On “John Manjiro”
Nakahama “John” Manjiro (1827 AD - 1898 AD) was an important figure during the Bakumatsu.
In his youth, Manjiro was shipwrecked when he was rescued by an American whaling ship. He was taken back to the United States, thus becoming one of the first Japanese people to set foot in America. After studying English and becoming a whaler, he made a small fortune during the California Gold Rush and returned to Japan in 1851.
Once in Japan, Manjiro became a vassal for the Tokugawa Shogunate and served as an interpreter and translator during the Bakumatsu. Later, he contributed greatly to the modernization of Japan’s navy.