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Happy 2014 A Little Bit Late

Friday, January 31st, 2014

2014 is already approaching February! I sincerely hope the beginning of everyone’s year has been smooth and that you all are in good health and that the year ahead will be everything you want it to be.

2014年ももうじき2月を迎えようとしておりますが、FOM会員の皆様にとり、健康でスムーズな年初めであった事、そして残り11ヶ月余が充実した時になる事・・・を念じて居ります。

At 3:00 p.m. on October 6th, 2013 three Japanese – along with several Americans – were at Fort Astoria (Ft. George) National Historic Site. The three were gazing at the stone monument entitled “The Birth Place of Ranald MacDonald”. The scene was not unusual, but it was quite historic! 時は2013年10月6日午後3時、数人のアメリカ人に混ざって3人の日本人がFort Astoria 史跡公園を訪れていた。3人はその一遇に建つ「マクドナルド生誕の地」と刻まれた石碑に見入っていた。それ自体珍しい光景ではなかったが、それは大変歴史的な出来事であった。

Ranald MacDonald was born at Fort Astoria (Fort George) on February 3, 1824 the son of Archibald McDonald and Princess Sunday, a daughter of Chinook Indian Chief. In 1848, Ranald – a grown to be a strong 24 year-old sailor – succeeded in landing on an a small island in the Sea of Japan off northern- most Hokkaido. At that time it was generally regarded as an unattainable venture to enter Japan; however, with the careful planning of a “faked shipwreck”, Ranald was saved by Ainu people and the result was a successful landing onto Japanese soil. Soon after that, Ranald was arrested as an unlawful intruder and was transported to Nagasaki under “house arrest” at Daihian, where the translators of Dejima were taught English by Ranald. That is why Ranald is regarded as the first Native English Teacher in Japan. ラナルド・マクドナルドは、スコットランド人アーチボルド・マクドナルドを父に、チヌーク族族長の娘、プリンセス・サンデーを母とし、ここFort Astoria (Fort George) で1824年2月3日に産声をあげた。そして1848年、24歳のたくましい船員に成長したラナルドは北海道北端の日本海に浮かぶ利尻島への単独上陸に成功した。当時鎖国令を敷いていた日本への入国は無謀・・・と思われていたが、ラナルドは緻密な計画に従い遭難を偽装、かけつけたアイヌに救助され、結果的に目的を果たしたのだった。しかし、その後不法入国者・・・として幕府に捕えられ長崎へ護送された後、座敷牢大悲庵に幽閉されたが、そこで出島の通詞達に英語を教えた事が今日マクドナルドを「日本で最初のネイティブ英語教師」と位置付けている所以である。

The three Japanese at Fort Astoria were two students, Yuuki Komatsu and Tatsuya Koujiya of Rishiri High School and their principle, Mr. Hiroyuki Tsukamoto. The three had arrived at Portland International Airport a day earlier, October 5, 2013. So it was that 165 years since Ranald landed on Rishiri Island, three people from Rishiri came to visit Astoria, the birth place of Ranald MacDonald. There are only two towns on Rishiri Island: Rishiri-cho and Rishirifuji-cho. In December 2012 the citizens, the businesses and other groups in both towns got together and established “A Support Group for MacDonald Scholarship Funds” in order to support the only high school on the Island, Rishiri Senior High School. The objective is to send a few students annually to the US, in particular, to Oregon and Washington states, where Ranald had close ties – and thus encourage students to study English and assist students to acquire an International mind and etiquette”. The next few pages are copies of newspaper articles, photos and the comments by Yuuki-kun and Tatsuya-kun from Rishiri Senior High School:

Fort Astoria に居た3人の日本人は北海道利尻高校から前日(10月5日)ポートランド国際空港に到着した留学生の小松祐希君及び糀屋達也君と付添いの塚本宏之校長先生であった。オレゴニアン、ラナルド・マクドナルドが利尻島に上陸して以来、実に165年間を経た2013年に利尻島からの3人はラナルドの生誕地、アストリアへやって来たのであった。利尻島内には利尻町及び利尻富士町という2つの町が在るが両町の町民や企業、団体が島の将来の為協力し同島内唯一の利尻高校を支援し元気付けようと2012年12月に「マクドナルド奨学基金支援の会」を立ち上げた。その趣旨は毎年何人かの利尻高校生を米国(特にマクドナルドゆかりの地、オレゴンとワシントン州)へ短期留学させ、生徒達の英語学習欲を促し、同時に国際感覚養成に役立てるというものだった。 以下、小松君及び糀屋君のオレゴン及びワシントン州への第1回留学に関する新聞記事や写真、両君の感想等を掲載させて頂く:

ご報告: 2013年5月11日のFOM年次総会席上ご承認頂きました「FOMよりマクドナルド奨学基金    支援の会への寄付10口分として¥50,000」を実行致しました。

Report: We have donated 50,000 yen to The MacDonald Scholarship Fund in Rishiri Island from FOM General Funds per approval during the annual luncheon meeting in Astoria on May 11, 2013.

