and went. Punishment fol 
lowed. He was summarily dismissed from the post of 
instructor to the Navy, which he had held for three years. 
Although he was for the time in the bad graces of the 
Tokugawa Government, a few months later, in recognition 
of the great service he had rendered during the trip to 
America, the government awarded him fifty pieces of silver, 



126 MANJIRO 

two suits of silk clothes, several koku of rice ? and other 
things. 

In October of the following year, however, Manjiro re 
turned to government service as chief interpreter and tech 
nical adviser for an official party sailing on the Kanrin-maru 
for the Ogasawara Islands to cany out a survey and proclaim 
Japanese sovereignty over those islands. About fifty stranded 
foreigners, who were living on these islands, were glad at the 
sight of the ship which brought along food and medical 
supplies, and they willingly helped the party do its task. 
The mission having been successfully accomplished, the 
party returned to Shinagawa in March of the following year. 

It happened that the measles raged in Yedo in 1862, and 
his wife Tetsu caught the disease while she was in childbed. 
Despite all efforts to cure her, she passed away at the age of 
twenty-five, to the great sorrow of her husband and three 
children. Manjiro, brokenhearted, wanted to forget his 
sorrow by going on a whaling voyage. 

He had always had an irresistible longing to sail a schooner 
in chase of whales instead of remaining as an official in the 
Tokugawa Government, the days of which were numbered. 
He proposed a whaling expedition to a wealthy merchant 
from Echigo, Renzo Hirano by name, and succeeded in get 
ting his financial support for his long-cherished desire to be 
a whaler. In 1862, he was appointed captain of the Ichiban- 
maru. Loaded with shipbuilding materials and necessary 
equipment, the ship left Shinagawa in December, the same 
year, and reached the port of Futami in Ogasawara Island 
in January of the following year. The expedition started 
building two whale boats with the materials which had been 
brought along from Shinagawa, and in two months they 
were successfully launched. On March 17, carrying these 
boats, the Ichiban-maru finally set about whaling in the 



AFTER YEARS 12J 

neighboring waters and by the middle of April they had 
caught two sperm whales. 

It happened, however, that there was a ferocious rogue 
by the name of William Smith, British by nationality, 
among the foreign sailors whom Manjiro had hired at 
Ogasawara. He committed all sorts of violence and tried 
to steal everything valuable in sight. One day, Smith and 
another rogue attempted to steal goods from the ship at the 
point of a pistol, but Captain Manjiro Nakahama proved a 
perfect master of the situation and, with the help of his men, 
he thwarted the attempt and finally put them under arrest. 
He could have taken the law into his own hands but fearing 
any rash action on his part might give rise to some interna 
tional complication, he locked up the men in a cabin of the 
ship and, much as he regretted doing so, he left Ogasawara 
waters on May 1 for Uraga to deliver them to the British 
legation there. 

Then Manjiro unloaded the barrels of whale oil and made 
preparations for another expedition. However, this time the 
government would not permit the ship to leave the port, on 
the ground that the international situation was getting too 
critical to warrant such an expedition. 

Indeed, the international situation had been bad enough 
for some time. Earlier, in 1859, Governor Muraviev of 
Eastern Siberia, accompanied by his fleet of ten warship, 
came close to Shinagawa to negotiate on his own terms with 
the Tokugawa Government about the Saghalien border and 
fishery rights. It happened that a Russian officer and two 
sailors from the fleet were attacked by several Japanese and 
fatally wounded in Yokohama. This incident deadlocked 
the negotiations and Muraviev and all his ships but one 
suddenly left the Bay of Yedo. 

He dispatched a man-of-war, the Posadnik, and another 



128 MANJIRO 

one to Tsushima in the Korean Straits in 1861. Talcing 
advantage of the defenseless island, the Russians cut down 
trees, surveyed the coast, built their houses and even mur 
dered a samurai. Thoroughly helpless, the Tokugawa Gov 
ernment asked the British Minister to Japan to mediate, 
and it was only through his intervention that the Russian 
warships left. 

