咸臨丸神話       咸臨丸神話は教科書から・・・戦前の国定教科書で教えた勝海舟・咸臨丸
The myth of Kanrin Maru comes from textbooks ● Kaishu Katsu and the Kanrin Maru were taught in national textbooks before WWII

The "Kanrin Maru Myth"
Created by "shushin (moral training)" textbooks

In general, two fictions about the Kanrin Maru have been propagated among Japanese people, and they have been perceived as historical facts. The root of this illusion can be traced to the national textbooks from the Taisho era (1912-1926) to 1945, which were not history textbooks but shushin (moral training) textbooks.



Even if Japanese people don't know about the "Mission to the United States," they know the names of "Kaishu Katsu" and "Kanrin Maru." How did it happen? An investigation revealed surprising facts.
* Before World War II, Japanese people were not taught the names of "Mission to the United States," "Katsu Kaishu" and "Kanrin Maru" at all in their national history textbooks.
* Japanese people before World War II were taught only the stories of "Kaishu Katsu" and "Kanrin Maru" in their national shushin (moral training) textbooks.

So, let me conclude:
 Japanese people have been taught only the exaggerated stories of Kaishu Katsu and the Kanrin Maru in their national elementary school shushin textbooks since 1918, and after the World War II they have been under the illusion that this is history.
 In order for Japanese people to understand the achievements of Kozukenosuke Oguri, one of the envoys to the U.S. in 1860, it is necessary to remove the picture of the Kanrin Maru (
on which no envoy was aboard) used in history textbooks and supplementary reading materials to explain "envoys to the U.S."

Example of National Misunderstandings
Strange commemorative stamp


A stamp issued by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in 1960 (Showa 35) was a picture of the "Kanrin Maru" without the envoys to the U.S. on board. It must have increased the number of Japanese who misunderstood that the envoys went to the U.S. on the Kanrin Maru.

Left: The envoys handing over credentials of the envoys from Shogun Iemochi at the White House
Right: Kanrin Maru
on which the envoys did not travel  




遣米使節勝海舟が咸臨丸で日本人初の太平洋横断を成し遂げた快挙(  は誤り)」



                                   作図:村上泰賢 禁無断転載
As shown in the table below, history textbooks rarely mentioned the envoys to the U.S., Katsu Kaishu, and the Kanrin Maru, but shushin (moral training) textbooks taught Kaishu Katsu and the Kanrin Maru from 1918 to 1945.

* The story of Yasuyoshi (Kaishu) Katsu and the Kanrin Maru appeared in a set in textbooks from 1918 to 1945.
* Basically speaking, I don't think the history of the U.S. mission is important enough to be covered in elementary school history education, so it's not surprising that it doesn't appear in history textbooks.

* However, as can be seen in the table below, Shushin textbooks took up the Kanrin Maru, which only accompanied the Powhatan carrying the envoys to San Francisco, with exaggeration and fiction, and propagated it together with the previous section of the textbooks on the study of Kaishu Katsu. As a result, the public believed the myth of the Kanrin Maru as history and misunderstood it like, "Kaishu Katsu, a Japanese envoy to the U.S., became the first Japanese to sail across the Pacific Ocean on the Kanrin Maru."

Consequently, this misunderstanding conceals the historical facts that "the first Japanese envoy to the U.S. made a round-the-world trip" and that the Yokosuka Iron Works, the site of Japan's industrial revolution, was conceived "from the envoy's visit to the Washington Naval Shipyard."

Illustration by Taiken Murakami
All rights reserved


 National Textbooks
The 1st period, 1903 to the 5th period, 1945 (42 years)
Period (Year of Revision)
History textbooks
Shushin (moral training) textbooks
Mission to the U.S.
Yasuyoshi (Kaishu) Katsu
Kanrin Maru
Mission to
the U.S.
Yasuyoshi (Kaishu) Katsu
Kanrin Maru
明36年~)1st Period (1903 ~)

Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
"Abraham Lincoln" is mentioned in "Study," instead.
Not mentioned
"Kahei Takadaya" is mentioned in "Courage," instaed.
2nd Period (1910 ~)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
3rd Period (1918 ~)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned

Slyghtly mentioned
The story of Yasuhoshi (Kaishu) Katsu is mentioned in "Study." Type A
The story of the Kanrin Maru is mentioned in "Courage."
Type C
4th Period (1934~)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
The story of Yasuhoshi (Kaishu) Katsu is mentioned in "Study." Type A
The story of the Kanrin Maru is mentioned in "Courage."
Type C
5th Period (1941 ~ 1945, the year when World War II ended)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
The story of Yasuhoshi (Kaishu) Katsu is mentioned in "Study." Type B
The story of the Kanrin Maru is mentioned in "Courage."
Type D

・「勉学」の勝安芳の話は 第3期 と 第5期 では基本的内容に違いが見られるので A型ーB型 と分けた。
・「勇気」の咸臨丸の話も 第3期 と 第5期 では内容に違いがあるので C型ーD型 と分けた。
* In the first period of "Shushin"... "Courage" describes the story of Kahei Takadaya, and "Study" describes the story of Abraham Lincoln.
* In the second period, the story of Hakuseki Arai is described in the "Study" section.

* In the third and later periods of Shushu textbooks, the story of Yasuhoshi (Kaishu) Katsu is written in the "Study" section, followed by the story of Kanrin Maru in the "Courage" section, so both stories can be read as a set. Here, not only the Kanrin Maru but also the story of Yasuhoshi Katsu will be examined.
* The story of Yasuhoshi Katsu in "Study" is divided into Type A and Type B because there are differences in basic contents between the 3rd and 5th periods.
* The story of the Kanrin Maru in "Courage" is also different between the 3rd and 5th periods, so it is divided into Type C and Type D.

修身教科書における 「勉学」勝安芳 

   第3、4期A型 と 第5期B型 の話を読み比べるとその違いが顕著すぎて、

 Questions about the story of
Yasuyoshi (Kaishu) Katsu in the "Study" Section
in Shushin (moral training) Textbooks

   When I compare the stories of Type A in the 3rd and 4th periods with Type B in the 5th period, the differences are so pronounced that I can't help but wonder which story is the real one, and on what basis it was made.

             ○第十四課 勉学   

Lesson 14: Study (From "Shushinsho for Elementary School," Vol. 5, 3rd and 4th National Textbooks)
* Bolded words are the parts that are different from the story in the 5th period textbook, Type B.



When he was young, Yasuyoshi Katsu was always looking for good Western military books to read, but in those days, imported books were scarce and hard to come by. One day, he found a new military book from Holland in a bookstore. It was a very good book and he wanted to have it. When he inquired about the price, he was told that it was fifty ryo. Yasuhoshi was very poor at the time and could not afford such a large sum. After much thought and consultation with his relatives, it took him more than ten days to finally come up with the money. When he immediately went to the bookstore, he was disappointed to find that the book had already been sold.

However, he just couldn't make up his mind. When he heard the name of the person who bought the book, he finally went to the house and told the owner why he wanted the book and asked him to give it to him. However, the owner did not listen to him. He said, "Then please lend it to me for a while," but the owner refused it, saying, "I can't do that either."



Yasuyoshi thought for a while and asked, "Would you please lend it to me after you have gone to bed?" The owner replied, "If you are so eager, I will show it to you, but I don't want you to take it outside." So, Yasuhoshi began to go to the owner's house to make a hand-written copy of the book from the next night.

From then on, he walked a mile and a half every night, never missing an appointment, no matter how much it rained or how much the wind blew, and after half a year, he finally finished copying eight books.




One day, there was something in the book that he could not understand, so he asked the owner about it. The owner replied, "I'm ashamed to say that I haven't finished reading the books yet, so I can't answer you. It is of no use for someone like me to have this book, so I will give it to you."

Yasuyoshi replied, "One copy which I've made is enough and I don't need two copies," but was forced to accept it, so he finally accepted it.

Yasuyoshi worked hard at his studies, and later became a great man.

