Those who share my interest in the March 1860 stopover in Honolulu of the first Japanese Embassy to the United States of America –as well as Commodore Josiah Tatnall and the crew of the U.S. Steamer Powhatan- will welcome this news.
I am writing and publishing a book on all this. To say the least I am very excited about this. Presently I am weighing several publishers.
In the meantime my research continues. The book, like this history blog, will rely substantially on primary and secondary sources such as newspaper accounts, journals, diaries, government communiqués and letters. This book will highlight the personalities, perceptions and misperceptions, too.
All this happened at a tumultuous time in history. About a month before the Embassy’s departure John Brown staged his raid on the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. That was followed by Jefferson Davis coming out in favor of secession from the United States. Abraham Lincoln was photographed by Matthew Brady, and then delivered his famous Cooper Union Speech as both the U.S.S. Powhatan and the Japanese Warship Kanrin Maru navigated rough seas on their way to Hawaii and the west coast of the United States.
One wonders if the Japanese knew what celebrities they would become not only in the Hawaiian Kingdom yet also after their arrival in the United States. And one wonders what fate would hold in store for those personalities from disparate cultures and traditions? Stay tuned!