The situation took a turn for the worse in 1863. The 
raging movement for expelling foreigners culminated in 
firing on foreign ships at Shimonoseki and murdering and 
injuring British subjects near Yokohama. In retaliation 
British men-of-war bombarded the fortifications of the 
Choshu and Satsuma Daimyos and completely routed their 
samurai. These British operations finally convinced the 
Japanese of their impotence in the face of Western arma 
ments and shattered their faith in the Tokugawa Govern 
ment. Thus the year 1863 saw the nation suddenly roused 
to the disintegrating effects of the feudal system. The 
traditional antipathy to foreigners gave way to the desire 
to study their civilization and adopt its best features. What 
Manjiro had forewarned actually came to pass, and he was 
inwardly glad that the morning of civilization was beginning 
to dawn in Japan at last 

While the Tokugawas 7 power and fame were thus fast 
ebbing and the cry "Down with the Tokugawa Govern 
ment" was growing louder and louder, the Choshu Rebel 
lion broke out in 1865, proving once and for all the utter 
incompetence of that government. Thus the situation 
quickly got out of control and the general trend of events 
pointed to the inevitable collapse of its power. 

Under these circumstances Manjiro abandoned, at least 
temporarily, the whaling voyage and stayed on Egawa's 



AFTER YEARS 

premises in Honjo. He busied himself translating the table 
of logarithms and teaching English, mathematics and ne 
gation to a class of scholars, officials and ambitious young 
men who had pronounced English in an absurd way before 
they received his instruction. Among his students were, to 
name a few, Fukuzawa, Hosokawa, Enomoto, Mitsukuri, 
and Otori, the men who later played important roles in 
the making of modern Japan as statesmen, generals, admi 
rals, educators, diplomats and scientists. In fact, most of the 
great men who successfully served the country in the early 
years of the Meiji Era were directly or indirectly under 
Manjiro's influence at one time or another. He taught 
many young men wherever he went, in Tosa, in Kagoshima, 
in Hakodate and in Yedo, and his teaching gave rise to a 
chain reaction in political, educational, and scientific circles 
and quickened the tempo of modernizing Japan. 

About this time, the Satsuma clan felt the need for train 
ing its clansmen in more modern methods of navigation and 
military science. It had taken a severe beating when a 
British fleet bombarded its fortifications in 1863. Also, in 
the same year, it had lost most of its well-trained navigators 
when the Nagasaki-mam was sunk by the coastal artillery 
of Choshu, the rival feudatory of Satsuma. The Satsuma 
Daimyo at once purchased several ships from abroad to 
rebuild its navy and sought Manjiro's assistance to train 
the clansmen to man those ships. The Yedo Government 
sent Manjiro to Satsuma in 1864. 

Manjiro began teaching at the Kaisei-jo School in Kago 
shima in the summer of that year and then he took leave of 
absence and went to Tosa to see his mother in January, 
1 866. There he stayed for about three months, during which 
time he had a neat and cozy house built for his mother. At 



130 MAN; IRQ 

the end of the three months, after a big send-off by the 
villagers, he went to Kochi, capital of Tosa, at the invitation 
of the Lord of Tosa. There he was asked to advise the 
Daimyo concerning establishment of a school called Kaisei- 
kan in Kochi and teach there. In March of that year, the 
school was opened and in July, when it was fairly well 
established, he decided to return to Kagoshima. He went 
to Nagasaki first, accompanied by Shojiro Goto, for they 
had been commissioned to buy a foreign ship at Nagasaki 
for the Daimyo of Tosa. But as there was no good ship to 
buy at that port, they went to Shanghai in August, where 
they bought a suitable ship and returned to Nagasaki. 

At that time, Nagasaki was the most important trading 
center of Japan and the port was bustling with foreign ships 
and merchants. While there, Manjiro spent busy days 
negotiating with foreign traders to buy ships and weapons, 
sometimes for the Tokugawa Government, and other times 
for the Tosa Daimyo or the Kagoshima Daimyo. It hap 
pened that a fleet of three warships of Satsuma, led by the 
chief minister, put in at Nagasaki in September and so 
Manjiro at once went to see them and asked his permission 
to return to Yedo before he went to Kagoshima, for he had 
been away from home for about two and a half years. Before 
he actually returned to Yedo in December, 1866, however, 
he went to Shanghai again in October to oversee the con 
struction of a ship in a shipyard there. In February, 1867, 
he returned to Kagoshima and resumed teaching its clans 
men in navigation and whaling at the Kaisei-jo until No 
vember of that year when he finally returned to Yedo. 

