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Rishiri Report – March 2018

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Alice and I visited Japan in December last year.  On the 11th we flew from Narita in Tokyo to the New Chitose Airport near Sapporo; the next day – Dec. 12th – we flew from Okadama Airport in Sapporo to Rishiri Airport … under the provision that, IF the weather around Rishiri Airport was not suitable for the plane to land, the plane would turn around and return to Okadama Airport.  Fortunately, when we arrived at Rishiri Airport, the weather had turned favorable for landing.  Our understanding is that there had been a blizzard prior to our plane’s arrival, and up until the last several minutes landing was not a guarantee.

We were met at the airport by Rev. Kyouji Furukawa, Chairman of the “MacDonald Scholarship Fund Support Group”, Mr. Eiji Nishiya, Deputy Manager of MSFSG, Mr. Motomura, Principal of Rishiri High School (who officially invited us to come to Rishiri) and Ms. Nakanishi and Ms. Suzuki, teachers and two of the familiar faces from Rishiri High School, who had each chaperoned students to America in recent years.

Snowy Hokkaido … in particular the “real middle-of-winter on Rishiri Island” – for several years now Alice and I have discussed going to see the deep snow on Hokkaido.  Out of nowhere, a request came from Rishiri High School Principal Motomura for me to go and give a lecture there in December.  It did not take any time at all for us to decide and to respond positively for going.  The Hokkaido Board of Education designated Rishiri High School to be an “Improving English Language Education” research school.  Also, for the past 5 years Rishiri High School has sent students to America as part of their “short-term overseas study program” to encourage learning English.  The lectures relating to the project at the high school and a review of the project were to be held at Rishiri High School on December 15th. It was Principal Motomura’s suggestion that we try to arrive a few days in advance since ‘bad weather’ could jeopardize our schedule – there is only ONE flight per day from Okadama in Sapporo to Rishiri (and vice versa) – so we arrived on the 12th.

As we were driven from the airport along the snowy road to where we were to stay – the Pension Green Wind – we saw frequent changes to the weather, and we looked at each other and nodded our heads, agreeing that Principal Motomura’s suggestion to try to get there early had been “a good one”.  We were greeted by Miyazaki’s “Totoro” on the way to the high school – “Drive Carefully on Rishiri !”

The lecture and presentation was held in the Rishiri High School Auditorium; the event started out with an official greeting by Principal Motomura in English. [Principal Motomura is a former English teacher – and his English was very good.]  His greetings were followed by a report entitled “Studying in Astoria (Oregon) and Spokane (Washington)” which was presented by two Rishiri High School Juniors, Jin Hiranuma and Mako Sato.  Jin and Mako came to America in the autumn of 2017 and were the 5th pair of students to come to Astoria/Spokane in the last 5 years.  They took turns giving their presentation, speaking about their valuable experiences in English.  Next the Chairman of Friends of MacDonald – me – presented the “real” Ranald MacDonald to the student body (as opposed to the Ronald McDonald, the mascot of hamburger fame).  I introduced MacDonald and his contributions by Power Point in English.  After that, based on my “50 plus years of life in America”, I gave “life advice” to the Rishiri High School students in Japanese.  My message was, “It’s good to hope and dream of the future, but the most important thing is to concentrate and work hard on what’s in front of you right now!”  That message has been my personal mantra/motto during my life in America.

Alice followed with her own message in English – “There is a big, wide world out there – – – get out of your comfort zone and follow the example of Ranald MacDonald, the Adventurer!”

The final lecture was presented by Dr. Hisashi Naito, Professor of Business Management at Hokkai Gakuen University, entitled “Look, Think and Act Globally” and explained the arrival of a new ”Glocal World” in fluent English [which he stressed that he had studied and mastered without going abroad.]

Local dignitaries who attended the presentation included Rev. Kyouji Furukawa, Mr. Ken’ichi Kurokawa, Mr. Eiji Nishiya of Ranald MacDonald Scholarship Fund Support Group and Mr. Kazuki Kosugi, Superintendent of the Rishiri School Dist. plus representatives from Hokkaido Department of Education, Wakkanai High School, Toyotomi High School, Edasachi High School, Rebun High School, Rishiri Junior High School, Senposhi Grade School, Kutsugata Grade School and some parents.  It was a well-attended event.

私と家内、アリスは昨年12月初旬に訪日、11日に成田空港から新千歳空港へ飛び、翌12日に北海道札幌市内の丘珠(おかだま)空港から利尻島の利尻空港へと飛び立った。それも「若し、利尻空港周辺の天候が着陸に不適当な場合は丘珠空港へ舞い戻る可能性有り」という事を予め御了承の上でご搭乗を・・・という条件付きの離陸であった。幸い到着時にはその直前まで吹雪いていた・・・らしい天候が好転、無事着出来た!

マクドナルド奨学基金支援の会の古川恭司会長や同会事務局次長の西谷榮治さん、それに今回お招き下さった利尻高校の元村治郎校長、近年利尻高校からの米国短期留学生を引率してアメリカへ来られた“顔馴染み”の中西、鈴木両教諭の温かい歓迎を受けた。

雪の北海道、特にラナルド・マクドナルドが1848年に上陸した利尻島の“真冬”は何時か是非体験してみたいと兼ねがね家内と話して居た矢先、「利尻高校での講演を・・・」という打診が舞い込んだのだった。よって私達の『行きます!やります!』という決断・回答に時間を要さなかった。それは、利尻高校が北海道教育委員会より「英語力向上事業研究指定校」に選抜され、更に過去5年間、アメリカ短期留学プログラムを実施してきた事もあり、同校に於いて「高等学校英語力向上事業」講演会・成果発表会が開催される事となった為だった。実際、そのイベント開催日は12月15日であったが、札幌から利尻に日に一便しか飛ばない飛行機が天候不順により飛べない又は着陸不可能となった場合等を鑑み、「2~3日間余裕を持ってご来島を・・・」と元村校長からご提言頂いていたので12日着島を計画、順調に着島出来たのだった。空港から宿泊先ペンション“群林風”への雪道を走る車の中から頻繁に変化する利尻の気象を観察しながら「元村校長のご提言は適当であった!」と頷いていた私達であった。