                  疑  問   
第3、4期A型と → 第5期B型 の違い

1、書物の種類    オランダの「兵書八冊」が  →   外国の辞書一冊に変わっ                                ている
2、値段       オランダの兵書八冊・五十両 が → 外国の辞書六十両 に 
3、借金       お金を親類からの借金で用意  →  親類知人に借金を断られた 
4、場所       持主の家に夜に通って写した  →  借りてきて写した  
5、期間       半年で写し終えた       →  一年以上かかった 
6、二冊       兵書をもらって二冊になった  →  辞書を二冊分写し


The following are the Differences between Type A of the 3rd and 4th periods and Type B of the 5th period:

1. Type of book: "eight Dutch military science books" ⇒ "a foreign dictionary"
2. Price: "50 ryo" for eight Dutch military science books ⇒ "60 ryo" for a foreign dictionary 
3. "He borrowed money from his relatives and acquaintances" ⇒ "His relatives and acquaintances refused to lend money to him"
4. Place: "He went to the owner's house at night to copy the book" ⇒ "He borrowed the book and copied it at home"  
5. Duration: "It took half a year to finish copying it" ⇒ "It took more than a year" 
6. Two books: "I owned two military science books, the one I copied and the other the owner gave me" ⇒ "I copied two dictionaries and sold one of them"

7. How does the following memoir by Kaishu Katsu relate to this story? If the story is based on this journal, why didn't he say from the beginning that he had copied two dictionaries?

 「嘉永元年八月、手写蘭学辞書の後に記す・弘化四丁未秋、業に就き、翌仲秋二日終業。予、この時貧骨に到り、夏夜無冬夜無衾、唯、日夜机に倚りて眠る。しかのみならず、大母病床に在り、諸妹病弱、事を解せず、自椽を破り、柱を割りて炊く、困難爰に到る。又、感激を生じ、一歳中二部の謄写成る。その一部は他に嚮ぎ、その諸費を弁ず。嗚呼、この後の学業、その成否の如き知るべからず、期すべからざるなり。   勝 義邦記」(『勝海舟全集 別巻2・海舟別記』)

"In August, 1848, I copied a Dutch dictionary by hand and wrote the following: "I began copying in the autumn of 1847 (the fourth year of the Koka Era in Japanese calender), and finished on the second day of the eighth month of the following year. At that time, I was very poor. I had no mosquito net on summer nights, no futon on winter nights, and I always slept leaning against my desk. Not only that, my grandmother was ill and lying down, and my sisters were sickly and weak, so they did not understand things yet. I cooked rice by myself by peeling off the boards on the porch or breaking the pillars (to make cooking fire). Life was extremely difficult for me. I was also so impressed with the dictionary that I was able to make two copies in one year. I sold one of them to another person to pay for expenses. Oh, I don't know if my studies will be successful after this, and I shouldn't expect them to be. By Yoshikuni Katsu."
(Separate Volume 2, Kaishu Bekki, of the Complete Works of Kaishu Katsu)

   考 察



* What changed the story was that neither of the stories in the third and fifth periods were true, and since the original source was not concrete to begin with, both could have been created and adapted.

* As for the fact that a military science book was changed to a dictionary, one theory is that the dictionary was a Dutch dictionary, the Doeff-Halma. However, in the passage where Kaishu Katsu talks about the Doeff-Halma, he immediately loses his habit of bragging and does not say that it is a book he copied. The following is the passage Katsu wrote about "Doeff-Halma."


"The dictionary was written in the autumn of 1847, the fourth year of the Koka era. It was a Dutch-French dictionary called "Doeff-Halma," but Heldenki (Hendrik Doeff) added Japanese. He got the Japanese from translators and Chinese translators. He did this while he was stuck in Nagasaki for 20 years, unable to return to his home country due to the First Napoleon fiasco. When I went to Nagasaki to study, I met with everyone who came from abroad because it was my job to try to understand people's moods and intentions. He was the captain of a ship, though it was small ship, so we engage with each other as an equal, telling each other nothing to hide. Heldenki said, 'You are the one who will start the Japanese navy, but the navy requires money, so you must know about finances with that in mind.'"
(Kaishu Zadan of the Complete Works of Kaishu Katsu #11, June 30, 1898)


◇ The original stories of this "study" are found in the book "Bengaku Kikan (Paragon of study): Yasuhoshi Katsu no Kugaku (Basics of study: The Hard Learning of Yasuhoshi Katsu)," written by Shigeo Tanaka and published by Kosei-kan on April 10, 1906. "Sono-1 (No. 1)" in the book seems to be "Type A" and "Sono-2 (No. 2)" seems to be "Type B." In those sections, they are explained as follows:

* In "Sono-1," the owner of the military science book is described as "a yoriki (a subordinate of a magistrate of Tokugawa shogunate) of Yotsuya Obancho," but the yoriki is named Yasuemon Ohba, and the military book is called "Soldat Schole."
* In "Sono-2," the owner of the dictionary is said to be "a certain Dutch physician," but there are other theories, such as a doctor named Gen'i Akagi. In the first place, the story of "No. 2" is not about borrowing from the owner via the bookstore, but about borrowing a dictionary that belonged to a certain "Dutch doctor."