Almost immediately after the Meiji Restoration, which 
took place in 1868, the capital had been moved from Kyoto 
to Yedo, which was rechristened Tokyo. The Emperor 



AFTER YEARS 131 

Meiji, who had come to the throne in 1867 when he was 
only sixteen years old, moved to Tokyo. All the fiefs and 
lands under the control of the Tokugawa came under the 
direct authority of the new government. Although anti- 
foreignism had served to oust the Shogun, as soon as the 
new government came into existence not only were friendly 
overtures made to foreign powers but Japan attempted to 
entirely remodel herself on European lines. Gradually, 
promising youths were sent abroad to study, and foreign 
experts were engaged and the foundations of the Meiji 
Government were gradually secured. Manjiro's dream at 
last came true. 



A 
REUNION 



WHEN THE Tokugawa regime collapsed in 1868, many 
vassals lost their jobs and had to leave Yedo to seek their 
fortune in other provinces. However, Manjiro, whose repu 
tation had been fully established by then, was appointed by 
the new government the same year instructor of the Kaisei-jo 
School, predecessor of the present Tokyo University. 

The following year he left Egawa's Mansion to live at one 
of the official residences of the Tosa clan in Fukagawa and 
there he lived for the next thirteen years. The area was an 
extensive secluded domain with a large duck pond, where 
Manjiro often enjoyed duck hunting. 

In September, 1870, Manjiro was ordered by the govern 
ment to proceed to Europe with Iwao Oyama, who became 
later a field-marshal, and the supreme commander of the 



134 MANJIRO 

Japanese army at the time of the Russo-Japanese War, 
Yajiro Shinagawa, who became later a member of the Privy 
Council, and twenty-four other Japanese, to make a first 
hand observation of the Franco-Prussian War. The party 
left Yokohama on September 4 on board the Great Republic 
and after spending about one month crossing the Pacific, it 
reached San Francisco. Manjiro had visited the city ten 
years before and he had noticed then that it had changed 
from the town of shanties, outlaws and fortune hunters 
which he remembered so well when he had been there ten 
years before that. He could not but be deeply impressed by 
the rapidity with which the city was still further expanding. 
When the party of Japanese officials came upon Market 
Street, with stately stone or brick buildings on both sides, 
crowded with people and carriages, both Oyama and Shina- 
gawa were breathless with amazement. But Manjiro, acting 
as a guide, tried to look unruffled like the experienced man 
that he was and sagely explained many a strange thing to 
them. As it happened, the city was in the "silver era/' and 
Manjiro found an excitement in the air paralleling that of 
the Gold Rush which he knew so well. 

The party stayed in San Francisco for two days and then 
took a train for Chicago, which was already a commercial 
center of immense importance having a population of over 
three hundred thousand. The city was full of wooden 
houses which were doomed to be reduced to ashes about a 
year later by the Great Fire of 187L The party stopped over 
at Niagara Falls for sightseeing and reached New York on 
October 28. 

There were only five days left before the Minnesota which 
was to take the party across the Atlantic to Southampton, 
England, was scheduled to sail from New York, and Man- 



A REUNION 135 

jiro was busy making preparations for the voyage as well as 
taking his fellow countrymen over the city. 

'1 have a long-cherished desire which I'd like to fulfill," 
said Manjiro to Oyama. 

"What can it possibly be?" 

"As you know, I was rescued by an American whaleship 
when I was shipwrecked off the coast of Tosa about thirty 
years ago. The kindhearted captain of that ship took me to 
Fairhaven, his native town, and looked after me and put me 
in school. I owe him a great debt of gratitude. He lives in 
Fairhaven, not very far from here. With your permission, 
Fd like to go there and see him. That is what I mean by my 
long-cherished desire." 

Oyama knew that he and Shinagawa would surely be at a 
loss in this great strange city without Manjiro, but he simply 
said, "Go, by all means," and he added, "Well try to man 
age without you, if it is only a day or two." 

On the morning of October 30, Manjiro took the train for 
New Bedford from New York. As it happened, New Eng 
land's autumn was at its best. The woods of maple trees 
were aflame under the blue sky, and the hills were covered 
with wine-dark bracken and blueberry. As the train sped 
through the glorious autumnal countryside, he was exhil 
arated and drank in every bit of the ever changing train-side 
view. Every minute seemed to heighten the excitement of 
the reunion with the Whitfield family and the rest of his 
former friends. He felt then as though he were going to 
see his father from whom he had been absent for a long 
time. Arriving at New Bedford, he walked along the famil 
iar streets toward Fairhaven like a man who was walking 
along his home-town streets for the first time in twenty years. 
When he crossed the long bridge over the Acushnet River 



136 MAN) IRQ 

and breathed the same old sea breeze and saw the same old 
harbor and the same old Mr. Bartlett's School where he 
studied mathematics for the first time in his life, a flood of 
memory rushed back to him and his heart ached. It was 
already late afternoon when he knocked on the door of 
Captain Whitfield's house. 

"If it is not John Mung!" exclaimed Captain Whitfield 
with great excitement and delight. He shook hands vigor 
ously with Manjiro and led him inside. 

"I have been looking forward to this day for twenty 
years/' said Manjiro, falteringly, tears in his eyes. 

"It does my old heart good to see you again, John Mung/' 
Captain Whitfield said in a choking voice. "Congratula 
tions! You seem to have certainly risen in the world/' 

At first Captain and Mrs. Whitfield felt a little strange 
and embarrassed when they saw Manjiro, well dressed and 
dignified, but before very long they found that the Manjiro 
in front of them had little changed from the polite, cheer 
ful, alert lad they remembered so well. 

Manjiro told the captain about his experiences in detail. 
In the meantime, Marcellus, who was nineteen years old, 
son of Captain Whitfield, and a pretty daughter were 
introduced to Manjiro. They were both pleased to see the 
man whom their parents had often talked about so warmly. 
When Manjiro told them quaint stories about Japan and 
the Japanese people, they all seemed deeply interested and 
asked him all sorts of questions about the country and 
people. 

"I hope someday you will be able to come to our country 
and see for yourselves what I've told you about," said 
Manjiro. 

In the meantime, word that John Mung had come spread 



AREUNION 137 

all over the town, and soon all the neighbors, even those 
who did not know him, as well as his former friends, includ 
ing Jean Allen, Eben Akin, Bartlett, Bonney, and others 
came to see the unexpected visitor. Soon Captain Whit- 
field's home was beseiged by a large crowd of people. Mrs. 
Whitfield and her daughter worked hard in the kitchen to 
prepare refreshments which they served to all. It was a 
happy reunion! 

"It's so good to see you again/' Manjiro told them. "I 
have always been thankful to you for every kindness you 
showed me a long while back. Fve remembered it all this 
time. Since I returned to my country, I've been telling my 
countrymen how advanced your country is and that Japan 
has much to learn from you. They thought that I did not 
know what I was talking about at first. Now they are 
beginning to see for themselves. Fm glad to tell you that 
my country has recently opened her long-closed doors to the 
outside world and is ready to adopt Western civilization." 
Then Manjiro told them more of the strange customs and 
manners of his country, which they all thought fascinating. 
When he told them that Japanese men have a strange 
hairdo somewhat resembling a pistol, they all laughed. 
Then Manjiro gave Captain Whitfield and his family and 
all his former friends many presents which he had brought 
along from Japan lacquer boxes, silk cloth, kimonos, 
Japanese color prints. They all admired the beauty of those 
articles. 

"I sometimes think how I wish I could go with Captain 
Whitfield to catch whales again!" said Manjiro a little later. 

"My dear John, perhaps, you are thinking of those good 
old days but you must know that times have changed a 
great deal since then," said the captain with a little bitter- 



138 MAN; IRQ 

ness. "You see, the discovery of oil fields in the Western 
States, and the Civil War in which we lost many ships, have 
dealt us a hard blow from which it will take a long time to 
recover." 

"That accounts for the fact that the harbor was so quiet," 
said Manjiro. 

"Now that the sperm whales are getting scarce," the old 
captain continued, "both in the Atlantic and the Pacific, 
some of our ships are planning to go whaling in the Arctic 
Ocean in great force next year. They say that that ocean 
is well stocked with bowhead whales, but it would be risky 
business to catch whales in a sea full of icebergs. Let young 
whalers go where they will. Fve done enough dangerous 
whaling in my time." 

That night when the visitors had all gone home and the 
family had retired to bed, the old sea captain and his former 
cabin boy talked on and on far into the night. They rem 
inisced over their bygone adventures and discussed other 
subjects in which they were mutually interested. The time 
they could spend together was too short. 

The following day, Manjiro, with tears in his eyes, said 
goodbyes to Captain Whitfield, his family and friends who 
were on hand to see him off, and let the town for New York. 
On the train back to New York, he thought to himself, I am 
glad that I took this opportunity to revisit Fairhaven and 
see those nice people again. 

