Dual Exhibition opening
Sunday, October 8th, 5:30 PM
Free and open to the public
Enlightened Encounters: The Two Nations of Manjiro Nakahama will explore the remarkable life and influence of Manjiro Nakahama (1827-1898), the first Japanese person to live and learn English in the U.S. after his rescue at sea in 1841 by the John Howland, a New Bedford whaleship. The exhibition is timed to celebrate the 2017 centennial of the America-Japan Society, which plays a crucial role in maintaining the relationship between America and Japan. It is also the 190th anniversary of Manjiro’s birth and the 30th anniversary of the Sister City agreement between Fairhaven/ New Bedford, and Manjiro’s home town of Tosashimizu.
The East Unlocks its Gates: American Whalers and Trade in Asia explores the lucrative trade in hard goods between New Bedford merchants and the treaty ports of China, route finding through the East Indies, and the story of American whalers and the opening of commerce with Japan. Several American seaports specialized in trade with Asia. Merchants in Salem, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore all had significant investments in China, India, and the East Indies. By the 1830s prominent New Bedford and Fairhaven whaling merchants expanded their interest beyond the whaling industry and engaged in the China Trade. Come learn about the fascinating connections between Asian and Pacific maritime cultures and New Bedford in this exhibition.