> Once in Macau, Otokichi, Kyukichi and Iwakichi were welcomed by Karl Gutzlaff, a German missionary and Chinese translator for the British Government. Gutzlaff, who had views on evangelizing Japan, enthusiastically learned the Japanese language from the trio, and with their help managed to make a translation of the Gospel of John into Japanese.
Impressive work of language learning to pick it up from three homesick teenagers. Or maybe not, since there was noone to tell him if he got it wrong.
...you mean, the Japanese terms for philosophical concepts relevant to / embedded in their culture?
this would be like complaining if Japanese people latched onto "amen" as a statement of completion and finality. uh yeah, the concept is applicable across various different cultural configurations
> In Macao, the British government handed the sailors over to Karl Gutzlaff, a German missionary and linguist. Gutzlaff continued their training in English and also enlisted their help in translating parts of the bible into Japanese.
Hence, folks from East Asia drifted away and landed on west coast of North America all the time, from time immemorial to 1492, and all of them were designated native/indigenous.
Conclusion: Asia to America migration didn't only happen through Bering/Beringia land bridge pre-10000 BC?
Question: Has there been any investigation of similarities between west coast indigenous languages and Asian languages, esp. Japanese?
In this case they also used some desalination tech to survive those 14 months, per the article.
Edit: More details:
> The crew had an adequate food supply (rice from the cargo, supplemented with fish and an occasional seagull). They could collect rainwater for drinking. They probably had on board a device called a ranbiki, normally used to brew sake, which they could have used to desalinate water from the sea. They also could have distilled saltwater simply by boiling it. But they had no source of vitamin C. By the time the ship washed ashore near Cape Flattery on a wintery day in 1834, there were only three survivors. Most of their crewmates had died of scurvy.
(That essay seems to have a lot of other interesting details, by the way.)
"Traces of Japan were not entirely unknown in the Northwest. More than 1,000 Japanese ships are estimated to have disappeared during the Exclusion Era (1633-1854). Most presumably sank in storms, but iron fittings and other remnants of some of those ships washed up on the Northwest coast over time. A few drifted to coastal areas farther south with survivors on board. According to historian Frederik L. Schodt, at least 34 Japanese sailors reached the shores of North America or Mexico on disabled ships between 1806 and 1852. One of the best known cases involved the Tokujomaru, which ran aground near Santa Barbara, California, in 1813, with three survivors out of a crew of 14. But until the Hojunmaru, there is no record of the presence of any Japanese, sailors or otherwise, in what is now the state of Washington."
Most of them would be designated "dead" at the very best. Odds were they wouldn't be designated anything because the ship would sink long before it got through the pacific: aside from polynesian navigators (which likely had at least some pre-columbian contact with the americas) navigation was coast-hugging and ships were simply not designed to survive through the Pacific. And then the crew would still need to survive through a journey they were completely unprepared for.
Not to mention the pacific doesn't really work that way: usually the ship would get caught in the gyres and never make it out, without wilful navigation it'd have incredibly low odds of catching the Alaska current or the equatorial counter-current.
> We find conclusive evidence for prehistoric contact of Polynesian individuals with Native American individuals (around AD 1200) contemporaneous with the settlement of remote Oceania. Our analyses suggest strongly that a single contact event occurred in eastern Polynesia, before the settlement of Rapa Nui, between Polynesian individuals and a Native American group most closely related to the indigenous inhabitants of present-day Colombia.
Yes, plenty, and no similarities have been found in reputable scholarship. (Note that when Gavin Menzies, the crackpot historian whose claim is that the Chinese explored the whole world pre-Columbus, stated that West Coast indigenous languages bear a resemblance to Chinese, he had to base himself on 19th-century conjectures that were pre-scientific and now totally discredited. Nancy Yaw Davis’s theory that the Zuni people of North America are related to the Japanese, is also not taken seriously by any historical linguist).
The Japanese language itself only entered Japan in the last centuries BC/first centuries AD. Japanese is originally from the Asian continent and displaced whatever languages were spoken on the Japanese isles before. So, that’s only a few centuries when Japanese speakers could have somehow come into contact with Native Americans, and there doesn’t seem to be any firm evidence for it.
Note also that Kamchatka is not that far from Chukotsky and it is not far fetched to think that the Aino peoples from Northern Japan could have some shared cultures with the Yubik peoples, the latter bringing that culture to Northern America and the Indians that had been living there for 10.000 years.
I think that their findings have eventually been proven less meaningful than they thought, but still cool.
