Friday, December 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
This is the third and final of the Star Bulletin stories I found this past weekend at the Hawaii State Library. This story provides some details of the life of John Manjiro, who I have posted about before in this history blog.
Castaway Becomes Ship’s Captain
Star Bulletin: Thursday, September 22, 1960. Page 24.
The dramatic story of John Manjiro Nakahama is told by Emily V. Warinner, a former Star Bulletin staff member, in her book, ‘Voyager to Destiny.’
On February 10, 1860, Japan’s first modern man-of-war, the Kanrin Maru, left the port of Uraga, Japan, for San Francisco.
The ship was commanded by John Manjiro Nakahama, who had been marooned as a young man on a desert island in 1841.
After he was rescued by men aboard a New England whaling ship, Manjiro was taken to Hawaii, then to New Bedford, Massachusetts.
There he studied English, received instructions in vocational education and the art of navigation.
In Ocober, 1849, Nakahama left for Japan by way of Hawaii and the Ryukyus. When he returned home after 12 years absence, his mother welcomed him with tears. She had given him up for dead and had built a tomb in his memory.
It was this same Manjiro who, a year after his return, was to serve as interpreter during negotiations between the United States and Japan that led to the opening of Japan to the outside world.
It was exactly a hundred years ago this year that Nakahama returned to Honolulu as Captain Manjiro of the Kanrin Maru.
Reports indicate Nakahama probably was the first Japanese to acquire a knowledge of the English language.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
In my previous post I mentioned that in September, 1960 then-Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko came to Hawaii. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of the arrival here of the Japanese Embassy on the USS Powhatan, but also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first large group of immigrants from Japan. They came to work in the sugar plantations.
Below is the text from a story I found in the Thursday, September 22, 1960 edition of Honolulu’s Star Bulletin. A picture that I was not able to reproduce shows “The mother of Mrs. Chiyo Izumi is shown with her grandparents." It turns out that Mrs. Izumi featured here is the granddaughter of Gohachiro Namura, who served as an interpreter with the Japanese ambassadors:
Family Owns Heirlooms of Early-Day Interpreter
Star Bulletin. Honolulu, Thursday, September 22, 1960
Items once owned by Japan’s chief interpreter in the United States-Japanese commercial treaty ratification of 1860 are treasured heirlooms of a Honolulu family.
The interpreter was Gohachiro Namura, who went with the Japanese diplomatic delegation to Washington, D.C., 100 years ago.
The owner of the heirlooms is Namura’s granddaughter Mrs. Chiyo Izumi, 70, who lives at 2719-C Laniloa Road, Pacific Heights.
Namura, originally a Dutch interpreter, learned English from a Scotsman in Nagasaki, Japan.
Among Mrs. Izumi’s possessions are Namura’s wallet, a medicine case about the size of a cigarette lighter, scraps of writings and pictures of Gohachiro Namura and his family.
Mrs. Izumi and her husband, Chomatsu, have lived here since 1947 when they moved from San Francisco.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Over this past weekend I was at the Hawaii State Library perusing the microfiche records of Honolulu’s Star Bulletin, today known as the Star Advertiser.
In September, 1960 Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko (now Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko) came to Hawaii. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of the arrival here of the Japanese Embassy on the USS Powhatan, but also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first large group of immigrants from Japan. They came to work in the sugar plantations.
Virtually nothing was substantively reported on the Japanese Embassy. More coverage was given to the arrival of the Japanese sugar workers. This somewhat surprises me, given the visit by members of the imperial family from Japan.
Below is the text from various stories mentioning the first Japanese diplomatic mission from 1860.
A Friendship That Grows
Star Bulletin: Thursday, September 22, 1960
A century ago, Hawaii, then an independent kingdom, entertained representatives of Japan on their way to Washington to sign a treaty of commerce and amity with the United States.
Today, Hawaii, now a full partner in the sisterhood of states, welcomes with even more enthusiasm than that displayed 100 years ago the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan, on a good-will state visit commemorating the important centennial.
Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko also will help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first large group of immigrants from Japan to work in Hawaii’s booming sugar industry. Sugar had made rapid gains after King Kalakaua negotiated a trade treaty with the United States in 1875.
