Saturday, February 26, 2011
When Manjiro was 14 the small fishing boat he was working on was swept away from Japan and onto an island in the open sea. In 1841, Japan was extremely isolated. The people feared the world so much that anyone who left the island was not allowed to return, even from a rocky island in the middle of the ocean. So when Manjiro first sees the blue eyed New England whaler he is filled with fear. These are barbarians who will surely kill them.
The Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus is based on the true story of Manjiro and his friends. The barbarains did not kill them, but they had some very strange habits. Recommended for grades 4 and up.