FOM Chairman 谷田部 勝/Masaru “Mas” Yatabe

* * * * *

朝日新聞 Asahi Shimbun

Asahi Shimbun

Our Overall Impressions

3年 小松 祐希/Yuuki Komatsu, Senior

僕は今回、アメリカ研修留学に行って本当によかったと思っています。 それは、たくさんの人に出会い、たくさんの事を学び、広く視野を広げることが出来たからです。ですが、1つ後悔をした事が在ります。それは「もっと英語の勉強をしておけばよかった」ということです。 アメリカでの生活の中で1番困ったのが「英会話」でした。あまり英語が話せなくても楽しく8日間をすごすことができましたが、ちゃんと英語が話せればもっともっと楽しく充実した8日間になったのかな。と思うととても悔しく思いました。来年度からもこの事業が続いて行くという事なので、次回の留学生には僕のように後悔をせず心からアメリカでの生活を楽しんできてもらいたいです。なので、学校での英語勉強の徹底をした方がいいと思いました。このような体験ができたのもマクドナルド奨学金支援の会の方々や利尻町、利尻富士町両町のご支援ご協力があったからです。今回学んだことを残りの高校生活、そして卒業後の学生生活に活かしていこうと思います。この度は、本当にありがとうございました。

I am truly glad that I went to America to study this time. It enabled me to meet many people, learn many things and gave me a broader perspective. However, I do have one regret: I should have studied English harder. The most troublesome thing for me was English conversation. It made me feel sorry when I realized the 8 days would have been a lot more enjoyable if I had had better command of English – even though those 8 days were fun days. I understand that this program will continue on to next year and beyond; I hope future participants will enjoy the experience fully and without regret. Therefore, it will be a good idea to make sure the student(s) study English seriously and with diligence. I was able to have this valuable experience because of the assistance and cooperation of the people of ‘MacDonald Scholarship Fund Support Group’ and the Towns of Rishiri and Rishirifuji. I intend to apply and utilize what I learned to the rest of my High School life and my life after graduation. Thank you very much.

2年 糀屋 達也/Tatsuya Koujiya, Junior

今回の留学研修は自分にとってとてもためになり研修となりました。初めてアメリカに行き、たくさんの驚きがありました。特に僕が印象に残っているのは、むこうの学校に行き、生徒と交流をした事です。言葉がなかなか通じない中、身振り手振りでコミュニケーションをとり、一緒に授業を受けたことが一番楽しかったです。又、ホームステイなどでは、一人で外国人の中に入っていって何日間か過ごしました。そのなかで困ったときにも自分でしっかり対処できたことにより、少し自信を持つことができました。今回の研修で日本とアメリカの文化の違いを体験したことで、日本にいただけでは感じることのできなかった世界観や視野をこれからの進路にいかしていきたいと思います。最後になりましたが、利尻町、利尻富士町のみなさん、そしてマクドナルド基金のみなさんには、ご支援いただき、このような機会を作っていただいたことに深く感謝します。来年ももし行く機会があれば、また行ってみたいです。

Studying abroad was a very good experience for me and visiting America for the first time gave me many surprises. I will always remember going to school in America and exchanging ideas with the students I met. The most enjoyable thing was to go to class together (with American students) even though we had language difficulty and had to depend on our hands and body gestures a lot for communication. I was alone among foreigners for a few days during the home stay, and I gained confidence in myself when I was able to work out a problem by myself. In the future I hope I can apply the worldwide perspective which I gained through experiencing the cultural differences between Japan and America during the study tour, experiences I could not have enjoyed had I stayed in Japan. Last, but not least, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the people of the Towns of Rishiri and Rishirifuji and the members of ‘MacDonald Scholarship’ funds. If I could go again next year, I would love to.

July 2010 ~ FOM Annual Meeting

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

The day was fair, the turn-out was gratifying and the conversation lively at the annual membership meeting of the Friends of MacDonald held in Astoria, OR over the weekend.  We greeted many old friends and welcomed several new members while enjoying a delicious lunch at the “Baked Alaska” restaurant (shameless plug) on the waterfront overlooking the wide mouth of the Columbia River and the blue-green hills of Cape Disappointment and Chief Comcomly’s Chinook territory in Washington — the same view eyed by the likes of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1805-06 as well as Ranald’s father, Archibald McDonald in November of 1821, the year he arrived at (then) Fort George.

img_0017-cropped_1

We were honored to welcome Consul General of Japan in Portland, Takamichi Okabe and his wife, Kozue.  According to Richard Read of the Oregonian newspaper, Mr. Okabe spent three months in Baghdad as an involuntary “guest” of Saddam Hussein during 1990, when Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait. [He had been serving as first secretary in Japan’s embassy in Kuwait.] During his next foreign assignment – in Kenya – Mr. Okabe and a colleague braved warfare in Somalia to investigate opportunities for humanitarian aid there. Later in Nepal, Mr. Okabe was posted in Kathmandu when members of the royal family were massacred at the palace.  Most recently Mr. Okabe served four years as Consul General of Japan in Auckland, New Zealand.  In Portland, he is joined by his wife, Kozue, and we all hope that Mr. and Mrs. Okabe will have the opportunity to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

FOM was happy that Mac Burns,scan0005 Executive Director of CCHS was able to take time away from his busy schedule to attend the meeting.  Mac, who was fresh off the “Goonies 25th Anniversary” celebration the week before, noted that over 100 Goonies fans showed up for the grand opening of the Oregon Film Museum in Astoria the previous Saturday, and mentioned that people had come from all over — France, Japan, and from across the United States.  Mac also passed out buttons and other information about the upcoming “Astoria 1811-2011 Bicentennial Celebration” happening next year.  A link to that website can be found here: http://www.astoria200.org/ .  If you have never visited Astoria, FOM encourages you to do so – it is a sleepy little coastal town with a lot of secrets and surprises, not to mention a rich history.

Mr. Tadakazu Kumashiro, Charter Member of the Friends of MacDonald, was also in attendance. After his retirement, Mr. Kumashiro, or “Kuma” (the Bear) as he likes to be called, joined the Peace Corps in 2001 and was stationed in Namibia for a couple of years working for the Namibian government where he promoted AIDS education by visiting schools.  Kuma-san gave talks to students, teachers and school principals about what they should be doing to prevent an AIDS pandemic.  Kuma-san reports that he had to be hospitalized himself four times while he was there – probably, he noted, because of the unfamiliar germs he encountered.  Mr. Kumashiro rather depreciatingly says he thinks he became ill because of his “old age” – he was 67-69 at the time – but having met him myself I have to say he is one of the most vigorous and energetic “seniors” I have ever met [both mentally and physically].