The contribution of the Japanese to Hawaii’s growth is self-evident. Today the children and grandchildren of the early immigrants are among the business, professional and civic leaders of the community, and hold positions of high trust in our government.
Hawaii has been charmed by Prince Akihito before. He won our hearts in 1953 as a modest youth of 19. Today and tomorrow we expect to be charmed also by his attractive young princess, whose marriage into the royal family attracted almost as much notice in this country as it did in Japan.
The Japanese royal coupe will find Hawaii hospitable and friendly, eager to make their visit as pleasant as possible. For they are more than a personable young couple, they are symbols of a people with whom Hawaii has inseparable links.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
"This book is now annotated to show what was meant by passing references which were much clearer at the time it was written, and also to trace events in the lives of the participants after the voyage.The preliminary part of the book includes a table of contents explaining what the various chapters listed below actually cover. Or just start reading the book from the beginning."
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Six months after the Japanese ambassadorial delegation arrived in Honolulu the Pacific Commercial Advertiser featured further news of their travels in the United States. ‘The Japanese at Washington: Incidents of Their Visit’ was featured in the August 2, 1860 edition of the paper.
The following is a transcript of the eighth section of the news story, focusing on the habits of the Japanese as observed by Americans. No author is listed, so I am at this point assuming that the text was taken from various newspaper sources that managed through the mails to reach Honolulu.
THEIR HABITS –Their baggage fills the concert halls at Willard’s Hotel, and presents a strange appearance. Each quaint-looking package and box is marked in their peculiar characters, nor can anything be removed by its owner without a written order to the custodian. This is but a specimen of the perfect order and system with which their movements are regulated. One each door of the rooms which they occupy is a bit of paper, inscribed with the name of the occupant, and the servants of the party perform their duties in accordance with written orders issued every morning.
Each of the twenty officials of the party wears a sword; most of them two swords. These are short, straight, and thrust through their girdles on the left side, nearly horizontally. There is no guard to the hilt, which is of metal inlaid with gold or silver in figures, or of shagreen. The scabbards are of wood, lacquered. They go bareheaded, but hats hang in several rooms, huge straw affairs, some of them waxed on the upper portions, and made to be tied on the head by a harness-like arrangement, which comes beneath the nose, around the ears, and under the chin.
They eat four times a day, rice being their principal dish with boiled chicken, ham, hard boiled eggs, and vegetables of every description. Tea is their constant beverage, although they betray a liking for the champagne so abundantly provided by the naval officers with them, and several have been initiated into the “fancy drinks” of the bar room. It is to be desired that this had been avoided. The officials use the sumptuous beds in their apartments, but the servants sleep on piles of blankets on the floor, a substitute for their thick sleeping mats.
Their pipes are wooden stems with metallic mouthpieces and tiny bowls, not much larger than an inverted thimble. They carry them in grass cloth pouches, to which are attached their tobacco bags, containing what smoking Americans term vile snuff, resembling the Persian tobacco sold in the bazaars of Constantinople. About three wiffs empties the bowl, which has to be frequently replenished. They are very cleanly, more so, Mr. Willard says, than the same number of our people would be. Each and every one bathes daily, and spittoons are not needed in their room. The only habit they have not pleasing to us, is the substitution of small pieces of silk paper for pocket handkerchiefs. A supply of this paper is carried in their vests, or rather in the many folds of their under garments.
Visitors and others at Willard’s Hotel state that the Japanese are always ready for a trade. They have with them an immense assortment of bijouterie of Japanese invention and manufacture –fans, purses, pictures, tobacco pouches, &c. –which they gladly exchange for trifles of American art and handicraft. They are on very good terms with the lady boarders at Willard’s, and evidently enjoy their society. One of the Ambassadors has already signified his intention to procure a full and complete ladies’ costume to carry back. So we may expect to learn that the almond eyed belles of Yeddo have adopted a more expansive style of attire. It is very obvious that some of the subordinates are rapidly acquiring the “fast” habits of Young America, and not much to the credit of those who entourage these vicious tastes. Much doubt begins to the entertained whether any practical good will result from this mission.
(Next: A Japanese in a Barber Shop)