The Morning Mercury of New Bedford reported Man- 
jiro's revisit to Fairhaven under the date November 1, 1870, 
as follows: 

Personal: We had the pleasure of a call, yesterday, from 
Nakahama Mungero, a Japanese and one of the commission 



A REUNION 159 

of seven appointed by the government of Japan to visit Europe 
and observe the warlike movements there. Mr. Mungero, with 
his associates, arrived in New York in 42 days from Yedo . . . 

Arriving at New York, he lost no time in coming here to 
visit his old friends Capt. Whitfield and wife, for whom he 
expresses the most affectionate regard and to whose kindness 
he refers his success in life. 

Mr. Mungero is 45 years of age, of short stature, but erect 
and vigorous, and with a face full of intelligence. He is fully 
fitted for the part assigned to him in the commission, the result 
of whose observations abroad cannot fail to benefit Japan. It 
is interesting to note in these facts the important and intimate 
connection between the whaling enterprise and the opening 
of Japan to the commerce of the world. The education of the 
wrecked Japanese boy at a public school in Fairhaven, through 
the kindness of a whaling captain, contributed materially to 
the establishment of the relations existing between this coun 
try and Japan. 

The party, headed by Iwao Oyama, reached London 
safely on November 17 when the Franco-Prussian War 
was at its climax and the city of Paris itself threatened. 
But while the party was staying in London, just before it 
proceeded to the Continent, Manjiro was taken ill with 
a tumor which had developed in one of his feet. It turned 
out to be a rather serious case so that he had to be con 
fined to the hotel room while the rest of the party set out 
on the last lap of their journey. He meant to rejoin the 
party as soon as he got well But his strength returned too 
slowly, and he had to return to Japan alone in the spring 
of 1871. 

He recuperated in his residence in Fukagawa and in 
a few months he was fairly strong again. He again con- 



140 M A N J I R O 

ducted a class in his residence where many students came 
to study English and navigation. Before the year was out, 
however, he had a slight stroke which was followed by 
a paralysis in one of his legs and an impediment in his 
speech. He again became an invalid, resting either in his 
villa at Kamakura or in a hotel at Atami hot springs. Soon 
he became fairly well but never was active again. When 
he was living in retirement, he revisited Tosa to see his 
mother and again in 1875, when he went to see her, he 
took with him his eldest son, Toichiro. The old woman 
was happy and proud beyond words to see her grandson, 
who was a promising medical student at the Tokyo Imperial 
University. She tried to make their stay as pleasant as pos 
sible, serving every day the crisp sashimi of sea bream or 
broiled sea bass or lobsters freshly caught from the Bay of 
Tosa. While there, Manjiro often took his son fishing and 
demonstrated his skill by catching several big sea bass every 
time they went. 

The son later studied medicine in Germany and be 
came a successful practitioner, founding several hospitals 
in Tokyo. When he visited America in 1917, he went to 
Fairhaven and saw Captain Whitfield's son Marcellus and 
the people and places associated with his father to express 
his gratitude in person. Later, in 1918, he presented the 
town of Fairhaven with a beautiful and historical samurai 
sword as a token of gratitude. 

Long years of recuperation and retirement came to an 
end at last when Manjiro died quietly of a stroke on Novem 
ber 12, 1898, in his son's house behind Ginza Street, Tokyo. 
He was buried in the grave which had previously been 
prepared in the Bussinji Temple, Yanaka, Tokyo. 

Thus ended the life of a man who, when a boy, was 



A REUNION 141 

shipwrecked and rescued and taken to America as the first 
Japanese to be educated and live there, who became a voice 
in the wilderness and patiently taught his countrymen to 
open their eyes to modern science and Western civiliza 
tion, who participated in the slow and turbulent develop 
ment of his country from feudalism to democracy. 

Later, in 1925, his remains, together with the tombstone, 
were moved to the Zoshigaya Cemetery in Tokyo. 

In November, 1928, the Japanese Government conferred 
upon him posthumously the fifth court rank of the senior 
grade, in appreciation of the unique and invaluable service 
he had rendered to the nation. 