 As mentioned above, elementary school students at that time learned the story of Kaishu Katsu's efforts to study in Shushin textbooks, which could be created in any way, and then learned the story of his heroic crossing of the Pacific Ocean, which was adapted and exaggerated in the book, "Courage: Kanrin Maru." As a result, they must have accepted this story as a historical fact without question.




Fictions of the Kanrin Maru in the "Courage" Section
of Shushin (Moral Training) Textbooks
(a myth based on fictions)

Two fictions
                1. The first Japanese to cross the Pacific Ocean
2. Japanese sailed alone
These were disseminated by Shushin textbooks.
Here we will also examine the exaggeration of the original storys by Kaishu Katsu.

           ○第十五課  勇気(『尋常小学修身書』巻五・第三期国定教科書)より 

Lesson 15: Courage
 (from "Shushinsho for Elementary Schools," Vol. 5, the third national textbook)

* The part in bold is an error or a difference from the 5th period textbook. 
* The underlined part is the part that mentions the mission to the U.S. It disappears in the 5th period.





Yasuyoshi (Kaishu Katsu) was ordered by the Shogunate to go to Nagasaki and learn the art of navigation from the Dutch. Even after his training was complete, he continued to stay in Nagasaki and tried to teach the bloodthirsty naval trainees to sail from place to place in the waters around Kyushu.

Soon after, the Shogunate decided to send envoys to the United States. At that time, there was a suggestion that the envoys be sent on a U.S. warship and a Japanese warship be sent separately. When Yasuhoshi heard this, he thought it would be the best opportunity to show the progress of our voyage, so he requested that the Japanese sail alone by commanding the men he had taught.

The Shogunate did not readily allow it, as it would be the first time for them to send a warship abroad, and they felt that it would be dangerous to send it only with Japanese who had not yet had enough practice. The shogunate, however, was impressed by Yasuhoshi's eagerness and courage, and decided to send him on a small warship called the Kanrin Maru.


During the voyage, the southerly winds continued every day, making the sea very rough. When the storms were severe, the ship's hull shook so much that it almost snapped. However, Yasuhoshi and the others were not the least bit afraid and continued on their voyage in good spirit, arriving in San Francisco on the 38th day after leaving Japan. The Americans were very impressed with the fact that the Japanese had only been learning how to sail for a short time, and that they had managed to cross the Pacific Ocean in a small warship without the slightest help from foreigners.

     疑 問      検  証 Questioning and Verification

1、派遣の発端は 第三期教科書で 「日本人の力だけで航海をしたいと願い出ました」 
 第五期教科書も  「日本人だけでアメリカ大陸へ行ってみようと考えました

願い出ました」「考えました」「願ってやまない」「もくろみ…」となっていて、いかにも勝海舟が率先して提案したようにみえるが、実際は勝海舟の申し出など(あってもなくても)関係なく、幕府は安政五年の日米通商条約締結の時から随行船の派遣を決定していた。(『幕末維新外交史料集成』修好門 第四巻)

1. When was the dispatch of an accompanying ship decided?
In the third textbook, there were following sentences:
"he requested that the Japanese sail alone"
"impressed by Yasuhoshi's eagerness and courage..."

In the fifth textbook, there were following sentences:
"He thought that they should go to the Americas with only the Japanese."
"It was a very pleasant idea, but..."