A big “thank you” to Jim Mockford for bringing his laptop so the group could access the new web page. It was the first time most of the FOM members had seen it (we hope it won’t be the last time!)  We all appreciated that the Baked Alaska staff worked so hard to make sure their wireless network was workable for us.  And we missed the presence of Bruce Berney, who was back in Portland celebrating his grandson’s birthday.

During the meeting an interesting, if not recurring, question was presented by Consul General Okabe, e.g., what was the status of Ranald MacDonald’s “citizenship” at the time of his landing on Rishiri Island in 1848?  A second comment [also in the form of a question] was presented by Mr. Okabe and was definitely food for thought – was Ranald MacDonald really the first teacher of English in Japan?

Will Adams, map of Japan circa 1600Map of Japan drawn by William Adams, circa 1600

The Consul General’s second question referred to one William Adams, who, as the British pilot major of the Dutch trading ship Liefde (“Love” or “Charity”) landed off the island of Kyushu in April 1600.  [The true story of Will Adams was the basis of the romantic novel Shogun, written by James Clavell and published in 1975; Adams’ adventures were also documented in the historical novel Daishi-san written by Robert Lund in 1961.]  According to one source “ … soon after Adams’ arrival in Japan, he became a key advisor to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and built for him Japan’s first Western-style ships. Adams was later the key player in the establishment of trading factories (in Japan) by the Netherlands and England. He died in Japan at age 55, and has been recognized as one of the most influential foreigners in Japan during this period.

William Adams – known in Japan as Miura Anjin –  may have been the first Englishman [Briton] to set foot in Japan; from historical information [including writings from Adams’ own journal] it seems likely that it was the Anjin who needed an interpreter [the ever-present Portuguese Jesuits, in this case] to make himself understood. Prudence dictates that circumstances – and the Japanese people – taught their language to Will Adams, rather than the other way around.

Regarding Ranald MacDonald being the firsranald-ca-1853t American to “set foot in Japan” [the way Will Adams was the first Englishman to do so] we know this just isn’t so.  There were Americans who had visited Nagasaki while in the service of the Dutch during the late 1700’s.  In the mid-1800’s there were scores of American whaling ships in the Sea of Japan, and historical record tells of some crew members that had either been shipwrecked off the Japanese coast or had deserted their vessel to seek their fortunes ashore.  As far as is known, however, Ranald MacDonald was the first American to intentionally go to Japan for the express purpose of learning about the Japanese people and their language and to teach English to them, and to perhaps ‘work’ as an interpreter.  As to the question of Ranald’s citizenship, regardless of the fact that Fort George was under a British flag in 1824, it cannot be denied that half of Ranald’s DNA came from a Chinook Indian mother, a fact that made him a truer “American” than any geographical accident of birth.  Later in his life, through both choice and residence, MacDonald became sufficiently “American” enough to justify that we may say that Ranald MacDonald was the first American to leave his mark upon the people and the nation of Japan, and the first native-English-speaking individual to teach the English language there.

***

Gates Ajar — January 1997

Sunday, January 5th, 1997

___________________________________________________________________

*****     THE PASSING OF A GREAT FRIEND     *****

Masakatsu TomitMas Tomita circa 1990a Remembered

Friends of MacDonald lost their best friend in July of 1996 when Masakatsu Tomita, Chairman of the Friends of MacDonald, died of lymphoma while still in his mid-forties.

Mas was a remarkable, complex individual; a far-sighted visionary with great intellect, an effective business executive, and also a man of uncommon sensitivity to people and place.

The enthusiasm which Mas devoted to Friends of MacDonald (he once said he intended to make the study of Ranald MacDonald his “life work”) led this tiny organization to accomplish a great deal within a few years.

Mas’s admiration for MacDonald, the thoughtful adventurer, seemed boundless; philosophically they were probably much akin.  Mas first read of Ranald in a Japanese magazine article.  References in it to “Ft. George” misled Mas, who did not realize that Astoria was once called Fort George.  Some months later, a request for funds for a MacDonald monument in Astoria was discussed in a Japanese group to which Mas belonged.

Mas was swift to become involved in the project.  He soon was named chairman of FOM and turned his tremendous energy to it.

(Meanwhile, Mas was also providing vigorous leadership to building Epson Portland Inc., the printer and computer plant which he brought to Oregon.  It was Seiko Epson’s first such plant in the Americas.  Mas fell in love with Oregon at first site – but he said later that it took him “two and a half years, seven trips to Portland” before ground was finally broken in the Sunset Corridor in 1985.  Mas’s death came a decade to the day after the first printer rolled off Epson assembly lines in July, 1986.)

During his tenure as FOM chairman, FOM’s program included building an archive of MacDonald-related documents in English and Japanese; developing a bibliography of materials related to MacDonald and his era; participating in the erection of monuments in the U.S. and Japan; sponsoring seminars featuring notable speakers; providing support (which included a sizable donation from EPI) for the reprinting of Ranald’s Narrative by the Oregon historical Society; publishing a scholarly translation of MacDonald’s Glossary; producing a taped history; sponsoring an anniversary trip to Toroda, Washington, where Ranald died; newsletters, member events …

Mas paid frequent tribute to help from people at EPI and in FOM who worked with him to reach goals.  Yet most of the goals were Mas’s dreams — and many of us who did work with him can only recall, with awe and admiration, the power of his intellect, of his inspiration and of his vision.  FOM’s sympathies go to his family, friends and colleagues.

Sayonara, Mas … Sayonara.

~~ Barbara Peeples

__________________________________________________________________

My Turn by Bruce Berney

The Ranald MacDonald birthplace monument continues to be an important surprise to people visiting Fort Astoria on the corner of 15th and Exchange Streets in Astoria, OR.  The City’s new cruise boat industry had brought hundreds of people on walking tours of downtown Astoria, and most of them find MacDonald’s adventure to be an interesting fact on which to reflect.

Ours is not the only MacDonald monument in the world.  The first was the handsome gravestone erected at the cemetery at Toroda, near Republic, Washington.  Next, Rishiri Island established an attractive wooden sign at the site of MacDonald’s first landing on an inhabited Japanese island.  Lat year, the Rotary Club of Nagasaki erected a stone monument at the site where MacDonald taught.  Later, a typhoon destroyed the Rishiri sign, so on October 23, 1996, a handsome stone monument was installed by the Rotary Club of Rishiri.  Dedication ceremonies at monuments are always elaborate events with visiting historians, government dignitaries  and Friends of MacDonald members and media coverage.

We extend our congratulations to Jo Ann Roe, a charter member of FOM, whose book Ranald MacDonald:  Pacific Rim Adventurer, will be published in April or May by Washington State University Press.  The book features an index, notes, bibliography and illustrations.  The paperback edition will sell for $18.95, and the hardcover, $35.00.  A major contribution to knowledge about MacDonald’s life, the recounting of his importance to British Columbia history is very rewarding.  If you find it more convenient than a local bookstore, add $5.00 shipping/handling and order it from Clatsop County Historical Society gift shop.

Two years ago, we started as annual tradition of meeting at the birthplace monument on February 3rd at 11:30 a.m., then reconvening at a local restaurant for an informal FOM lunch.  If you can’t come this year, put it on your calendar for next year.  If you are coming from a distance any other tine, ask CCHS to line me up to be on hand to greet you.  I always enjoy meeting other Friends of MacDonald!

*****

Many have given to the Friends of MacDonald, care of CCHS, in memory of “Mas”:

Mr. & Mrs. George I. Azumano

Ms. Eloise J. Barry

Mr. Bruce R. Berney

Mr. Hidekazu Fujimori

Mr. & Mrs. A. Funaki

Mr. Toru Hashinoguchi

Mr. Yuji Hirabayashi

Mr. Takanobu Ibori

Mr. Takayoshi Ito

Mr. Edward Y. Kawasaki

Mr. Steve Klein

Mr. Hiroki Komatsu

Mr. Allen R. Mann

Mr. Kenichi Minatoya

Mr. Akio Mitsuishi

Ms. Barbara C. Peeples

Mr. & Mrs. Haruhiko Takada

Ms. Genevieve Walker

Mr. & Mrs. Masashi Yabana

Mr. & Mrs. Masaru Yatabe

Mr. C. N. Winningstad

Mr. & Mrs. Michitaka Okamoto

Mr. & Mrs. Homer Yasui

Mr. M. Isono

Mr. & Mrs. Nobuaki Ishikawa

Mr. Stephen S. McConnel

Mr. Haruhiko Gyoda

Mr. Tsuyoshi Nagano

Mr. Tetsuhiro Yoshimoto

Mr. Manabu Yoshikawa

Mrs. Mas (Machiko) Tomita

Epson Corp.

Shokookai of Portland

*****

Gates Ajar — Spring 1994

Sunday, April 10th, 1994
The text of this article is reprinted from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, (Volume XII) 1891-1900, thanks to the great kindness of its author, David H. Wallace, and of the publisher, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

MACDONALD, RANALD, adventurer, teacher, explorer, businessman, and author; b. 3 Feb. 1824 in Fort George (Astoria, Oreg.), eldest son of Archibald McDonald*, an HBC fur trader, and Chinook Indian princess Raven (Sunday), daughter of Chief Comcomly; d. unmarried 24 Aug. 1894 in Toroda, Wash.

Ranald MacDonald’s mother died shortly after his birth, and he was raised by his stepmother, Jane Klyne. After spending his early years at several Hudson’s Bay Company posts in the Columbia district, he was sent in 1834 to the Red River Academy at Fort Garry (Winnipeg) [see David Thomas Jones*]. Four years later he went to St Thomas, Upper Canada, to train in banking at a bank managed by one of his father’s friends, Edward Ermatinger*. He soon tired of this work, however, and early in 1841 he left surreptitiously to go to sea. Determined to visit the closed country of Japan, he shipped from Lahaina (Hawaii) in 1848 on the whaler Plymouth and arranged to be dropped off, appearing to be a shipwrecked sailor, near the west coast of Ezo (Hokkaido).

Taken by the Japanese authorities to Nagasaki, he made the best of his comfortable confinement in a temple room by becoming the first teacher of English in Japan, and it is as a teacher that he is best remembered there. One of his students, Enosuke Moriyama, later became a noted interpreter to the missions of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry in 1853–54 and of Lord Elgin [Bruce*] in 1858–59.

At the end of April 1849 MacDonald was released to the American sloop of war Preble, which was visiting Nagasaki to pick up American sailors who had deserted from the whaler Lagoda. He traveled widely in Asia, Australia, and Europe before returning, shortly after his father’s death in 1853, to his family, then living in St Andrews (Saint-André-Est), Lower Canada. He remained there for about five years, during which time he became a Freemason.

In 1858 Ranald and his half-brother Allan returned to the Pacific coast, to the new colony of British Columbia. They set up a packing business between Port Douglas (Douglas), at the head of Little Harrison Lake and the Fraser River gold-mines, and ran a ferry across the Fraser at Lillooet. Their younger brother Benjamin later joined them. In 1861–62 Ranald MacDonald and Johnston George Hillbride Barnston, whose families were connected through marriage, set up the Bentinck Arm and Fraser River Road Company to service the new mines in the Caribou district. The route for this road was a pack-trail, running from the site of present-day Bella Coola to the Fraser River near Fort Alexandria (Alexandria, B.C.). The enterprise was not completed, however, because of financial difficulties. In 1864 MacDonald and Barnston’s younger brother Alexander joined the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition [see Robert Brown]. On this expedition, which crossed the largely unexplored interior of Vancouver Island four times, MacDonald participated in the discovery of vast stands of prime timber, the Sooke gold-fields, and a large coalfield on Browns River near Comox. The next year he led a government-sponsored expedition to explore for minerals in the Horsefly area of the Caribou.

