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The Otokichi Saga - A Postscript

The Otokichi Saga - A Postscript


The previous two issues of Avenues presented a two-part article on the life of Otokichi Yamamoto, an Edo-period mariner (b.1817) from Onoura, in Mihama-cho on the Chita Peninsula south of Nagoya. Miraculously surviving a coastal... more

Otokichii - Part 2


Part one of this remarkable tale (Autumn ‘07) ended with the 14 year-old Otokichi (Yamamoto), his elder brother and thirteen other crew members aboard the coastal trading vessel Hojunmaru, rudderless, without mast or sail, and... more

Otokichi - Japans first great wanderer

Otokichi - Japans first great wanderer


Around 1600 (when Will Adams, the first Englishman to visit Japan, set foot in the country), Japan was very much a maritime nation. Japanese, both as industrious traders and fearsome pirates, regularly plied the South... more

The Otokichi post-postscript


At the conclusion of the three-part “Otokichi Saga” which documented the amazing story of Otokichi Yamamoto, the presumed first Japanese visitor to North America (see previous three Avenues issues), I put a note asking for... more

Megaliths of Kanayama

Megaliths of Kanayama


There are a group of ancient stones that are considered to have qualities that border on mysticism and prehistoric science and philosophy. Located in Kanayama-cho, Gero City in Gifu Prefecture, the appearance of these structures... more

The first English ship to reach Japan?

The first English ship to reach Japan?


In late 1610, Dutch adventurers Peter Floris and Lucas Antheunis arrived in London and soon succeeded in gaining the financial backing of Sir Thoman Smythe, governor of the East Indies Company, for an English expedition... more

Nagoya's oldest building: Arako Kannon

Nagoya's oldest building: Arako Kannon


When the famed Buddhist monk, and compulsive wood-carver, Enku ,took up residence at the Arako Kannon temple (Kannonji, in today’s Nakagawa Ward) in 1676, this venerable temple was already over 900 years old, having been... more