* The words "He requested," "He thought," "(his) eagerness," "(his) idea"... make it seem as if Kaishu Katsu took the initiative in suggesting the idea. In fact, however, the Shogunate had already decided to dispatch an accompanying ship at the time of the conclusion of the Japan-U.S. Commerce Treaty in 1858 (5th year of Ansei era). ("Bakumatsu Ishin Gaiko Shiryo Shusei" Shukoumon, Vol. 4)

At this time, Yoshitake Kimura, who was in charge of the Kanrin Maru as a warship magistrate, said, "I made Yasuyoshi (Kaishu) Katsu the captain of the Kanrin Maru because he really wanted to go, and I thought it would help me if he came with me, so I made arrangements for him to come aboard" (Kaishu Zadan), recalling that Kaishu Katsu's embarkation was arranged by Kimura.

第三期教科書で 「日本人の力だけで航海したい」

第五期教科書でも 「日本人だけでアメリカ大陸へ…」

してアメリカ人に助けてもらうということはちょっともなかった」(『福翁自伝』) と書き、


2. Was it a voyage by Japanese alone? 

In the third textbook, there were following sentences:
"he requested that the Japanese sail alone"
"Without the slightest help from foreigners"

In the fifth textbook, there were following sentences: 
"Japanese alone travel to the American continent..."
"with no one to guide us

* Reading this alone, it sounds like a brave and good story to inspire patriotism. However, in fact, Captain John Mercer Brooke, the captain of the 95-ton U.S. Navy survey ship Fenimore Cooper, and ten other U.S. Navy sailors were asked to accompany them. They were able to survive huge storms in which most Japanese were unable to work due to seasickness. Kaishu Katsu was almost bedridden during the voyage. (Brooke's "Diary of the Kanrin Maru" and Tomezo Saito's "Ako Shinsho," both in Volumes 4 and 5 of "the Historical Records of the Japanese Delegation to the U.S. in 1860")

Regarding this matter, Yukichi Fukuzawa said in "Fukuo Jiden," "We made up our minds to travel without the slightest help from others" and "We never asked for any help from the Americans."

Also, Kaishu Katu said in "Hikawa Seiwa," "This was the first time Japanese had ever come here alone on a warship, and the American gentlemen were very complimentary..."

Those statements are also an exaggeration and are the reasons why the Japanese were misled. There's a trick to this sentence: it's the "American gentlemen" who said, "This was the first time ... ever come here alone...," and he can get away with saying that he didn't say that.

初の航海は  第三期教科書で  「軍艦を外国へやるのは始めて」


3. Was it the first time for Japanese to cross the Pacific Ocean?

In the third textbook, there was a following sentence: "It was the first time to send a warship abroad."

* This statement is correct.

Kaishu Katsu wrote himself that it was "the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean by a Japanese warship." Kaishu probably added "warship" because he was aware of the historical facts described below. However, before he knew it, the phrase "warship" was removed insidiously, and the phrase "Kaishu Katsu aboard the Kanrin Maru, the first Japanese to cross the Pacific Ocean" became the sole catchphrase.
The catchphrase commonly refered to "the first Japanese crossing of the Pacific Ocean on board the Kanrin Maru" is wrong.

History shows that the Japanese crossed the Pacific Ocean in 1610, about 250 years before the 1860 mission to the United States. Shosuke Tanaka crossed the Pacific Ocean to Mexico in a sailing ship built by William Adams (Anjin Miura) for Ieyasu Tokugawa, and returned to Japan in 1611.

Three years later, Masamune Date dispatched Tsunenaga Hasekura aboard the San Juan Bautista, who also crossed the Pacific Ocean to Mexico, went to Spain and Italy by crossing the Atlantic Ocean, had an audience with the Pope, crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans again, and returned to Japan seven years later.

航海中は  第三期教科書で 「安芳等は少しも恐れず、元気よく航海を続け」 


4. How were the Japanese during the voyage?

In the third textbook, there was a following sentence: "Yasuyoshi (Kaishu Katsu) and the others continue their voyage in good spirits, without the slightest fear." 

In the diary of sailor Tomezo Saito, "Ako Shinsho," he wrote, "Most of the Japanese were too seasick to work, and only two or three were able to work. The rest had to ride out the storm with the help of the Americans." The two or three who were able to work were Tomogoro Ono and John Manjiro. John Mercer Brooke's "Diary of the Kanrin Maru" describes more concretely the situation where the Japanese crew, who embarked on the ocean for the first time, did not have control, did not have a duty system, and were completely dependent on the Americans, with only those who found themselves on duty doing a little work.

