Sunday, June 21, 2009

Six Degrees

We find a fair amount of garbage on the beach brought from Japan and China by the Kuroshio current. In 1834, this current brought three shipwrecked Japanese sailors to Cape Alava where, depending on the source, they were taken in as guests or prisoners by the Makah. These men, the first visitors to America from the strictly isolationist island, were eventually rescued by the Hudson Bay Company and brought to Fort Vancouver. News of the fine porcelain they had brought with them intrigued a young Matthew Perry, whose elder brother had won fame in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. The younger Perry would go on to force Japan's ports open with gunships while the elder would go on to die of yellow fever after giving his name to a handful of towns in the Lake Erie region.

No comments: