In 1841 a young Japanese boy of 14 years named Manjiro was the man of his family having lost his father at the age of eight. His only brother was older but quite sickly. He sought to be a fisherman in order to help support his mother (Shiho) and four siblings. From his village of Nakanohama he journeyed to the port of Usa 90 miles to the northeast. Finally he was allowed to join a crew of four others and they sailed on January 5th to search for their catch of bonito. Being the youngest, Manjiro’s duties included cooking (mostly rice) and unloading the nets when pulled onto the boat.

Two days later the ship was caught in a terrifying storm, which blew it off course to Torishima Island where it crashed on January 13th. The five members of the crew barely made it to dry land. Jusuke sustained severe injuries to his leg and had to be cared for by the others.

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