       第五期教科書でも 「


『遣米使節史料集成』第五巻)  *この日記が公開されて半世紀以上経過したので、いまテレビや映画で勝海舟が咸臨丸で活躍する画面は描けなくなった。「アメリカへ行ってきた」と自慢して語る場面だけで済ませている。

5. Kaishu Katsu was bedridden from seasickness during the voyage.

In the third textbook, there was a following sentence: "Yasuhoshi and the others were not the least bit afraid and continued on their voyage in good spirit."
In the fifth textbook, there were following sentences: "For a while after sailing, he stood on the deck with a gloomy feeling." "In response to Yasuhoshi's words of constant encouragement..."

* During the voyage, instead of "sailing in good spirit," "continuing to stand on the deck," and "constantly encouraging others," Kaishu Katsu was seasick and slept in his cabin for most of the voyage. By the time the ship reached San Francisco, he had made it up to the deck only three times. He did not play the role of the captain (actually, his official title was "the person in charge of teaching") at all.

In his diary, Brooke wrote, "The captain has diarrhea and the admiral is seasick," "The captain is still bedridden, as is the admiral," "The captain is on the mend. I sent him some soup and wine today. When I opened the cabin door, he was sitting on his bunk and seemed to be very grateful. He is a very quiet man and I have never heard him speak," "Captain Rintaro came out today, but he is still too weak to stand up on the deck." (Brooke's "Diary of the Kanrin Maru" in "the Historical Records of the Japanese Delegation to the U.S. in 1860," Vol. 5)

Since more than half a century has passed since Brooke's diary was published, it is no longer possible to show Kaishu Katsu's activities on the Kanrin Maru on TV or movies. They only show him bragging that he has been to the U.S.





Yoshitake Kimura also said, "In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Katsu said, 'Unload a boat, and I'll go back to Edo!'" in "Kaishu Zadan."

◆ Such Kaishu Katsu wrote the following about Yoshitake Kimura, which is more than a bluff and makes one doubt the character of Kaishu.

"When (Settsunokami Yoshitake) Kimura was a magistrate, he said, 'It would not be good enough if our voyage practice is so short and come back immediately. Why don't we go farther?' So I said, 'Well, I'll do that and today we're going far away,' and picked up Kimura and gave him a bad time. The wind was blowing and the waves were rough, so Kimura said, 'Where are we? Shouldn't we go back now?' I said, 'We are still five or six miles from Amakusa, and we must go all the way to the other side.' Then, he said, 'That's enough, that's enough,' and threw up." ("The Complete Works of Kaishu Katsu," Vol. 11, Kaishu Zadan, July 30, 1897).

Although it would have been fine if these words had taken place before he boarded the Kanrin Maru, it is doubtful that Kaishu Katsu, even in his later years, would be so proud to recount his disgraceful experience on the Kanrin Maru, which he was able to board thanks to Kimura. When Brooke's “Kanrin Maru Journal” was published (100 years later in 1961), it became clear that Kaishu Katsu, the "hero of the Kanrin Maru and the father of the Japanese navy," was a person who had such a vain conversation after exposing his disgraceful behavior on the Kanrin Maru voyage.

第五期教科書では 「


6. How were they reputed in San Francisco?
In the third textbook, there was a following sentence: "Americans were very impressed that a small warship was able to cross the Pacific Ocean."
In the fifth textbook, however, there was a following sentence: "Americans felt strongly that Japan could not be underestimated."

What was the difference beween the two sentences?

It is clear from the American newspapers of the time that the Americans were happy to see the Japanese and welcomed the Kanrin Maru and the Powhatan mission to the United States. However, the sentiment expressed in the fifth national textbook of 1941, "We cannot underestimate them," can only be regarded as baseless speculation. The Americans may have felt a genuine sense of welcome, as if welcoming a benevolent younger brother who had come all the way from Japan, but it is hard to imagine that they harbored a sense of "equality" with Japan, which they regarded as a "semi-civilized" country at the time, by saying that they would "underestimate" (or, conversely, not underestimate) Japan. This statement reflects the national situation in 1941, when Japan was isolated internationally and viewed the U.S. as a hostile nation. It seems to have been written in a self-indulgent manner, with a strong sense of nationalism and national prestige, in order to stir up patriotism and seek national unity.

