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Shipwreck accounts from Tokugawa Japan

One of the more recent additions to BYU’s Rare Japanese Collection is a manuscript which recounts the adventures of Japanese sailors shipwrecked in Vietnam in 1794. The 16-man crew of the fishing vessel Daijomaru spent a year in Vietnam before making their way to Nagasaki via Macao, Canton, and Saho. The manuscript describes the shipwreck and their observations of Vietnam’s people, flora and fauna, climate, and geography, as well as descriptions of the cities they visited on their return home. The manuscript has been cataloged under the title Annan wa 安南話 and is now available for research. It complements two other manuscript accounts of accidental visits to foreign shores by Japanese sailors in our collections: Kamoshitoka tsūshōuke zusho 加模西杜加通商請図書 and Roshiajin Nagasaki hyōraitsu kakinuki 魯西亞人長崎表来津書抜, which record the experience of two groups of sailors shipwrecked in Russia around 1793 and 1805, respectively.

Image from Kamoshitoka tsūshōuke zusho annotated by former owner Harry Bruning.

Image from Annan wa.


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