AND AFTER 



RECALLING some of his father's anecdotes, Dr. Toichiro 
Nakahama said on one occasion: 

"My father set an example to us children and taught 
us to be kind to those who were in trouble, to keep promises, 
to be punctual, to be brave, and to go ahead and do un 
pleasant things which others hesitated to do. When he 
was only a lad sailing in the Franklin, he jumped into the 
sea and fought with a ten-foot-long monster turtle when 
other sailors shrank from such a dangerous feat. He did 
not back down, and held his own before the captain of a 
certain ship who acted high-handedly and ordered him 
about although he lost the chance of sailing in that ship 
to Japan. Nor was he overawed and frightened into ob 
sequiousness by the Japanese officials who investigated him 
upon his return to Japan. 



144 M A N J I R O 

"It happened that a certain sailor whom my father used 
to know lost his job temporarily through no fault of his 
own and became a vender of refreshments and cakes for 
the ships staying at the estuary of the Sumida River in 
Yedo. A local boss demanded the poor sailor pay him a 
large sum of protection money if he wanted to do business 
in his territory. As soon as my father learned all about it, 
he went to see the rogue personally and told him once and 
for all not to bully the poor sailor. But when the ruffian 
threatened him with violence, my father actually over 
powered him and made him promise to stop blackmailing. 

"Furthermore, my father always tried to be kind to the 
poor and those in trouble. When he was living in the 
premises of Egawa, there was a deaf-and-dumb beggar who 
nightly went by, raising a plaintive, inarticulate voice. My 
father had a few rice balls with red plum pickles in them 
prepared always for this beggar, and as soon as he heard 
the quaint voice traveling along the dark street, first faintly 
and gradually growing louder and louder, he used to go to 
the gate of his house to give them to the beggar. Whenever 
he chanced to see a poor sick man lying on the street, he 
told us children to run along to our house to get medicine 
or even clothes for him. 

"My father used to dine with his family at a restaurant 
called Kurumaya at Myojinmae, Shiba. On such occasions, 
if there was any food left on the table when the dinner 
was over, my father had it packed in a chip box together 
with the boiled rice and took it away with him to give it 
to beggars on the street. Needless to say, it was an un 
thinkable thing in those days for a respectable gentleman 
to take with him the leftovers of a dinner in a restaurant, 
no matter for what reason, but my father would never let 
respectability come between him and charity. 



AND AFTER 145 

"My father spent an easy and retired life reading English 
books, visiting his children and friends and dining in first- 
class restaurants. He often went to see the Kabuki plays 
at the Shintomiza Theater, which staged the best plays 
in those days. But to sit on the floor of the theater watch 
ing a play, as was the custom of the day, was too much 
for him, and so he used to order a special chair to sit on 
in the theater. On the stage of the Shintomiza, once, he 
saw his own adventure enacted by Sadanji, the greatest 
actor of the day, but as it proved to be not only untrue but 
cheap and farcical, he was greatly disappointed. 

"Never was my father seen, whenever he went out, with 
out wearing a hakama and haori with the five crests of our 
family on it, after the formal Japanese style. Even on a 
hot summer day, he never failed to be seen without a fine 
silk gauze haori, so that rikishamen used to call him 'gentle 
man in a haori with the family crests/ Added to this strictly 
formal dress, my father used to wear a derby hat and a pair 
of foreign shoes, a quaint but fashionable style adopted by 
gentlemen of those days/' 

On behalf of Dr. Toichiro Nakahama, the eldest son of 
Manjiro, Viscount Ishii, the Japanese Ambassador to Wash 
ington, presented Fairhaven, Massachusetts, with a histor 
ical samurai sword on July 4, 1918, in token of the son's 
gratitude for the kindness shown to his father by the town. 

It was a gala occasion with American and Japanese flags 
and bunting to be seen on every hand in New Bedford and 
Fairhaven. Soon after nine o'clock in the morning Viscount 
Ambassador Ishii and his party arrived from Mattapoisett, 
where they were the house guests of the Honorable Mr. 
Hamlin. The party went to the New Bedford High School, 
where exercises were held. Addresses were given by Mayor 



146 MANJIRO 

Ashley, Lieutenant Governor Coolidge, Viscount Ishii and 
Mr. Hamlin. 

When the exercises in New Bedford were over, the Am 
bassador and his party were met by a committee from 
Fairhaven and proceeded to Riverside Cemetery, accom 
panied by members of the Whitfield family. Ambassador 
Ishii placed a wreath on the grave of Captain Whitfield, 
while a simple but impressive ceremony took place. Then 
the party called at the home of Mrs. Akin, who was then 
eighty years old, where Manjiro had spent his first two 
weeks in Fairhaven. 