Incidentally, after arriving in San Francisco, the Kanrin Maru stayed at the U.S. Navy shipyard (now retired) on Mare Island, north of San Francisco Bay, and had its storm-damaged hull completely repaired, for which the U.S. side received no payment.


How were they handled before the national textbooks?
学校制度創設初期は   届出教科書    の時代
明治20年から        検定教科書    の時代
           明治36年~敗戦まで    国定教科書    の時代  となっている。

The history of school textbooks in Japan is as follows:
In the early days of the school system, there were "registered textbooks."
From 1887 (Meiji 20 in Japanese calender), there were "certified textbooks."
From 1918 (Taisho 7 in Japanese calender) to the end of World War II, there were "state-approved textbooks.

届出教科書と検定教科書 の歴史教科書   では
In the history of both registered and certified textbooks, "Mission to the U.S." was taught properly compared to "Kaishu Katsu and the Kanrin Maru," as shown below.
Name of Textbooks
Mission to the U.S.
Kaishu Katsu
Kanrin Maru

『古今紀要』明治14年1881 自由教科書 
"Kokin Kiyo (Kokin Bulletin)," published in 1881 (Meiji 14), free textbook 

Not mentioned
Not mentioned
"Shinpen Nihon Ryakushi (New Brief History of Japan)," reprinted in 1881 (Meiji 14)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
『新撰国史』第四巻明治20年1887 検定第一期
"Shin-Sen-Kokushi (A Newly Compiled History of Japan)," Vol. 4, published in 1887 (Meiji 20)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
『校正日本小史』 明治20年
"Kosei Nihon Shoshi (Brief History of Japan)" 1887 (Meiji 20)
Mentioned(name only)
Mentioned("Japanese aboard only")
"History of Japan for Elementary Schools," 1887 (Meiji 20)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
"History of Japan for Elementary Schools," 1894 (Meiji 27)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
『小学校史』    明治33年
"History of Japan for Elementary Schools," 1898 (Meiji 33)
Not mentioned
Not mentioned
Not mentioned

* We have not been able to confirm whether or not all of the above textbooks were used in elementary schools.
* I believe there are many other textbooks that have not been seen or researched yet. I would appreciate it if you could tell me about them.

 しかし、戦後は歴史教科書に入り込み、遣米使節に触れる際必ず咸臨丸・勝海舟を引き合いに出し、遣米使節の説明として(遣米使節が乗らなかった)咸臨丸航海の絵を載せている。戦前の修身「勝海舟・咸臨丸教育」の後遺症といえよう。 遣米使節を一、二行書くとあとの五、六行は勝海舟・咸臨丸の航海の話に終始している教科書すらある。

I don't mean to say that all prewar education was a problem, but as you can see here, the "stories" about Kaishu Katsu and the Kanrin Maru were taught inaccurately and exaggeratedly in schools. It would have been fine if it was a "shushin" story that inspired students to do their best. After World War II, however, history textbooks began to include the Kanrin Maru and Kaishu Katsu as references to the mission to the U.S., and pictures of the Kanrin Maru voyage (on which the mission did not sail) were included as explanations of the mission. It can be said that this is an after-effect of the pre-war "education of Kaishu Katsu and the Kanrin Maru." There are even textbooks that, after writing one or two lines about the mission to the U.S., spend the next five or six lines writing about the voyage of Kaishu Katsu and the Kanrin Maru.
It is like a tachimochi (sword-bearer) and a tsuyuharai (dewlapper) stand in front of a yokozuna sumo wrestler, interrupting the ring-entering ceremony.
If the picture of the Kanrin Maru is not removed from school textbooks, Japanese people will not be able to understand the achievements of the Japanese mission to the United States in 1860.

歴史を誤らせる勝海舟神話・咸臨丸神話 村上泰賢 『会津人群像』36号(2018平成30年3月)…対馬事件はオレが陰で解決させた、というホラ話がいまだに信じられています

The common belief that "we gave a ride to Americans who wanted to return home" is wrong.
The myths of Kaishu Katsu and the Kanrin Maru, which mislead history: Taiken Murakami, Aizujin Gunzo, No. 36 (March 2018)... The false story that "I (Kaishu Katsu) solved the Tsushima Incident behind my back" is still believed.







Bridge of Hope (English) … 小栗上野介の業績を紹介するJEWL発行の書籍















  US cities the Japanese delegation visited in 1860: Philadelphia
US cities the Japanese delegation visited in 1860: Washington
US cities the Japanese delegation visited in 1860: New York
Lecture tour - San Francisco, including the ruins of the naval shipyard on Mare Island
Brochure "Three Ships That Carried the First Japanese Embassy to the United States Around the World"
JEWL(Japanese Executive Women's League) in Los Angeles introduces the achievements of Kozukenosuke Tadamasa Oguri in the book they published.
Itinerary of the Japanese Mission to the United States: The Itinerary of the first Japanese to go around the world
Tadamasa Oguri's Currency NegotiationsThe currency experiments that made Oguri say "No" in Philadelphia.

<Regarding Kanrin Maru>
 Captain Brooke: The Kanrin Maru did not sink thanks to Brooke and John Manjiro.
Three ships for the Japanese mission to the U.S.: The USS Powhatan brought the mission to the U.S. by crossing the Pacific ocean and the Kanrin Maru was not used for the mission.
Japanese people with the "Kanrin Maru disease": A syndrome that they feel uncomfortable unless they mention the Kanrin Maru and Kaishu Katsu in every occasion
There have been false theories recently that "Settsunokami Yoshitake Kimura was a deputy envoy" and that "the ship on which the deputy envoy boarded was the Kanrin Maru."

President's medals:  Gold, silver, and bronze medals were presented to the envoys and all the followers.
 Toshichi Sato, a village master who traveled around the world: Gonda village master traveled around the world as a follower of Kozukenosuke Tadamasa Ogur
Sadayu Tamamushi: The world that a Sendai clan samurai saw was fresh.
Oguri's Followers on the Mission to America: Nine Followers of Tadamasa Oguri
Miyoshi Gonzo, a follower of Tadamasa Oguri in the mission to the U.S.: He was from Shimane prefecture.
Achievements of the Japanese mission to the U.S.: Oguri brought back a screw nail.
Tommy Polka: Music of Onojiro Tateishi, a boy interpreter who became very popular in the U.S.
Mission to the U.S. and American Dairy Farming: The first Japanese to eat ice cream
 Journey Around the World
Izu Shimoda, the town of the USS Powhatan
A letter of thanks to Mr. Hideyuki Okazaki, a model sailing ship artist: Thanks to him, we have three ships of the mission to the U.S.


本:遣米使節 「小栗忠順従者の記録」
Japan-U.S. Exchange "Captain John Brooke" (link): A careful introduction to the person of Captain Brooke.
One screw... Consulate-General of New York (link)
List of the Japanese Delegation Members to the United States in 1860 (Link)
Shozaburo Okanoya (Follower of Jugoro Tsukahara of Tatebayashi Domain)
"The Other Side of Kaishu Katsu" (Link)
“Kobeiki (Records of visiting the U.S.)” by Tetsuta Kimura, a follower of Tadamasa Oguri
Book titled “The Records of Tadamasa Oguri’s Follower” by Taiken Murakami regarding the delegation to the U.S. in 1860


The problem is that even now, many years after the end of World War II, history textbooks and supplementary reading materials continue to include pictures of the Kanrin Maru, on which the envoys did not board, as an explanation of the envoys, by taking overe the descriptons in pre-war school textbooks.


咸臨丸の絵を教科書からはずす会 の会員資格があります。



Reading this page, you are eligible for membership of the Association for Removing the Kanrin Maru from School Textbooks.

Member's responsibility: Advocate removing the picture of the Kanrin Maru, which is falsely used to explain the Japanese mission to the U.S., from high schools’ history textbooks and supplementary readers, and putting the photo of the mission's visit to the Washington Naval Shipyard in its place.

Member's privilege: You can reveal your knowledge such as "Kaishu Katsu was not an envoy to the U.S.," "Kaishu Katsu returned from San Francisco," "The mission to the U.S. did not board the Kanrin Maru," "The construction of the Yokosuka shipyard was conceived from Kozukenosuke Oguri's visit to the Washington Naval Shipyard," etc.

Fee: Free