MacDonald spent the following decade in the Caribou district, exploring, and at his ranch on Hat Creek. He was also an employee of Barnard’s Express and Stage Line [see Francis Jones Barnard*] and later of Bonaparte House, the hotel run by Charles Augustus Semlin* and Philip Parke at Cache Creek. In 1875 he assisted his cousin Christina MacDonald in her trading operation at Kamloops. He finally retired to a log cabin close to the home of Christina’s brother Donald near Fort Colvile (near Colville, Wash.), where his own father had developed a large farm for the HBC during the 1830s.

While in retirement, MacDonald tried to find a publisher for his account of his visit to Japan. The manuscript was edited by Malcolm McLeod, who in 1872 had published Archibald McDonald’s Peace River journal, and several drafts were submitted to Canadian, American, and British publishers. A proposal for publication in Montreal under the title “A Canadian in Japan” fell through in 1892 because of a lack of subscriptions, but a revised version which McLeod prepared the following year finally appeared in 1923.

*****

A portion of Ranald MacDonald’s original account of his visit to Japan is preserved in Malcolm McLeod’s papers at PABC, Add. mss 1249, along with one of the three manuscript copies of McLeod’s final 1893 edition, “Japan: story of adventure of Ranald MacDonald, first teacher of English in Japan, A.D. 1848–49.” The other surviving copy (the one McLeod returned to MacDonald) is held by the Eastern Wash. State Hist. Soc. (Spokane), which published it in 1923 as Ranald MacDonald: the narrative of his early life on the Columbia under the Hudsons Bay Companys regime; of his experiences in the Pacific whale fishery; and of his great adventure to Japan; with a sketch of his later life on the western frontier, 1824–1894, ed. W. S. Lewis and Naojiro Murakami. A Japanese translation of the Narrative prepared by Toruo Tomita, MakudonarudoNihon Kaisoki”, appeared in Tokyo in 1979.

MacDonald is also the author of Bentinck Arm and Fraser River Road Company, Limited, prospectus (Victoria, 1862), prepared in collaboration with his partner, Johnston George Hillbride Barnston.

Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Repository (Tokyo), Zoku Tsushin Zenran Ruishu (coil. of docs. from the time of the Tokugawa government), “Beikoku Hyomin no Geisen Nagasaki-ko ni Torai Ikken” (record of the visit to Nagasaki of the Preble, 1849) and “Kits Kaigan Hyochaku no Beikokujin Nagasaki Goso a Ikken, 1848–1849” (record of Ranald MacDonald and the Lagoda seamen). PABC, Add. mss 794, esp. Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition journals of Robert Brown and of Ranald MacDonald. [Robert Brown], Vancouver Island; exploration, 1864 (Victoria, [1865]). “An interesting visitor,” Ottawa Daily Citizen, 1 Sept. 1888; repr. in Daily NewsAdvertiser (Vancouver), 15 Sept. 1888. Frederick Whymper, Travel and adventure in the territory of Alaska, formerly Russian Americanow ceded to the United Statesand in various other parts of the north Pacific (London, 1868).

British Colonist (Victoria), 1858–60, continued as Daily British Colonist, 1860–64, and Daily Colonist, September 1894. Cariboo Sentinel (Barkerville, B.C.), 12 June 1865. China Mail (Hong Kong), 1 May 1849. Morning Oregonian (Portland), 12 Feb. 1891. SpokesmanReview (Spokane), 31 Aug. 1894. DAB. J. E. Ferris, “Ranald MacDonald, the sailor boy who visited Japan,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly (Seattle, Wash.), 48 (1957): 13–16; “Ranald MacDonald’s monument, Toroda Creek, state of Washington,” BCHQ, 15 (1951): 223–27. Province (Vancouver), 18 Nov. 1963. Shunzo Sakamaki, “Japan and the United States, 1790–1853,” Asiatic Soc. of Japan, Trans., 2nd ser., 18 (1939): 44–49. Vancouver Daily Province, 20 May 1928.

© 2000 University of Toronto/Université Laval
NOTE:  A second edition of Ranald’s Narrative was published in 1990 by the Oregon Historical Society Press with support from FOM and Epson Portland, Inc.  It is available from the OHS Press, 1200 S.W. Park Ave., Portland, OR  97205, at $30 plus shipping. [U.S. funds only.]
*****
Chinook Tribe Seeks Information …
Edna Miller, secretary of the Chinook Indian Tribe, has asked that FOM share with the Tribe information about Ranald MacDonald, half-Scot, half-Indian, and grandson of legendary Chinook Chieftain Comcomly.  FOM Chairman Bruce Berney has offered copies of our publications and suggested a newsletter exchange.
*****
Tour Highlights:
Dramatic Scenery, Historic Sites, Good Company, Great Fun …

The vastness of Eastern Washington is awe-inspiring.  The air is pungent with the scent of pine and sage, the land rolls with breathtaking skies.  Travelers will visit three unusual museums:  the Native Cultures Collection at Cheney Cowles Museum, Spokane; the architecturally exciting Yakima Nation Indian museum; and the charming Colville Museum, the heart of an historic complex.
We’ll learn more about Indian culture with an Indian feast — and see pictographs and petroglyphs painted and carved thousands of years ago.  We’ll see gigantic Grand Coulee Dam, a working gold mine, a winery …
We will visit, finally, the house in which Ranald MacDonald died and the lands he knew, pausing for a centennial tribute at his well-marked grave site near the Canadian border.
The tour is being organized in cooperation with the Oregon Historical Society , which will also invite its members to participate.  TO ASSURE YOUR PLACE on the tour, complete and mail the special FOM advance reservation form in this newsletter.
*****
A Visit to Toroda
by Prof. Steve Kohl, Ph.D.
(FOM Vice Chair Steve Kohl, a member of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Oregon, has long been interested in the Ranald MacDonald story.  Steve will lead our Tour to Toroda.  The following is his account of his visit there last summer …)

RANALD MacDONALD died at Toroda on the Canadian border of Washington.  Eva Emory Dye romantically and erroneously describes him passing away at his home at Fort Colville near Kettle Falls.  The actual circumstances of his death were more dramatically poignant than that.  Away from home, visiting his niece, Jennie Lynch, he died in her arms saying, “Sayonara, my dear, sayonara.”

