3 January 2015


I went on a trip to Tohoku, north east part of Japan, in the end of last year. 

The first morning, we went to Ajishima, a small island an hour away by a ferry boat from Ishinomaki, expecting to see some seabirds.  

It's the island where a Russian expedition came by the order of Vitus Bering in 1739. There is a statue of Bering at the beach on the island and I later found out that it was made by Kate Thomson, a British sculptor!  I joined a project called "Postcard to Japan" after the earthquake disaster in 2011, which was organised by her and her Japanese husband from Tohoku, Hironori Katagiri.  Here is my postcard if you don't remember it!    

シノリガモ (Harlequin Ducks)

Ancient Murrelets

島内を歩いて網地港へと戻ったが、不思議と鳥影が少なかった。唯一声がするアオジですら警戒心が強くて、なかなか双眼鏡に入らない。 隣の田代島は猫が多く住むことで有名らしいけれど、網地島もそんな影響で鳥がシャイなのだろうか。それでもウソ(それもアカウソ!)を発見して、ちょっと満足。

Replica of San Juan Bautista
The original galleon, San Juan Bautista was made in1613 in Japan by Masamune Date with the help of Sebastián Vizcaíno.  It had a tiller, steering stick rather than a wheel.  It seems that it was after mid 17th century that a galleon had a wheel.

On this ship, Date sent a Japanese embassy accompanied by Luis Soteloto and Vizcaíno to Rome via Acapulco.   But when the ambassador finally got back to Japan after seven years, Japan was in the middle of the closure of the country.

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