A Son of Satsuma by
A fictional account of an American stranded in Sumatra when his ship, the "Friendship," is taken by local pirates. The US Navy Frigate "Potomac" is dispatched by President Jackson to rescue the crew and avenge the taking of a US merchant ship. The main character "Bob Whiting" and a shipwrecked Japanese sailor (Katto) are rescued and taken to Canton and deposited there to await the arrival of the next American ship. Bob and Katto sneak into Japan where he came under the protection of the Daimio of Satsuma who treated him as a son. Bob and Katto were there to watch Perry's first entrance into Yedo Bay. The fictional account traces the events of the Perry expedition through the eyes of Bob and from the Japanese perspective (as written by an American). Bob departs Japan aboard the Saratoga after the second (final) visit of Perry to Japan. He even arranged to have his trusty sidekick, Katto, sent by the Japanese government to attend the US Naval Academy. An interesting mingling of fiction and fact with much more fiction than fact. The character Bob and Katto seem to be loosely based on the story of John Manjiro.
According to Capt. J.M. Ellicott's historical study, Japanese Students at the United States Naval Academy, which appeared in the United States Naval Institute Proceedings for March 1947, in 1869, as the U.S. and Japan were working to establish closer diplomatic and cultural relations, the U.S. Congress passed a Joint Resolution allowing up to 6 Japanese students to be enrolled an Annapolis. Ellicott states:
It then seems to have become the policy of the Japanese Government to send sons of the nobility to Annapolis, probably to impress the United States with their polish and prestige.Perhaps Matsumura was the inspiration for fictional character of Katto.
This book is akin to a confused dream with elements of Golownin, Joseph Neesima, John Manjiro, Will Adams (Anjin-san) and the Perry Expedition merged into one story.
I. Farmer Dutton's Bound Boy II. Sunshine and Clouds III. Stolen Learning IV. In Salem Town V. The Son of a Black Ball Skipper VI. A Sailor Lad on a Farm VII. Stickney Makes Himself "Solid" VIII. Bob Chooses a Cabin IX. A Hayseed at Sea X. Rated as Assistant Cook XI. Learning the Ropes XII. On the Northwest Coast XIII. A Waif from Japan XIV. The Other Side of the World XV. A Malay with Gray Eyes XVI. Seized by Pirates XVII. Two Sides of Life in Sumatra XVIII. In the Pepper Fields XIX. A Dash for Freedom XX. Uncle Sam's Long Arm XXI. On Board the Frigate "Potamac" XXII. Bob Performs a Miracle XXIII. Adrift Without Oars XXIV. In a Japanese Guard-house XXV. The Prince of Satsuma XXVI. A Hermit Nation XXVII. The Initiation of Bob XXVIII. A Yankee Frigate Shows the Way XXIX. Because I Am an American XXX. Commodore Perry Carries His Point XXXI. Bob is Left Behind XXXII. Katto and O-Kama-San XXXIV. Japan Steps Into Line XXXV. Johnny Raw at the Academy
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