Last August we drove through the Okanogan country, passing through Kettle Falls, crossing the Columbia, camping at Curlew Lake, and going on to Toroda to visit the site of MacDonald’s grave on a bluff high above Kettle River.  In many ways the area has greatly changed since MacDonald passed through here on his last journey, and in that process of change our sense of history has changed as some things are lost and other things gain heightened importance.

MacDonald spent his final years at Fort Colville where his father had been chief factor half a century earlier.  MacDonald evidently cared a great deal about preserving that legacy in his father’s memory.  He seems to have found contentment during those final years of his life.  He is quoted as saying, “I yearn for nothing more than to live according to the whims of my nature.  If I need meat for my dogs, in the foothills there is plenty of game.  If it is flour that I lack, there is a store at the nearest settlement.  My books furnish diversion, and in my solitude I am free to write and meditate.”  Today, neither fort nor homestead remain; all were flooded by the backwaters of Grand Coulee Dam.

As we crossed the 75 miles or so from Kettle Falls to Toroda, i could not help but wonder if these mountains and meadows are any different from what they were when Mac made his last journey in August of 1894.  He surely passed by Curlew Lake and perhaps camped there as we did, watching the sun set and twilight gather over the Okanogan.

When Lewis and Murakami were editing MacDonald’s Narrative in 1923, they described the site as a neglected Indian cemetery.  Today it is a neatly fenced plot which includes also the graves of Jennie Lynch, Nellie Stanton and other family members.  The mountains and rivers have not changed at all.  On a clear August morning the hills are green and dotted with pines and the river flows through the valley below, a remarkably lovely location.

Changes, of course, have been many.  MacDonald went to Japan hoping to open the doors of commerce with that country.  Today, as we see the vast amount of commerce – the wheat, cattle, timber, potatoes, fish and fruit of the Columbia River basin that goes to Japan, and when we see the Toyotas, televisions and computers that comes from Japan — we can appreciate the extent to which MacDonald’s dream of commerce and friendship between our two countries has been accomplished.  As we near the 100th anniversary of MacDonald’s death, it seems appropriate to honor this man of vision and humanity.

*****

What FOM’s Been Doing …

AT FORT VANCOUVER Boy Scouts from Hyogo Prefecture in Japan joined Washington State representatives to rededicate the Friendship Monument erected in 1988 to honor three Japanese sailors – “shipwrecked” sea-drifters rescued and brought to the Fort in 1833 on orders of Dr. McLaughlin.  Chairman Mas Tomita represented FOM.

AT THE OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOM was represented at the August 6th opening of an OHS exhibit about the issei, Japanese pioneers who came to Oregon in the late 19th and early 10th centuries.  A special FOM flyer was developed for the opening.  FOM member George Azumano was among those instrumental in developing the popular exhibit, a joint effort of the japanese American National Museum, Oregon Japanese Americans and OHS.

IN PORTLAND FOM was host to a film crew from KTN-TV/Nagasaki, which created a special documentary about Ranald MacDonald as part of the stations 25th anniversary celebration.  Portland-area Friends met for dinner with the film crew.  FOM Vice Chairman Bruce Berney entertained the group in Astoria.  The film-makers also traveled to Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.; Winnipeg; Toronto; Washington, D.C.; Republic and Spokane, Washington, and Lahaina and Honolulu, Hawaii.  A copy of the Japanese-language production will be placed in FOM archives.

FOM/PORTLAND this month also greeted visitors from Japan led by FOM Vice Chair/Japan Masaki Takahashi.  The group was making an early centennial pilgrimage to Toroda.

IN JAPAN – Masaki Takahashi, who spearheaded development of the Rishiri monument memorializing Ranald MacDonald, is the new Vice Chairman/Japan for FOM.   He will serve as liaison between FOM/US and leaders of four Japanese chapters, who are Dr. Obama, Nagasaki; Mr. Nishiya, Rishiri; Mr. Aisaka, Kansai; and Mr. Kawasaki, Tokyo.  The Japanese groups have published a number of MacDonald studies.

AT THE BANK – Chairman Mas Tomita reported on FOM’s fiscal year-end status during the November meeting, noting a 12% increase in current paid membership.  income from memberships exceeded budget projects by $231; resale items were up $8, donations up $450, and luncheon receipts up $452, for a total increase in income of $1,181.  Expenses overall decreased, down from a budgeted $1800 to $1265, primarily because of reduced printing expenses.

*

Gates Ajar ~~ Volume 1 Number 1 – Summer 1988

Saturday, June 11th, 1988

We Are Organized!

“Friends of MacDonald” has been organized as a Clatsop County Historical Society chartered committee.  It honors Ranald MacDonald, a native Astorian who, in 1848, risked his life on a mission of friendship to forbidden Japanese shores.

The Charter was presented May 20 by Heather Reynolds, president of the Historical Society.

The organization will seek to find and preserve MacDonald memorabilia, to promote publication of newsletters, books, articles and other materials about MacDonald, to hold seminars and other educational programs, and to encourage museum exhibits and visits.