当日の講演会・成果発表会は、元英語教師であった元村校長が流ちょうな英語で先ず挨拶、続いてマクドナルド奨学資金支援の会により第5回米国短期留学生として米国アストリア市(オレゴン州)とスポケン市(ワシントン州)へ派遣された利尻高校2年生の平沼 迅君と佐藤真恋さんが交互に留学研修報告を英語で行った。次に私は世界中で知られているハンバーガーチェーンの道化者、ロナルド・マクドナルドと異なる「Real MacDonald」と題して、ラナルド・マクドナルドの紹介と彼の功績をパワーポイントを使って英語で紹介、続いて、在米50余年の体験に基ずく・・・利尻高校生達へのアドバイス的メッセージとして、「将来の夢も希望も良いが、最も大事なのは“現在”に熱中・目の前の事に集中する事!という自己の座右の銘を日本語で説き、家内アリスが「世界は広い、時には、マクドナルドの冒険心を見習い、自分のComfort Zoneから脱出を!」と英語でフォローした。講演の最後は、北海学園大学経営学部教授の内藤 永(ひさし)博士が「グローバルに見て、考えて、行動しよう」と題して、新たな“グローカル時代”到来の説明と生徒達への指針を「日本国内で学び、マスターした!」という見事な英語で解説、進言した。

当日、利尻高校講堂を埋めたのは同校全生徒以外にも、来賓としてご臨席なされたラナルド・マクドナルド奨学基金支援の会の古川恭司会長、黒川健一事務局長、西谷榮治事務局次長、利尻町教育委員会の小杉和樹教育長等であった。その他にも、北海道教育庁教育支援課高等学校指導班指導主事の方々や仙法志小学校の船木校長や沓形小学校の高橋教頭を含む、稚内高校、豊富高校、枝幸高校、礼文高校、利尻町立利尻中学校等諸校の先生方、及びご父兄の方たちであり、盛況であった。

A Very Special Gathering

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

We knew it was going to be a special meeting as soon as we got off the elevator on the second floor of the Heritage Museum in Astoria – we were not ‘late’, but we found the hallway filled with FOM members and guests chatting and patiently waiting to enter the gallery area of the old, Circa 1904 Astoria City Hall.  We were thrilled to see so many familiar faces – and a number of new faces as well. We – all of the Friends of MacDonald members – are pleased and gratified that our membership stays strong.  It is often difficult for organizations such as ours to remain healthy over the years; that said, we feel that our success stems from the allure Ranald MacDonald himself. As far as historical figures go, I think I speak for all of our members when I say that Ranald is definitely one of the more interesting characters to spring out of the Pacific Northwest, if not America itself.

We began our meeting by welcoming charter member and former FOM Chairman Prof. Stephan Kohl, former chairman Jim Mockford, and author of ‘Ranald MacDonald: Pacific Rim Adventurer’, JoAnn Roe, who, at age 93, drove BY HERSELF to Astoria from Bellingham, WA to be with us at this year’s luncheon. We were also honored to have Consul General and Mrs. Uchiyama of the Japan Consular Office in Portland, Chinook Council Vice Chair Sam Robinson and his better half Mildred (who entertained us with Chinook drums and songs of gratitude to the Creator who watches over us all), and local Chinook artist Charles Funk and his wife Mary. Members of Clan Donald were also in attendance, as well as visitors from Montana and Japan. Jim Mockford reminded us of our history as a Committee of the Clatsop County Historical Society, and – with occasional corroboration from Professor Kohl – told the story of the early days of FOM when Bruce Berney of Astoria and the late Mas Tomita of Epson Portland (among others) work against all odds to establish FOM. ~ Chairman Mas Yatabe

 

 

 

RISHIRI REPORT

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

The following reports (in Japanese) were written by two students from Rishiri High School, Yuto Shima and Haruno Tsutsumi,  and their foreign language teacher, Junichiro Miyamoto, after completing their visitation to Spokane and Toroda, Washington and Portland and Astoria, Oregon, spending 5 days in each State.  They visited the grave site of Ranald MacDonald near Toroda, Washington and attended classes at Colville High School in Republic, Washington with other local students. They were guided by a long- time member of FOM and the author of the book “Unsung Hero”, Atsumi Tsukimori McCauley of Spokane, WA.  Next the three flew to Portland where they were joined by Rishiri H.S. Principle, Mr. Tsubokawa, and the PTA President, Mr. Yoshida. The five were guided by FOM Chairman Mas Yatabe to meet with Council General of Japan in Portland, Kojiro Uchiyama, who gave the two students’ self-introduction speeches in English a high grade of “A” as if they were his students, which made Principal Tsubokawa, Foreign Language teacher, Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Yoshida, the PTA President very happy.   The five from Rishiri were driven by Chairman Yatabe to Astoria where they visited the birth place monument of Ranald MacDonald and later they were taken to Astoria High School where the students met host families and the Principle of Astoria High School, Mr. Lynn Jackson.  Although their stays in Washington and Oregon were short, they, in particular the students, learned a great deal about the diverse nature of the people and the culture of US, and the independence of US students compared their Japanese counterparts.  Both students were very appreciative of the host students’ and their families’ kindness in Republic, Washington and in Astoria. Oregon.  

マクドナルド短期留学研修を終えて 北海道利尻高等学校 

2 年 A 組志摩祐斗 

私は今回のアメリカ短期留学研修を通して、沢山の新しい経験をすることができました。私は留学に行く前は、英語がどれくらい通じるのかということや治安面について不安に思っていました。しかし、実際に行ってみると現地の方々が温かく迎えてくれたり、ワシントン州の大自然に囲まれた町やオレゴン州の洗練された町で生活することができて、とても幸せでした。

私が感じた日本とアメリカの違いは、アメリカ人は日本人より自立しているということです。アメリカの高校生の多くは免許が16歳で取得できるため、自分で車を運転して登下校をしていました。その  他にもホームステイ先の5歳の子が自分の部屋を持っていて夜は1人で寝ていました。このように現地の人は日本人よりも自立していて、その分高校生になると自分で責任を取らないといけないことも増え  るので、日本人よりも大変になるのではないかと考えました。

また現地の高校を訪問してみて沢山の文化の違いを感じました。握手を求められたり、仲の良い友達同士でハグしていたり、授業中にご飯を食べている生徒もいました。また私が理解できなかった英語を、日本語を習っている生徒が頑張って訳してくれたり、利尻について質問してくれたりと、とても責任感が強くて積極的な人が多く、現地の高校生から学ぶことがたくさんありました。

ホームステイ先では多くのおもてなしや気遣いをしていただき ました。おやすみやおはようなどの日本語を覚えて使ってくれたり、お土産の箸を使ってくれたりしました。また、私が卓球部だと言うと、卓球場に連れて行ってくれました。このようにアメリカ人はサービス精神が日本人よりも多く、ホームステイではとても有意義な時間を過ごすことができました。

私の留学の最大のテーマはコミュニケーション能力の向上でした。現地の方々は私が利尻や家族について紹介すると、大きなリアクションを取ってくれたり、会うと笑顔で挨拶をしてポジティブな言葉をたくさんかけてくれたりしました。私は現地の方々と話してみて、コミュニケーションを取ることの楽しさを改めて実感するとともに、沢山の元気をもらいました。

今回の短期留学では日本の良さを再確認することもできました。アメリカでは空港の椅子が食べ物で汚れていたり教室の  床に本がちらばっていたりしました。その他にもゴミの分別がなかったりコンビニが近くになかったりと、日本ではあまり考えられないようなことが普通に行われていました。このようなことを通して清潔で環境が良く、安全な日本はやはり良いところだと感じました。

今回もラナルド・マクドナルド短期留学ということで、ラナルド・マクドナルドが育ったトロダという町に行きました。トロダは建物が少なく自然がたくさんあり、利尻よりも田舎な町でした。彼はこの田舎町で育ったからこそ、後に日本に漂流を装ってまで行く冒険心や勇気が生まれたのではないかと私は考えました。これからは今回の留学を機により一層英語の勉強に力を入れるとともに、魅力的なアメリカでの経験をたくさんの人に伝えられるよう努力していきます。

 

マクドナルド短期留学研修を終えて北海道利尻高等学校 2 年 A 組堤春乃

中学生の頃からの目標だったこの短期留学。事前研修が進むにつれ、アメリカに行くという実感が湧いてきました。これまではただただ楽し みなことしか考えていませんでしたが、期待と同時に不安な気持ちにもなってしまいました。しかしいざ飛行機に乗ってアメリカの土地に足を踏み入れてみると、不思議なことに不安が一瞬で払拭されました。「たくさん学びたい。たくさん楽しみたい。いい思い出を作りたい。」あの頃からずっと憧れていたことがいまこの瞬間に叶っているんだ、と思うと自然と強い自分になれました。振り返ると、私の夢の時間はあっという間に終わってしまいました。

日本からテレビやインターネットで見るアメリカと、実際にその土地にいって実感するアメリカの文化は大きく違いました。特にカルチャーショックを受けたのは現地の高校です。私たちと同じ年代の子がどのようなライフスタイルなのかを一番間近で感じられる良い機会でした。しかしもう何もかも違いすぎて驚くことばかりでした。『日本の高校生』と『アメリカの高校生』の違い、授業体制の違い、部活の仕組みの違い。知ること聞くこと全てが新鮮でした。また、現地の高校生は私たちにたくさんの興味を示してくれました。アメリカにはない制服、日本の文房具、歴史や言語などについて質問をしてくれました。その中でもとくに印象的であったやりとりは、『日本語』についてです。日本語に興味を持

ってくれた子に、「日本人は文を書くときにひらがな・カタカナ・漢字の 3 つを使うんだよ」と私の名前を使いながらそれぞれ紹介しました。するとその子は「私の名前を漢字で書いて」と要求してきました。当然書くことはできなかったのですが、私たちが普段当たり前と思っていることがそうではないことを身をもって感じられた出来事でした。文化・言語の違い、人との出会いや新たな発見をできたからこそ、心から楽しむことができたのだと思います。

ホームステイでは今回の研修の中で最も濃い時間を過ごすことができました。正直、言葉の壁はとても大きな障害でした。もちろん耳に入ってくる言葉は全て英語。それもネイティヴの人たちなので初めは聞き取ることが非常に困難でした。自分がダメダメで、自信がなくなってしまうこともありました。しかしそんな私にも「心配しなくて大丈夫だよ」「もっとゆっくり話そう」などと気を遣ってくれる、

優しい家族の下でホームステイできたことをとても嬉しく思います。テレビで放送されているアメリカンフットボールの試合を全員で応援したり、ハロウィンのためにジャックオランタンを作ったり  と、初めての体験もさせていただけました。この短期間で多くの思い出を残すことができ、ホストファミリーの方々の気遣いや優しさ、心の温かさなど素敵な人間性を感じられる大切な時間となりました。

そして、現地で日本人のあやのという女の子に出逢えたことは、私の人生の強い支えになったと思い  ます。彼女は私の1軒目のホームステイ先に8月から交換留学生としてホームステイしていました。同い年にもかかわらず家族のもとを離れて1人で外国に飛び立ち、自らの力を使ってアメリカでの生活を送っている彼女のたくましさに圧倒されました。そんな彼女が大切にしている言葉を教えてくれました。

『YOLO(You Only Live Once)』。人生一度きり、という意

味があります。彼女はその言葉を支えに過ごしているそうです。たった 2、3 日しか一緒にいられませんでしたが、同じ日本人で同じ年齢で同じ性別の彼女の存在は、この人生で決して忘れることはないだろうと思います。滞在中は自分自身を客観視できる場面が多々ありました。自分の足りない部分や欠けている部分を見つめ直すことで、向上心をあげることに繋がり、自然と意欲的  になっていったように思います。なんとなく過ごしていた時間も視線を少し変えてみるだけで何か生ま れてくるものがある、とこの研修を通して気づかされました。アメリカでは月森さんと谷田部さんにとてもお世話になりました。街の紹介や車での移動だけでなく、知らない土地で右も左も分からない私たちの心の拠り所にもなっていただいたように思います。またマクドナルド友の会会長の古川さんや歴史研究家の西谷さんをはじめとするたくさんの方々や両町のご支援、そして温かく見送ってくれた家族に心から感謝しています。私がこうして目標を一つ達成できたのは、周りの支えがあったからだと実感しました。

「行けばわかる」。確実に自分の中で何かが変わります。小さい島から大きな国へ渡るのは勇気がいることですが、大きな一歩を踏み出すことで、自分の世界が広がるはずです。行ったからこそ味わえたこの研修の魅力を次の世代の人たちに発信して、少しでも多くの人に関心を持ってもらえるようこれからも努力していきます。

 

マクドナルド短期留学研修を終えて北海道利尻高等学校       外国語科教諭          宮本順一郎

8月の夏休み中から参加生徒と本格的な準備を始め、出発が近づくとマクドナルド友の会の方々と細かな打ち合わせを持つようになった。その打ち合わせの中で初めて、これほどまでに多くの方々からご支援をいただいている事業なのかということを知った。汗顔の至りである。ご支援をいただいているすべての方々に衷心よりお礼を申し上げたい。

人生において経験しておくべきことが無数にあるが、海外へ行くこともその一つと言えよう。十代後半、しかもこの短期留学のために英検の勉強をしてきた二名にとってはベストタイミングである。私の ような四十代の者が想像するより遥かに多くのものを得ていることは、二人が語らずとも雰囲気から感じ取ることができる。この短期留学がかくも刺激に満ちたものであることに、帰国して初めて気付かされたのである。

 

二人の成長が垣間見えるエピソードをご紹介して、ご支援を頂いている皆さんの御恩に僅かでも報いる ことができれば幸甚である。

ワシントン州でのホームステイを終え、ポートラン ドに向かった。到着して昼食を取った後、在ポートランド領事事務所へ。そこで二人はそれぞれ、内山浩二郎総領事(写真中央)に英語でスピーチを行なったが、実に立派なスピーチであった。私なんぞ、日本 語でもあれほどのスピーチはできない。内山総領事からは「ABCの3段階で『A』」を頂戴した。大したものである。短期留学期間中、最も緊張を強いられた時間だったのではなかろうか。そして、これほど改まった場で外国語を話す機会は、極めて稀有なことである。二人の人生において、実に大きな財産になったと信じる。

そして、帰国後、在札幌米国総領事館へ行き、ハービー・ビーズリー広報・文化交流担当領事(写真左) と面会する機会を設けていただいた。言うべき内容を頭に入れ、ビーズリー領事に向かってスピーチをする二人だったが、領事は文ごとに合いの手をお入れになったり、質問をなさったりする。これは二人にとって想定外のことであった。無論、私にとっても想定外。内心、「これは厳しい」と思っていた。しかし、そこで展開されたのは、領事とのやり取りを楽しむ二人の姿であった。日本語も交える心配りをなさるビーズリー領事には、帰国間もない我々を労うかのように、心地よい時間を提供して頂いた。さて、この短期留学に並々ならぬご尽力をいただいているのが、コーディネーターのお二方である。最初に行ったスポケーンでお世話になったのが月森愛鶴美さん、その後、ポートランドでお世話になったのが谷田部勝さんである。お二方の善意がどれほどのものか語りつくすことができない。私のような人見知りをする人間には、意気投合する人がそう現れるものではない。しかしアメリカで出会うことになるとは予想だにしていなかった。それが月森さん(写真右)である。人見知りはするが図々しい私は「お母さん」と呼び、この上なく寛容な月森さんはそれを許してくれた(と解釈している)。人間観察眼があまりに鋭く、自分でも気づかない一面を指摘されたときは、ぐうの音も出なかった。メールの最後に、「アメリカンマザー」と書いてくださる月森さん。たった数日で、本当に多くのことを教えていただいた。谷田部さん(写真中央)とは、吉田PTA会長と本校校長も合わせた4人でご一緒させていただい た。道中いろいろと解説を交え、ありとあらゆるところにご案内いただいた。とにかく博識である。お陰でアメリカの自然を堪能することができ、その雄大さにただただ気圧されるばかりであった。レスリングをされていたタフガイとは言え、かなりご無理をお願いしたような気がしてならない。11月6日、ご子息が結婚式を挙げられたとの由。翌日、「息子の結婚式はお陰様で晴天に恵まれラッキーでした。」とのメールを頂戴した。慶賀に堪えない私は、記して谷田部さんとご子息のご多幸を皆さんとともに祈念したいと思う。

幸運にも、お二方とは胸襟を開いて本短期留学事業について議論する場面があった。厳しいご意見を   頂いたのも確かである。しかし、そのいずれも、お二方が本事業に精力を傾注なさっているからこそ聞くことができるものであり、また生産的なものであった。ほかの誰よりも、本事業の発展を望んでおられるのである。それにお応えできるものにする義務を学校側は負っていると痛感している。

一生忘れることのできない機会を二人に与えていただいた。そこで得た経験を糧にして、周囲の人た    ちより一層研鑽を重ね、自らを育てていかなければならないと二人には伝えたい。そして皆さんには、二人を温かく見守り、お力添えをお願い申し上げる次第である。

 

FOM-NL “The Dutch Connection”

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

The First Ranald Macdonald Prize to be awarded on October 11, 2016

Long ago, in 1993, I took a trip to Indonesia, and ever since then I have searched for some thread I could follow that connects Holland westward – not eastward – to the Far East. Fifteen years later I found this thread in Frederik Schodt’s biography of Ranald MacDonald. In 2008, my best friend Josje-Marie Vrolijk and I traveled westward around the world in the footsteps of Archibald McDonald and Ranald MacDonald. That was when we met you, the Friends of MacDonald. The trip was so inspiring that I became a very good friend of both Ranald and his modern friends.

My father died in 1999, and when my mother passed away in 2011 I decided to use the inheritance, earned by them in the private sector, for something useful in the public sector. That is how the idea for the Ranald MacDonald Award was conceived. But it needed some time to gestate. The name of the foundation, The Friends of MacDonald • The Dutch Connection, was inspired by a nickname Bruce Berney kindly gave Josje and me during our 2008 trip, and the foundation itself was formally established on November 12, 2015. It would not have been possible without a little help from my friends, actually without much help, from many friends, including you. And I am very grateful to all. 

Frederik Schodt suggested having the award ceremony on October 11 of every year, in commemoration of that Wednesday in 1848, when Ranald MacDonald arrived in the bay of Nagasaki on the Tenjinmaru and was met by the Japanese government’s interpreter, Einosuke Moriyama, and the Dutch trading factor, Joseph H. Levyssohn. I was very happy with this idea, because this small meeting beautifully symbolizes the meeting of ‘the West’ coming from “the East”; the “East” in this case being on the spot in Nagasaki and ‘the West’ coming from the true west—a directional meeting that I have long been intrigued by, and which shall always be central in the works we are henceforth going to commemorate. So, in the official papers of FOM NL, as we have abbreviated the name, October 11 is now the official date for the award ceremony.

For details about the prize, please visit the website of the foundation and/or its Facebook page (see below). For a short explanation, the text on our business cards should suffice:  “Friends of MacDonald • The Dutch Connection – a Cultural Public Benefit Organization which tries to advance insight in relations between Asia, Europe and North America. Its major activity is to grant the ‘Ranald MacDonald Prize’ to a young writer or artist whose work sheds new light on those relations. The prize amounts to 5000 Euros and will be announced every October 11.”

I suspect there is one thing readers of this description might consider odd: the award is Pan-Asian, Pan-European and Pan-North-American, which might seem to be too much to put on the shoulders of one individual like Ranald. But on the other hand, Ranald MacDonald was very much like you and me, operating in a highly unbalanced world. And it seems to me that we are all living again in a highly unbalanced world. Just as Ranald MacDonald cannot be understood without understanding the world he lived in, so, too, are we unable to understand ourselves without understanding the world that surrounds us. FOM NL therefore seeks to recognize and encourage the work of people who can help us understand what is happening. I like to think that Ranald MacDonald would be very happy with our goal, and I hope you agree.

As I write this, it is August 17, or “Hari Proklamasi” or Independence Day, in Indonesia, where I was born. At FOM NL we are now judging some fifty  works of writers and artists from all over the Northern Hemisphere, and we are trying very hard to select just one. This is not easy, because, frankly, the applicants all really deserve the award. But in the process of deciding, the name of Ranald MacDonald will become better known in the Netherlands – and every year one modern individual will be very surprised to receive an award named after him. Is not that amazing?

Fred Dijs, Secretary,  FOM • The Dutch Connection  

Our Largest Group Yet!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Our largest group yet!  A hearty “thank you” to those attending this years’ Friends of MacDonald Membership meeting!  Especially wonderful was being able to host members of Clan Donald, North Pacific Region, Clan Donald USA, who delighted the rest of us with their colorful Tartans and splendid bagpipes!  We also want to welcome and acknowledge Consul General Kojiro Uchiyama, the new head of the Consular Office of Japan in Portland, and his wife Karen, herself a native of Montana, Fr. Dale Johnson and Rev. Deacon George Konig of the Syriac Orthodox Church, who work with refugees in Turkey and Germany, Rex and Keiko Ziak of Astoria, representing the Obon Society, a Japanese-American NPO art history project dedicated to the documenting, exhibiting and return of personal artifacts and personal memorabilia taken as battlefield souvenirs during World War II, and Mr. Koichi Higuchi (who came all the way from Tokyo just to attend our meeting – Mr. Higuchi is kneeling next to our Chairman in the front row; both are wearing FOM t-shirts designed by Mr. Higuchi.) 

                Over the past year we have been able to introduce Friends of MacDonald to new and different groups.  As you might remember, in July 2015 our Chairman gave a power point presentation to a group of 30 young English teachers who were taking part in Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs program entitled “Japan-US Training and Exchange Program for English Language Teachers”.  The presentation was a resounding success, so much so that Portland was again chosen to host another group in August 2016.  This is significant since only three US cities are chosen to host each year.  When these teachers go back to Japan and present what they have ‘learned’ during their time here in the US, they will spread the story of Ranald MacDonald to a new generation of students, aided by FOM’s gift of the book “Unsung Hero” (written by Atsumi Tsukimori of Spokane) that was presented to each of the participants last July (as will happen again this August).  Also part of this year’s presentation will again be FOM’s “Storyteller Laureate”, Mr. Alton Takiyama Chung. 

Members of Clan Donald pose with FOM Chairman Mas Yatabe in front of the MacDonald birthplace monument

 

News From FOM Nagasaki

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

 

小濱正美医(マクドナルド友の会長崎代表)からのご報告によると、2015年12月10日に愛知県美浜町より41名の音吉顕彰会(齋藤宏一会長)の方々が訪長、マクドナルド友の会長崎及び長崎南ロータリークラブの方々と和やかに交流、友好・親睦の輪が出来上がったとの事でした。

According to Dr. Masami Obama of FOM Nagasaki, 41 members of Friends of Otokichi – led by its President Koichi Saito – came to Nagasaki and had a friendly exchange with FOM Nagasaki and Nagasaki-Minami Rotary Club members.  Together, they visited Ranald MacDonald’s and Moriyama Einosuke’s monuments, both of which were erected by Nagasaki-Minami Rotary Club in 1995 and 2015 respectively. 

Students trace MacDonald back to Astoria

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Japanese teens learn about famous resident’s birthplace ~ By Edward Stratton, The DAILY ASTORIAN,  Oct. 9, 2013

Ranald MacDonald, an Astoria native born at Fort George, landed on the Japanese island of Rishiri 165 years ago, and became the first English teacher in Japan.  During October 2013, two students from Rishiri Public High School visited Astoria to improve their English skills and understanding of MacDonald’s birthplace. They departed for other locations in Washington before heading back to Japan.

Tatsuya Koujiya and Yuuki Komatsu, both 17, arrived in Astoria Oct. 6 with their principal, Hiroyuki Tsukamoto.

“The purpose of it is to encourage the students to learn English and nurture international-minded youth,” said Masaru Yatabe, chairman of the 25-year-old Friends of MacDonald and host and interpreter for the students during their visit to the U.S.

The Japanese newspaper Daily Souya reported Dec. 11 that the communities on Rishiri Island, namely Rishiri and Rishirifuji, established the MacDonald’s Encouragement Study Fund, encouraging students to learn English. One or two top students will be chosen each year from their English-language class and travel to Oregon and Washington to experience American life and encourage their English-language skills.

Tatsuya and Yuuki are the first recipients of the fund. They passed a standardized English test, wrote theses in Japanese about what their goals were during the visit and were interviewed by their principal, vice principal and English teacher.

Tatsuya, a senior at Rishiri, said he was hurt and unable to play for his school’s badminton team. So he looked into the study abroad fund and thought it would contribute to his future. Yuuki, who had never left Japan before, works part time at a restaurant and wants to improve his language skills for when he helps foreign customers.

Yuuki and Tatsuya moved in with the families of 15-year-old sophomores Clay Williams and Ben Williams, respectively (they are not related). They’ve been shadowing their hosts in class, visiting local tourist attractions and the MacDonald monument near Fort George. They also attended a 15-6 AHS junior varsity football victory in Tillamook.

Rishiri’s high school has 96 students compared with AHS’ more than 600. Yuuki said at first it was overwhelming, but that over time Ben and Clay have introduced him and Tatsuya to other students, and that they’ve been enjoying the last couple of days despite the language barrier.

“Anyone going to a new place would feel kind of … nervous and quiet,” said Ben Williams, who along with Clay Williams said their Japanese peers are particularly polite. “The language sometimes is a little bit of a problem.”

The relative freedom and individuality of AHS was something new to Tatsuya and Yuuki, who said their high school environment in Rishiri is much more controlled with a focus on group action.

“Sometimes we feel like we lack the structure, so it’s the meeting of the minds,” said AHS Principal Lynn Jackson about the differences.

The two students and their principal left for Spokane, Wash., this morning, bound ultimately for Republic, Wash., where MacDonald died in 1894. Yatabe said they’ll shadow more students at Curlew High School in northeastern Washington, pay respects at MacDonald’s graveside and visit Mukogawa Women’s University in Spokane, Wash.  Then they will spend two days getting back to Rishiri, traveling through Spokane, Seattle, Tokyo, Sapporo, Japan, and finally home.

***

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.

Ranald MacDonald’s World – Roots – Archibald and the H.B.C. Fur Trade

Monday, January 17th, 2011

The next  post will definitely take on an ‘academic’ tone, sort of like what you’d find on The History Channel, but I think it is important to be able to place oneself shoulder-to-shoulder with Ranald MacDonald before one can really appreciate what it was like to live as a Metis – a half-European, half-Native American — in 19th Century North America [and beyond].

Many of us at Friends of MacDonald are familiar with the biography of MacDonald and can recite a near-litany of his many accomplishments, most particularly those events leading up to and including his clandestine entry into Japan in July of 1848. Though celebrated among those of us who know about his history as a world traveller and quasi-diplomat, in regards to his DNA, Ranald MacDonald was in no way unique.

When celebrating the history of the Celtic peoples in the New World, one must include the descendants of their liaisons with the First Peoples, for here is where we find many of the greatest stories on this continent. The joining of these two tribal cultures resulted in some of the greatest warrior-heroes to walk the planet – just when their people needed them the most. The traditional powers of the Old World (Britain, Spain and France) were locked in mortal combat over the vast resources of the New World. These “resources” included the “Coilltich“, the Gaelic word for the “forest-folk” – the term the Highlanders had for the Red Man.(1)

From the Gaelic periodical, Cuairtear nan Gleann, 1840, translated:

“There is no People on the face of this earth who, in matters of war or hunting, can surpass the Indians who inhabit the region of America not inhabited by the white people. They are now (alas!) few in number compared to what they were at one time; for, as the white people become more numerous and powerful, the Indians are scourged backwards before them, from place to place; and are injured by every sort of the most merciless brutality and violence.”

“The American Indians are very refined in their language and they are eloquent and expressive in their manner of speaking.”

It is possible that the Gaels realized that Native Americans were the disposed and disenfranchised of America in the same sense that the Gaels themselves had become the subject race of Scotland, driven out of their home by Clearances that continued into the early twentieth century.(2)

It is no wonder then, that the Highlander would leave the English on the coast of America and settle on the frontiers of the 18th and 19th centuries, intermingling with the tribes and settling down with the women of the First Peoples. “Such unions enabled them to enjoy better relations with their wife’s tribe, gave them a partner with the knowledge and experience necessary to survive in the wild, and bestowed full “native status” to their children on account of the matrilineal reckoning of Native American society.”  Those children, who, having the bloodlines of two warrior tribes from different ends of the planet, made their indelible mark on history for both the Coilltich and the Ceiltich.(3)

To better understand Ranald’s story – who he was as well as his place in the history of this continent (and even in world history) it is important to understand and become familiar with what “his” world was like.  This article will be the first in a series of articles that will hopefully provide some meaningful background to help us all better empathize with the “Life and Times” of Ranald MacDonald.

Selkirk Landing 1812

Landing of the Selkirk Settlers, Red River, 1812, J.E. Schaflein HBC’s 1924 calendar illustration, H.B.C. Archives

The fur trade – and the subsequent arrival of the Hudson’s Bay Company – had various effects on the northern First People [indigenous] populations from the Oregon Territory on the Pacific coast to the northwestern portion of the Northwest Territories and across South and Central Canada. The fur trade itself had already disrupted previous economic relationships between indigenous groups, and in some examples the presence of the Hudson’s Bay Company furthered tension between these groups as each vied for the control of fur-rich regions and sole access to specific Company posts. Though the Tribes may have competed with each other, due to the frontier nature of the region, the relations between fur trade companies and First Peoples was, by necessity, generally one of mutual accommodation. [This was in stark contrast to other European-First People relations.] The fur trade was dependent on indigenous trappers. This dependence resulted in a certain amount of respect for the ability of the indigenous trappers to locate fur-rich areas. Merchant firms such as the Hudson’s Bay Company were subject to market competition, and this in itself encouraged “fair behavior”. Another factor was that the White Traders and the First Peoples were too dependent upon each other to allow any type of extensive exploitation to occur.

The first large wave of Scottish immigration to Canada occurred between 1770 and 1815, when some 15,000 individuals moved to places like the Selkirk Settlement in current-day Manitoba, as well as to settlements along the East Coast and eastern Ontario. A significant number during the fur trade were men, and many of them would settle with Aboriginal women to create the Métis. During the great wave of immigration to Canada’s West during the 1800s and early 1900s, the Highlanders were the preferred group of immigrants because of their hardiness and their adaptability to farming, and these men were highly sought after. Archibald McDonald, Ranald’s father, was just such a man.

Winter Sunlight on Glencoe and Loch Leven

Winter Sunlight on Glencoe and Loch Leven ~ Copyright Jim Stewart

Archibald McDonald was born at Leeckhentium, on the southern shore of Loch Leven, Glencoe, Appin, in North Argyleshire, Scotland, on February 3rd, 1790. [His paternal grandfather, Iain (or John) McDonald, had been one of the few male survivors of the Massacre of Glencoe** in 1692.] It is said that Archibald was well educated and studied the rudiments of medicine at the University of Edinburgh before immigrating to Canada as a member of Lord Selkirk’s Colony(4) at Red River (Manitoba) in 1813, where he assumed a considerable share in the management of the Colony’s affairs, in part because he could act as an interpreter between the overseers of the colony, who spoke English, and the settlers, who, like him, were native Gaelic-speakers. [Thomas Douglas (June 20, 1771~ April 8, 1820) was the 5th Earl of Selkirk and was part-owner of the Hudson Bay Company.]

After Lord Selkirk’s death in 1820, his executors administered the colony, and sought to reduce expenses by ending settlers’ subsidies and refusing to recruit new European immigrants. Consequently, population growth came largely through the retirement of fur traders and their native families to the colony, encouraged by the newly-formed Hudson’s Bay Company’s reduction of the number of its employees. In the spring of 1820 Archibald entered the service of the H.B.C., shortly after the union of the H.B.C. and the North West Company; in 1821 H.B.C. Governor George Simpson sent McDonald to the Columbia district, on the Pacific Northwest coast, where he first served as accountant at Fort George [Fort Astoria].

It was at Fort Astoria in 1823 that Archibald was married “according to the custom of the country”, to the princess Koale’zoa (also known as Raven or Sunday) (d. 1824), daughter of Chinook chief Comcomly, with whom he had one son, Ranald McDonald; Archibald married a second time in 1825, also according to the custom of the country, Jane Klyne, a Metis [mixed-blood] woman with whom he had twelve sons and one daughter.(5)

McDonald was one very busy man; we might even be tempted to call him an ‘over-achiever’. At the very least his resume` is impressive. The following information is taken from Archibald McDonald: Biography and Genealogy, an article written by William S. Lewis and published in the Washington Historical Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 2, April 1918 : “In 1824 Archibald McDonald was one of the clerks in charge of posts in the Thompson’s River District, also known as the Columbia District. He succeeded John McLeod, Chief Trader, at Kamloops in the Thompson’s River District, in 1826.(6)  In July 1828 he accompanied Governor George Simpson of the H.B.C. on a canoe voyage from York Factory, Hudson’s Bay to Fort Langley, New Caledonia, where he succeeded James McMillan.(7)  He remained at Fort Langley until the spring of 1833. While stationed there he inaugurated the business of salting and curing salmon for market. In a letter to John McLeod dated January 15, 1831, McDonald wrote: “Our salmon, for all the contempt entertained for everything outside of the routine of beaver at York Factory, is close up to 300 barrels.”(8)

In 1833 he suggested the idea of raising flocks and herds on the Pacific Coast.

McDonald left Fort Langley for Fort Vancouver and on May 1833 selected the site and helped lay the foundation of Nisqually House [near present-day Tacoma, WA.] In July of that year he accompanied William Connolly up the Columbia with supplies for the interior, for the purpose of proceeding overland to enjoy a furlough. He spent 1834-35 in Scotland. Returning in the spring of 1835, he took charge of Fort Colville in 1836.(9)  McDonald was stationed at Fort Colville from 1836 to 1843. In 1842 he was promoted to Chief Factor. While in the Columbia River district, Archibald had charge of and was eminently successful in placing the land in cultivation, and acquiring and raising horses, cattle, sheep, etc. In a letter to John McLeod dated January 25, 1837, McDonald states, “Your three calves are up to 55 and your 3 grunters would have swarmed the country if we did not make it a point to keep them down to 150.”(10)

Writing in September, 1837, Rev. Elkanah Walker thus describes Archibald McDonald’s farming operations at Fort Colville:

“It was truly pleasing after being nearly half a year without seeing anything that will bear to be compared with good farming, to see fenced fields, houses and barns grouped together, with large and numerous stacks and grain, with cattle and swine feeding on the plain in large number. There is more the appearance of civilized life at Fort Colville than any place I have seen since I left the States, and more than you see in some of the new places in the States … Mr. McDonald raises great crops. He estimates his wheat this year at 1500 bushels and his potatoes at 7000 bushels. Corn is in small quantity in comparison with his other grains.”

While at Fort Colville, in the early forties, Archibald McDonald is said to have had many hundred acres under partial cultivation. His son, Benjamin, stated that his father had nearly five thousand acres of land under cultivation at one time in the vicinity of old Fort Colville. Mr. Jacob A. Meyers places the maximum of land in agricultural use by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the vicinity of Fort Colville at 2000 acres, including in this estimate hay lands some twelve miles distant in the neighborhood of the present town of Colville. The company also held six townships of pasture lands obtained from the Indians by treaty.(11)  [In his later years, Archie’s son Ranald panned the creeks flowing into the Kettle River and Boundary Creek in search of gold; Ranald died on the Colville reservation in 1894 in the arms of his niece, Jenny Lynch, the daughter of his half-brother Benjamin.](12)

At Fort Colville, Archibald supervised the reconstruction of the old sawmill, said to have been originally built in 1826-9, and the first sawmill on the Pacific Coast north of California. The original roof boards of the old fort buildings, of mill-sawn lumber, and lumber for company boats, bateaux and other purposes came from this mill. McDonald also supervised the rebuilding of the gristmill on “Mill Creek” (now Meyers Falls of the Colville River).

archibald-mcdonald

During Archibald McDonald’s many years in the Northwest he made no less than 15 trips across the continent between 1812 and 1845. He also kept very accurate journals, describing the country as regards to topography, soil, timber, rivers, climate, etc., through plains and over mountains, from Hudson’s Bay and the Great Lakes to the Pacific.

