Drifting: Nakahama Manjiro's Tale of Discovery. An Illustrated Manuscript Recounting Ten Years of Adventure at Sea
October 11, 2003 through January 4, 2004
Drifting: Nakahama Manjiro’s Tale of Discovery. An Illustrated Manuscript Recounting Ten Years of Adventure at Sea chronicles the adventures of Manjiro, a Japanese boy who in 1841 was shipwrecked with four companions off the coast of Japan and unwittingly played a significant role in cultural understanding between the United States and Japan.
Rescued by an American whaler, Manjiro lived in Massachusetts and circumnavigated the globe before returning to Japan in 1851. Japanese authorities, both suspicious of and curious about the West, interrogated Manjiro and had him dictate his experiences to a scribe. The resulting manuscript serves as the anchor of this exhibition which explores the spirit of adventure, the beginnings of immigration, and the power of words and illustrations in shaping perceptions of other worlds.
This is the West Coast premiere of an exhibition organized by the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, with funding from the Philadelphia Exhibitions of the Pew Charitable Trusts.