WEST OF THE SUN ~ A Tokyo Branch of Friends of MacDonald has been organized with Hiromichi Shibata as Manager.  Extensive press coverage in Japanese language publications includes Oregon Trail Magazine, The North American Post, Kaigai Chuzai, Japan Economic Journal and others.

Charter members of Friends of MacDonald include Hugh Ackroyd, Aihara Agency Inc., Yuji Aisaka, Clifford B. Alterman, Wayne Atteberry, Mr. & Mrs. George Azumano, Frank Bauman, Borden Beck, Jr., Floyd Bennett, Bruce Berney, J.E. “Bud” Clark, Joan Choi, Marilyn Cochrane Davis, Brian Doherty, Epson America Inc., Ted & Carrie Etzel, Nancie Fadeley, Bill Feuchtwanger, Michael Foster, Vera Gault; Evelyn Hankel, Edith Henningsgaard, Gene Hogan, Itogumi USA Corp., Japan-American Society of Oregon, Toshiyuki Kasai, Eizo Kaneyasu, Shigeru Kimura, Isamu Kobayashi, Stephen Kohl, Kiyoshi Komatsu, Hiroyuki Kurumizawa, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Betty Leu, Allan Mann, Stephen McConnel, Randal & Ross McEvers, Jerry McMurry, Barbara Minard, Shirley Minard, Hope Moberg, Jim Mockford, Dr. & Mrs. R.P. Moore, Kenneth Munford, Eiji Nishiya, Hiroaki Nishitani, Ryuji Noda, Mamoru Ofuku, Pacific Power & Light Co., Peat Marwick Mann & Co., Barbara C. Peeples, Phyllis Reuter, Yasuo Skaniwa, Shoichi Sakanushi;  Herbert & Barbara Schwab, Arnold Seeborg, Hiroaki Sekizawa, Katsuhiko Shimodaira, Shokookai of Portland, Standard Insurance Co., Richard & Helen Slagle, Donald Sterling, Hisao Sugi, Sam & Kitzie Stern, Yuji Takahashi abd the Rishiri Rotary Club, Isaac Tevet, Mr. & Mrs. Dick Thompson, Masakatsu Tomita, Frank Tomori, Morio Toyoshima, Paul Van der Veldt, Susanna Von Reibold, Ronald L. Walquist, Akira Watanabe, Betty Williams, William Winn, Katsu Yamazaki, Ichiro Yokoyama.

OFFICERS ELECTED – Mas Tomita, president of Epson Portland, Inc., chairman; Bruce Berney, City of Astoria librarian; and Stephen Kohl, PhD. of the University of Oregon, both vice chairmen; and Barbara Peeples, Portland public relations counselor, secretary; Hiromichi Shibata, Tokyo Branch Manager.

* * * * *

Monument Dedicated to Honor Astorian Ranald MacDonald,

Japan’s First Teacher of English

ASTORIA, May 21 ~~ A monument of American granite was dedicated this day on the site of the old Fort Astoria [Ft. George] in honor of Ranald MacDonald, born here in 1824 to a father descended from Highland Scots and his wife, a Chinook princess.

The jubilant cry of bagpipes recalled the Scottish heritage as dignitaries representing four nations joined 200 other guests for an outdoor ceremony beneath clear, blue skies and a hot sun.  Ranald MacDonald, dead for almost a century, was being honored by his hometown.

The ceremony recognized MacDonald’s 1848 visit to Japan, during the period in which Japan shut its doors to foreigners and threatened Christian intruders with death.  MacDonald, carrying a bible and armed only with native ingenuity and goodwill, made a plan which landed him on Japan’s Rishiri island and permitted him, even though imprisoned, to learn Japanese and to become Japan’s first teacher of English.

Today, MacDonald is widely known in Japan as a pioneer ambassador of international friendship.  A monument on Rishiri tells of his arrival; books and magazine articles have been published, including a Japanese translation of his own story.  Guests at the dedication included a crew from Hokkaido Broadcasting Film Company, which has produced a documentary about his life.  Speakers during the monument dedication included Akira Watanabe, Consul-General of Japan; Andrew Hay, British Consul; State Senator Joan Dukes; Oregon Clan Donald Commissioner Marilyn Davis; Astoria Mayor Edith Henningsgaard; descendants of Chinook Chief Com’Comly, MacDonald’s maternal grandfather, and of Archibald McDonald, his father.

Bruce Berney, who is vice president of the Clatsop County Historical Society, was master of ceremonies.  Dr. Stephen Kohl presented an historical vignette; John Cooper, CCHS executive director, unveiled the monument and Kenichi Tomita, 10, son of Mas Tomita, chairman of Friends of MacDonald, read the Japanese text.

Ranald's English Students

Moriyama and Tokojiro, two of MacDonald’s students,became chief interpreters to Commodore Perry

* * * * *

GREETINGS FROM ABROAD TO OREGON FRIENDS

HOKKAIDO, JAPAN ” …  We are deeply impressed that the starting point of relations [between Oregonians and Hokkaido-ans to further mutual friendships] was marked before the Civil War or the opening of Japan’s ports with the visit of an American named Ranald MacDonald.  Mr. MacDonald knocked on Japan’s stubbornly closed doors and taught his native tongue to the Samurai.  Indeed, his visit of some 140 years ago was an historic scheme of grandeur … We hope that the dedication of the MacDonald Monument will serve to remind us of this brave man who cut a road of friendship based upon trust and understanding … ”  ~ Takahiro Yokomichi, Governor of Hokkaido

” … MR. EINOSUKE MORIYAMA, who was taught by Mr. MacDonald, had contributed to the civilization and enlightenment of Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture.  I sincerely expect that Friends of MacDonald will also carry out brilliant achievements for friendly relations between the United States and Japan …” ~ Kazuji Nagasu, Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture

” … HE IS UNDOUBTEDLY of special interest to us because of his presence in Lahaina at the height of the whaling period and his unique tie to Japan … We look forward to being a member of the Friends of MacDonald.” ~ Lynn McCrory, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

” … I REGRET THAT I cannot come to Astoria to take part in the ceremony.  On the same day I have a prior commitment to give a lecture about Ranald MacDonald to a group of high school English teachers in Toyohashi City.  Ranald MacDonald deserves special recognition as a memorable contributor to Japanese history.” ~ Akira Yoshimura, author of Festival of the Sea, a book about MacDonald and E. Moriyama

” … HE GREATLY IMPRESSED the Japanese with his intelligence, politeness and integrity and succeeded in communicating friendship and trust … Such a wonderful story should be handed down to Japanese generations to come.  I believe that this monument will … promote the friendship that he began between Japan and the United States.” ~ Masaki Takahashi, of the Rishiri island Rotary Club, which last year erected a monument at the place where Ranald landed in 1848.

