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Born in the Year of Courage
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Born in the Year of Courage

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In 1841, having been shipwrecked an picked up by an American whaling ship outside Japanese territorial waters, fifteen-year-old Manjiro decides to go live in America and work toward opening trade between his country and the West.
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Carolrhoda Books (first published January 1st 1991)
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Nov 20, 2016 Lisa rated it it was ok
Recommended to Lisa by: Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum
A biography for young children about Nakahama Manjiro, a poor fisherman of Japan's "commoner" class who, after being shipwrecked on the island of Torishima in 1841 during Japan's period of isolation, was rescued by the American whaler ship John Howland and brought to Honolulu. Manjiro then went to live in Massachusetts, learned English, and ten years later returned to Japan and worked as a translator and interpreter to help open up trade between Japan and the United States in 1853.
Cathy Cole
Based on the life of a real person, Born in the Year of Courage is the story of a poor, fifteen-year-old fisherman named Manjiro who, in 1841, was marooned on an island with his crewmates and later rescued by an American whaling ship. Since the American ship was not allowed to enter Japanese territorial waters, Manjiro and the others knew the only thing they could do was stay aboard the whaler.

When the whaler leaves Hawaii, the other fishermen choose to stay in that tropical paradise, but Manjir
Michelle Albanese
Nov 20, 2013 Michelle Albanese rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book! I read this book aloud to my 12-year old daughter as part of her history studies this year. It is based on a real person and events. That always makes it more interesting to me. Manjiro was a fifteen-year-old Japanese boy who, in 1841, was marooned on an island with his crewmates of a whaling boat. After being rescued by an American whaling ship, Manjiro and the others are taken to America because American ships are not allowed in Japanese waters so they can't return ...more
I, along with my youngest, just finished reading this excellent story based on a true account of Japanese fishermen who were shipwrecked in the mid 1800's, rescued by an American whaling ship and tried to get back to Japan. However, because Japan at the time was entirely closed to the outside world, anyone who ever left the country for any reason, was never allowed to return, on penalty of death. This remarkable story of "Manjiro" is fascinating in its scope. Read in conjunction with Commodore P ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-for-the-kids
Based on a true account of a lesser know historical figure - I had never heard of him before - this was a quick account of his experiences. It seemed a little rushed at times, but I think that was because of it's intended audience (juvenile). I loved having the details of his story so that when he is referenced in other works we are reading, we know something about this man that helped Japan open its ports and proverbial door to foreigners in the second half of the 19th century.
Carol E.
Mar 08, 2015 Carol E. rated it liked it
It's a kid's book about a young teen boy from Japan who gets ship wrecked and then, after rescue, experiences many other adventures. It's based on a true story of a man who lived with courage and humility.

The book gave me an interesting thumbnail history of Japan, and the main character was an impressive person. This book would surely be a good historical/creative fiction book for a younger person.
Marci Christensen
Apr 22, 2015 Marci Christensen rated it liked it
A little slow, but overall it was a good story. Good references to other historical people and events.
Dawn Roberts
Aug 17, 2013 Dawn Roberts rated it really liked it
Really interesting true story of a Japanese boy who is shipwrecked and rescued (then adopted) by an American whaling captain, at a time when no one who leaves Japan is allowed to return.
Zelda M.
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Jul 04, 2013
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