After attending a buffet luncheon, which was held at 
the Tabitha Inn, the party visited the Memorial Church, 
the Millicent Library, and the town hall, where the log 
book of the John Howland was shown the guests. 

In the meantime, the parade, consisting of a battalion 
of regulars from Fort Rodman, Naval Reserves, the State 
Guard from Fairhaven, and the Naval Reserve Band from 
Newport, was formed on Center Street and proceeded 
through the important streets of the town to the stadium. 
After the speakers and guests had ascended to the platform, 
the men in uniform marched into the stadium. Close be 
hind the speakers' stand was a chorus of school children 
dressed in white. It is estimated that over ten thousand 
people witnessed the ceremonies. 

After Lieutenant Governor Calvin Coolidge made a wel 
come address on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massa 
chusetts, Ambassador Ishii said, as he presented the samu 
rai sword: 

"This gift may have little intrinsic value, but therein, 
perhaps, you will find its real value. You are asked to re 
ceive it as the concrete token of that something which is 



AND AFTER 147 

without price and above all other values. It is tendered to 
you at a time in the affairs of a troubled world when men 
are asking if the old-time virtues of gratitude and honor 
still hold their places in the human heart. It conies at a 
time when America and Japan stand linked and resolute in 
defense of a cause which is so holy so just and right 
that all other considerations vanish to nothingness. 

"In this spirit I beg of you, Mr. Chairman, to accept 
for the town of Fairhaven this tribute of gratitude. The 
donor would say to the descendants of those who were 
kind to his revered father that which the whole Japanese 
people would say to the people of America: We trust 
you we love you, and, if you will let us, we will walk at 
your side in loyal good fellowship down all the coming 
years . . ." 

At that time, as Japan was fighting World War I shoulder 
to shoulder with America, particularly cordial relations ex 
isted between the two nations. President Woodrow Wilson 
regretted very much not being able to attend the presenta 
tion ceremony because he had to deliver his Fourth of July 
speech at Mt. Vernon on that day. A few days later, how 
ever, he wrote to Ambassador Ishii congratulating him upon 
the occasion in the following manner: 

The White House 

Washington 
My Dear Mr. Ambassador: 

May I not give myself the pleasure of saying how much I 
have been interested in reading your addresses at Fairhaven, 
Massachusetts, and how grateful I am that the people of that 
region should have an opportunity of showing you their genuine 
cordial feeling for yourself and for the great country you repre 
sent? The story of Manjiro Nakahama has particularly inter- 



148 M A N J I R O 

ested me. Such links between Japan and America are delightful 
to remember. 

Cordially and sincerely yours, 

WOODROW WILSON 
Viscount Kikujiro Ishii, 
Ambassador of Japan, 
Washington, D.C. 

Later the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote 
to Dr. Nakahama, the eldest son of Manjiro: 

The White House 

Washington June 8, 1933. 

My dear Dr. Nakahama: 

When Viscount Ishii was here in Washington he told me 
that you are living in Tokyo and we talked about your dis 
tinguished father. 

You may not know that I am the grandson of Mr. Warren 
Delano of Fairhaven, who was part owner of the ship of Cap 
tain Whitfield which brought your father to Fairhaven. Your 
father lived, as I remembered it, at the house of Mr. Trippe, 
which was directly across the street from my grandfather's 
house, and when I was a boy, I well remember my grandfather 
telling me all about the little Japanese boy who went to school 
in Fairhaven and who went to church from time to time with 
the Delano family. I myself used to visit Fairhaven, and my 
mother's family still own the old house. 

The name of Nakahama will always be remembered by my 
family, and I hope that if you or any of your family come to 
the United States that you will come to see us. 

Believe me, my dear Dr. Nakahama, 
Very sincerely yours, 

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT 
Dr. Toichiro Nakahama, 
Tokyo, 
Japan. 



AND AFTER 

More than a century has passed since Manjiro Nakahama 
lived his life of extraordinary adventure and worked for the 
rebirth of his country. The spirit of learning which he 
upheld so courageously, the virtues of kindness and grati 
tude and humility which were so naturally a part of him, 
and the international goodwill he embodied in his whole 
career, have survived the turbulent passage of time. 

Manjiro and Captain Whitfield came from opposite ends 
of the earth, spoke different languages, professed different 
religions but sailed the same seas, thrilled at the same stars, 
and shared many deep things. 

From a wilderness, Manjiro raised a voice that will echo 
and re-echo down the years. 




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