” … EVEN AFTER 140 YEARS MacDonald’s great courage and action have left a deep impression to not only Rishiri Citizens but also to all of the Japanese … Although Rishiri, Nagasaki and Astoria are a great distance apart, they share the same spirit of friendship which crosses the Pacific Ocean.” ~ Toshi Adachi, Town Mayor of Higashi Rishiri

* * * * *

RANALD’S NAMESAKE ATTENDS FESTIVITIES

Ranald MacDonald, a descendant of Ranald MacDonald’s father (Archibald McDonald) was a guest at the first MacDonald seminar May 20.  Young Ranald is a student at Montana State University in Bozeman, where he is studying political science and public administration.  he and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ranald McDonald* of Niarada, MT, made the long trip here to participate.

Other special guests at the ceremony included descendants of Chief Com’Comly and the Stanton families, who are descendants of Jenny Lynch, MacDonald’s niece.  It was at Mrs. Lynch’s home that Ranald MacDonald died in 1894 whispering the Japanese words of farewell:  “Sayonara, sayonara.”

[* Ranald MacDonald, who restored the “a” in MacDonald that his father and some other relatives abandoned, never married.  There are many collateral descendants, related through his step-brothers and sister, Com’Comly’s cousins and his parents’ siblings.]

* * * * *

PROGRAMS, PUBLICATIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

MACDONALD SEMINAR – Prof. Torao Tomita of Rikkyo University, Tokyo, a leading Japanese authority on American Indians and also the Japanese translator of Ranald MacDonald’s memoir, was a key speaker on May 20 when Friends of MacDonald sponsored a seminar about MacDonald in Astoria.  More than 100 guests attended.

Dr. Tomita suggested two reasons for MacDonald’s decision to visit Japan:  one, he said, was the prejudice he faced because of his Indian heritage; the other, his theory about the ancestral kinship of the Indian and Japanese people.

Prof. Stephen Kohl of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Oregon, and long a student of MacDonald, spoke of the peril MacDonald risked by visiting Japan.  Kohl credited MacDonald’s “enduring belief in human nature – if you act like a human being, people will treat you like one” – for his success.

* * * * *

MACDONALD BOOKLET AVAILABLE

A concise story of Ranald MacDonald’s adventure, taken from the book Five Foreigners in Japan by Herbert H, Gowen, has been re-printed by Friends of MacDonald.  Publication was made possible through a grant from Epson Portland Inc. and with the permission of Fleming H. Revell Co.  The booklet includes photos of MacDonald, members of his family and  Japanese students and a map of his voyage from Rishiri to Matsumae.  It is available for $2.50 plus 50 cents postage from the Clatsop County Historical Society.

* * * * *

THANK YOU, CLAN DONALD:  Marilyn David, Oregon commissioner of Scottish Clan Donald, to which Ranald MacDonald belonged, presented a clan memento to Bruce Berney of the Friends of MacDonald during her talk at monument dedication ceremonies.  MacDonald was proud of his Scottish ancestors, who came from Glencoe in the Scottish highlands.  Oregon members of Clan Donald have themselves dedicated a monument, at the Old Scotch Church in North Plains, Oregon, in memory of the Massacre of Glencoe.

* * * * *

MACDONALD EXHIBIT ON DISPLAY AT CCHS:  A Ranald MacDonald exhibit is now on display as the Heritage Museum of the Clatsop County historical Society, located at 1618 Exchange St., just a block east of the MacDonald monument.  Visitors will find maps, books and photographs about Ranald MacDonald and his voyage across what he called “this placid sea”.

* * * * *

LIBRARIAN WITH A CAUSE REALIZES A DREAM:  Ranald MacDonald’s rebirth in Astoria, Oregon can be traced back to 1972.  Bruce Berney, director of the Astoria Public Library, was culling seldom-read books from library shelves.  One of those books was Ranald MacDonald’s story of his visit to Japan in 1848 and his experience as Japan’s first teacher of English.  Berney’s interest was piqued; the librarian had been an English teacher in Japan in 1961-63.  Berney set the book aside for his own reading and this met Ranald.

On February 3, 1974, the 150th anniversary of MacDonald’s birth (also Berney’s birthday, coincidentally) Astoria Friends of the Library celebrated.  Slowly, interest in the incredible story grew.  Dr. Torao Tomita came to Astoria to learn more about MacDonald, and eventually translated his book into Japanese.

Berney wanted a MacDonald monument erected.  He felt it would interest Japanese seamen visiting Astoria and other tourists, but money was needed.  The State’s growing Japanese business community was approached.  A talk to the Board of Shokookai of Portland stimulated the interest of Board Member Mas Tomita, president of Epson Portland, inc., who had read the MacDonald story in a Japanese magazine but had not realized that “Fort George” was better known as Fort Astoria.

Steve Kohl of the University of Oregon and other became involved.  The result:  our international organization, FRIENDS of MACDONALD, is in existence because Bruce Berney found a book no one had read for five years.

Berney told guests at the dedication ceremony:  “My dream has been realized.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~