August 28, 2017

Unlike Otokichi in my book, Hirahara Zenmatsu and the rest of crew of the  Inawaka-maru made it to Edo. They even enjoyed the New Year’s celebration in the great capital with visits to the temple to usher in 1806, filling their stomachs with mocha, pounded sticky...

August 10, 2017

Jonathan Spence’s The Question of Hu (Vintage, 1989) is an account of a French Jesuit missionary Foucquet who brought a devout Chinese Catholic named Hu over to France as a scribe in1722. Spence gathers the clues to answer whether Hu was insane, or was it in fact a cul...

August 7, 2017

By the time the Japanese sailor Otokichi landed on the shores of Cape Flattery in 1834, the Hudson's Bay Company had already established a network of forts and trading posts throughout the northwest region.

One of the members of the Makah tribe Chief Yelak'ub was only a...

August 4, 2017

The young Japanese boy named Otokichi landed in London, England in 1835, but an earlier account suggests that he may not have been the first Japanese to have visited England. 

The story of the two other Japanese named Cosmas and Christopher, their Christian names, cente...

August 2, 2017

To write good creative nonfiction is to read even better creative nonfiction. THE GOLDEN SPRUCE (John Vaillant, Vintage Canada, 2006) offers such a model for any aspiring writer, including myself with my own book OUT TO SEA.

Vaillant's book revolves around the survivali...

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