Follow up questions: Is there any research on how much of pre-inuit culture spread southwards to Indian cultures? How much Asian culture did the Inuit and pre-inuit cultures take with them to America?
As for the follow up questions, Asia is a big place, and India is on the order of 4,000-5,000 miles from the Bering strait where pre-Thule cultures likely originated. There's no identifiable, historic relationship between modern Inuit/eskimos and people in India. However, they remain closely related to the Yuit on the other side of the strait.
The Asian culture I’m thinking about would be from Siberia or Kamchatka.
Interestingly, the Ainu people historicly lived pretty close to the Kamchatka peninsula (perhaps even on it), guessing that some culture that later was adopted by the Japanese from the Ainu but was also brought to North-America by proxy of pre-inuit peoples is not that far off.
EDIT: And as for what they brought over, couldn’t the American Indians further south have benefited from escaped domesticated animals like the dog breeds they brought over from Asia. And wouldn’t the closest neighboring tribes have learned different hunting techniques from each other, techniques that would have traveled south. Did pre-inuit people never trade or fight with American Indian people? I’m sure there is a lot of interesting interactions going on there that we are missing.
or I've been influenced by these episodes:
So most people who were actually wandering out of their cribs would have found 60 to be a perfectly normal age; and 40 would still be middle aged -- the past wasn't that much different from the present :)
you just wouldn't expect to see great-grandfathers as often (but at the same time, you don't see many today because the average first child-birth age has shifted upwards as well)
That would be odd. I think you mean "bimodal". ;)
Sorry for the nitpick.
It would be sensible if you thought there was pedantry in progress..... but you'd be wrong :-)
> What's with all the dislikes?
Assuming that you're referring to the GP, I'm curious how you're determining it's disliked-ness. It's not grey for me.
I don't think some massive karma level confers ability to see comment scores, either.
> There the ship was fired on repeatedly, and King was not able to accomplish his objective to establish diplomatic contact
So...why not place a brief message into a few bottles and drop them in the waters around the populated zones? "We have here your citizens named so-and-so, and will return around this date, and then this date + about 12M, to try again. Please don't shoot." Include handwritten notes from the survivors to the families / friends.
Surely this method (among others) would stand at least a chance...as compared to ~20 years of unfortunate delay in connection.
>For the Japanese the punishment for leaving the country (and coming back) was death. The Japanese view at the time was that their world was complete and their was no place in it for crude, materialistic and barbaric Westerners. It was one of the few times in modern history that a nation rejected "progress." Punishments were equally harsh for foreigner that arrived in Japan. Thirteen members of a group of Portuguese merchants that arrived in 1640 were executed. The rest returned home with the message: "Think of us no more."
I think an earlier version of the Perry expedition helmed by John Aulick intended to try and return 17 Japanese sailors as a sign of good faith/bargaining tool.
It's likely the captain had no big incentive to go out of his way for these Japanese so when he wasn't allowed in port, he just left.
> King anchored at a safe distance, out of range of the shore batteries. Men from several small fishing ships boarded the SS Morrison, and sake and cookies were shared until late in the night. By daybreak, however, cannons had been brought closer to the seaside, and they were again fired at the ship. Hundreds of small boats, each with a small cannon at the front, also started to surround and attack the ship. The Morrison sailed away, with little damage.
> King then sailed to Kagoshima in Kyūshū. The first day he met some officials there, who took two of the castaways into custody. The following day, a fisherman came alongside and warned the sailors to leave immediately. As the ship was setting its sails, the Japanese opened fire from cannons they had moved to the proximity of the ship during the night. King decided to abandon the mission and returned to Canton with the remaining castaways.
> The nature of the ship's mission became known one year after the event, and this resulted in increased criticism of the Edict.
So it sounds like a lot of ignorance collided with the Big Foreign Ship phenomenon and the castaway got caught in the middle. Some lucky, some not so lucky (for now)
That reads like comedy.
The second time he went back, it was apparently as part of the group negotiating the Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty, so it makes sense he wouldn't necessarily fear being killed
Having heard what had happened in much of the rest of Asia, the shoguns were extremely concerned about Christian proselytizing, and this was their extreme but effective way of making it impossible. All local Christian converts were also put to death.
Otokichi's Wikipedia article also indicates that he was given permission to live in Japan again.
Starts with Japanese audio and has Japanese subtitles, but the film itself is in English.
Doesn't sound like fun.
Seems a bit brutish to enslave half-dead, washed-up youths.