Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Polynesian Describes the Kanrin Maru

The Saturday, May 26, 1860 edition of The Polynesian featured a description of the Kanrin Maru and its three-day voyage from San Francisco to Honolulu:

NAVAL. The Japanese steam Corvette Candinmarruh, Capt. Kats Cintaro,* left San Francisco on the 8th inst. Had good weather on the passage down; steamed only three days. She is a pretty, bark-rigged propeller, of about 472 tons measurement and 100 horsepower, was built by the Dutch for the Japanese Government, and mounts twelve guns; four long 32s, six 32s carronades, and 2 swivels. She has 14 officers, (besides the Admiral and Captain*,) 60 petty officers, seamen and marines. In addition to her regular crew there are 4 American quartermasters and their cook, it being the duty of the former to take the weather wheel, or to con the ship. They are still in the U.S. service, having been wrecked in the Fennimore Cooper, and will leave the steamer on her return to Japan. They draw their pay from the U.S. Government and have their own provisions on board. The navigating, engineering, and in fact all other duty is performed by Japanese alone, who have shown themselves capable of rapidly acquiring our western civilization. All orders relating to the working of the vessel are in Dutch. As near as we can understand, the Japanese navy now comprises 45 sailing vessels and 5 steamers. The latter were built, 4 by the Dutch and 1 by the English. The Kaninmarrah is the flag ship of Admiral Timurrah-Seto-no-Kami. (Timurrah, Prince or Lord of Seto.)

*The captain was Rintaro Katsu (Kaishu Katsu).

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