John Manjiro and the Millicent Library

Fairhave, Massachusetts is located eighty kilometers south of Boston and thrived as a port town along with New Bedford which was a whaling capital in the U.S. 150 years ago. Millicent Library is the place where the reminiscence of John Manjiro has been preserved. A model of the fishing boat Manjirowould have sailed on when he was shipwrecked in 1841 rests in the small glass case near the door of the room which is called Rogers Room (Art Room), The central show case contains the sward which represents the close tie Fairhaven has had with Japan and other various items from thei sister city Tosashimizu, Kochi Prefecture, Japan where Manjiro was from. Since Fairhaven and New Bedford signed the Sister-City agreement with Tosashimizu in November 1987, they have been expanding their relationship by exchanging delegations and holding the John Manjiro Festival.


It is often said in Japan that people living on the coast of the Pacific have a big heart. They are ready to face adventures and survive them. Manjiro Nakahama was no exception. He said yes to Captain Whitfield who had saved him when asked if he would come to America with him. The idea of being separated from his older brothers who had remained in Hawaii did not dissuade a 14-year-old boy. His heart mus have pounded at the thought of landing in an unknown world.

Parkway Vol.4 No.3 June 1990