Kanrin Maru committee looks to next 150 years of celebrating U.S.-Japan relationship

A small group of people gathered around the rotunda of San Francisco’s City Hall on the evening of Dec. 13 for the closing ceremonies of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Kanrin Maru, the first Japanese ship in the United States. Along with a message from Consul General of Japan in San Francisco […]

Symposium reveals the history of U.S.-Japan cultural exchange in SF

Imagine the world without San Francisco. We could not wear jeans by Levi Strauss, or celebrate the long-awaited championship of the San Francisco Giants. Most importantly, Nikkei history and the relationship between the U.S. and Japan, which originated in the Kanrin Maru’s voyage to San Francisco 150 years ago, would have been much different. The […]

Exhibit, lecture puts Kanrin Maru into context

With the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese ship to America, many groups are seizing the moment to celebrate the establishment of diplomatic relations that paved the way for today’s strong U.S.-Japan alliance. A recent event and ongoing exhibit at the Japan Information Center delve deeper into the reality of the voyage […]

Historic Voyage Marked Beginning of 150 Years of U.S.-Japan Relations

Curious Americans gathered in droves to see them. Dressed in robes, their hair in topknots, the Japanese who arrived in San Francisco 150 years ago this month on the Kanrin Maru, the first Japanese ship to visit this country, stunned the Americans they encountered. The fascination was mutual. Members of the Japanese delegation crunched quizzically […]

The Kanrin Maru and JAs

As Japanese Americans, we should know where we came from and how we came to be. The more we learn about what happened 150 years ago, the more we find as Japanese Americans that we are inextricably tied to the world events, the personalities and the legacy of this special occasion. The 1860 mission initiated […]

Manjiro’s Role in Pacific Ties

Though the Kanrin Maru’s arrival from Japan represented the first official visit by Japanese, a young fisherman — who would eventually play a pivotal role in U.S.-Japan relations — made the first voyage to this country. A fisherman from a small village, Nakahama Manjiro was shipwrecked at the age of 14 on Torishima Island. Manjiro […]