Gates Ajar — FALL 1994 – Centennial Tributes


” … Through his great achievement Mr. MacDonald has been remembered by Japanese even today, one hundred years after his death, and is still remembered in the hearts of many Americans and Japanese as a token of the long-standing US-Japan relationship.”

~~  Takahiro Yokomishi, Governor of Hokkaido, Japan

” … On the commemoration of the centennial of the death of Ranald MacDonald, I would like to express my great respects to him, who ventured to land on the shore of Japan in 1848 at the risk of his life in order to open “the Gates of Brass” and loved dearly by the Japanese people.”

~~ Torao Tomita, Professor Emeritus, Rikkyo University; translator of Ranald MacDonald’s Original Narrative

“… I join Friends of MacDonald honoring Mr. MacDonald’s vast contributions to establishing an important friendship between the Japanese and English-speaking peoples.  That early fascination with the Japanese culture played not only a critical historical role in the future relationships with businesses and governments but also (in) illuminating the beauty and customs of Japan.”

~~ Hon. Barbara Roberts, Governor of Oregon

” … Ranald MacDonald personified the American pioneering spirit.  Seeking adventure and pursuing his vision of a prosperous trade relationship between the United States and Japan, MacDonald set out on his historic visit to our island neighbor … His vision has led to great benefit for our nation.”

~~ Hon. Mark O. Hatfield, U.S. Senator/Oregon

” … I strongly hope that this event will serve as a reminder of how strong the ties between the State of Washington and Japan are and how we all cherish the friendly relationship at the present time.”

~~ Masaki Saito, Consulate General of Japan

” … As Canadians we are happy to join in marking his career, which has drawn all three of our nations closer together.”

~~ Jean Murray Cole, Alfred O.C. Cole

” … The Society is pleased and honored to be associated with the Friends of MacDonald and its founders, mas Tomita and Bruce Berney …”

~~ Karen Broenneke, Executive Director Clatsop County historical Society

” … Keeping Ranald MacDonald’s inspirational words on international friendship in mind, and enabling Hyogo and Washington to take increasingly important roles as gateways between Hyogo and Washington, I would like to further deepen friendship …”

~~  Toshitami Kaihara, Governor of Hyogo Prefecture

[To FOM Chairman Mas Tomita] –

” … Thank you … for making the In Search of Ranald MacDonald trip and of the most interesting and vital trips that I’ve had the pleasure to put together.  Your interest in and connection with the subject of MacDonald in all his many facets made for a truly magical trip.  It is a gray morning in Portland today and it seems quite a stretch to think of all that eastern Washington sunshine.  I enjoyed being a part of this centennial observance.” ~~Adair Law, OHS managing editor/assistant to the director


Centennial messages read during the ceremonies included other distinguished persons, including Toshitami Kaihara, Governor, Hyogo Prefectural Government, Kobe, Japan; Syunsuke Tsurumi, philosopher, author of Words Spread; Akira Yoshimura, author of Festival at Sea; Masaki Takahashi, FOM Japan; Masami Obama, FOM Nagasaki; Takeyasu Morokuma; Hyroko Sonoke, FOM Japan; and a resolution by the National Council of the Japanese American Citizens League relating to recognition of Ranald MacDonald as the first American to make significant contributions toward US-Japan Relations.


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