On his retirement from the H.B.C. in 1844 he moved overland with his family to Montreal, where he resided for two years. He then moved to St. Andrews on the Ottawa River, where he purchased a large tract of land and established a permanent home. He called his residence “Glencoe Cottage” and here he continued to live until his death on January 15, 1853, at the age of 62 years. Sadly, he may have died believing that his eldest son Ranald had perished at sea, though according to Fred Schodt in Native American in the Land of the Shogun, “ … this was unlikely. On April 3, 1852, the month before he removed Ranald from his will, Archibald wrote to a relative in Ft. Colville: ‘From Ranald, the Hero of Japan, I had several letters since his withdrawal from Jedo (sic) – He sticks to the sea, and last sailed from London for Sidney. But I trust now he will prefer digging for gold in Australia to the precarious and uncertain life of a sailor.’ ”

In the business of the Hudson’s Bay Company Archibald displayed great initiative and energy, and, possessing also considerable executive and business ability, he was unquestionably one of the most capable chief traders in the Columbia River District. Moreover, Archibald McDonald was a likeable character. He was naturally of a kindly nature, and a most agreeable companion. During his many years in the Northwest he maintained an extensive correspondence with his contemporaries in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s service. To visitors at his post he was a most courteous host. John McLean, writing in April, 1887, says, “We met with a most friendly reception from a warm hearted Gael, Mr. McDonald.”(13) Reverend Elkanah Walker, in his Journal, under date of September 17, 1888, writes of his arrival at Fort Colville, “Received a cordial welcome from Mr. McDonald and lady.” Subsequent pages of the Journal record many courtesies and kindnesses of the Hudson’s Bay Chief Trader.(14)

His family relations were ideal, and he at all times displayed a patient and earnest regard for the spiritual and temporal welfare of his children, to all of whom he gave such educational advantages as his means and the times permitted. “It is high time,” he writes, “for me to see and get my little boys to school – God bless them – I have no less than five of them all in a promising way.”(15)  A highlander born and bred, Archibald McDonald was in the best sense of the term “a gentleman of the old school,” a man utterly fearless, and of greatest personal integrity and honor. McLeod in his Peace River (pp. 117, 91) describes him as “a gentleman of utmost suavity of spirit as well as form.”

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” It seems that in this, Ranald MacDonald had a superior role model in the form of his father.

To be continued … ~A.M.Y.~~~

(1)The Legacy of Scottish Highlanders in the United States ~Michael Newton 2001 (2)Ibid. [3]Mike Dunlap, from the upcoming book, “New World Celts: Voyage to America”[4]Thomas Douglas (June 20, 1771 — April 8, 1820) was the 5th Earl of Selkirk[5]Jean Murray Cole, Dictionary of Canadian History On Line[6]McLeod’s Peace River[7]See Archibald McDonald’s Journal; McLeod’s Peace River[8]Washington Historical Quarterly, i, 265, July, 1907.[9]Washington Historical Quarterly/, ii, 254, April, 1908;[10]Ibid [11]Lieutenant Johnson gives the cultivated land in the immediate vicinity of the fort (1841) as but 130 acres. U. B. Exploring Exp., iv, 443.[12]Washington State History, Native Americans in Ferry County[13]John McLean, Notes of a Twenty-Five Years’ Service in the Hudson’s Bay Territory [14]Reports of the U. S. (Wilkes Expedition (1841), IV, 443, 454[15]Washington Historical Quarterly, ii, 163, January, 1908

Samurai in Washington D.C.

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

150 years ago, the world had yet to discover Japan, and the people of Japan had never seen America …

In the summer of 1860, before the Civil War erased all thoughts of international affairs from America’s mind, the Japan’s Tokugawa government sent its first diplomatic mission to the United States:  a group of 77 samurai whose purpose was to exchange the instruments of ratification of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce (1858). The agreement opened the ports of Edo and four other Japanese cities to American trade, among other stipulations. In the years  before the Civil War, the Japanese visitors captivated the American people and the press.samurai-reception-in-wash-dc-1860 Landing of Japanese Embassy at Navy Yard in Washington, DC, May 1860

Throughout their seven-week tour, the guests from Japan were greeted with great excitement, if not outright curiosity given their “exotic” dress and demeanor. Everywhere they went, they were met by overflowing crowds, and impressive parades were staged in their honor. The historic visit was widely covered in the American press of the day, which relished recounting every detail of the visits made by these exotic visitors. In fact, these Japanese envoys from across the Pacific became celebrities who captivated much attention across a nation that had yet to experience the outbreak of the American Civil War. This remarkable encounter of cultures was described in the June 11, 1860 edition of The New York Times as “… an event which, if it have any significance at all, involves consequences the most momentous to the civilization and the commerce of the world for ages to come.”uss-powhatan-w-1st-japanese-embassy-to-us-circa-1860

USS Powhatan carrying the First Japanese Embassy to America, circa 1860. Woodblock print, ink and colors on paper. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA (The U.S. frigate Powhatan was the so-called “Black Ship” formerly under the command of Commodore Perry)

This momentous event was not only a first for Japan, but for the West as well. Before the Japanese Embassy’s arrival on American shores, no Western country had ever received a diplomatic mission from East Asia. The significance of this great honor was not lost on the fledgling American republic. Congress adjourned for their arrival at the Navy Yard, while a crowd of 5,000 gathered to greet the samurai at the docks. Another 20,000 Washingtonians – Washington’s population at that time was about 75,000 – cheered along their route to the Willard Hotel, where the samurai would lodge during their stay. Men and boys climbed trees to get a better look as ladies tossed flowers from crowded, second-story windows.

Vice Envoy Muragaki described the scene in his private journal:

“What immense crowds there were! The streets were like seas of human beings; the windows and balconies were thronged with people eager to get a glimpse of the procession. I could not help smiling at the wonder in their eyes, which reached a culminating point when they caught sight of our party wearing costumes that they had never seen before or even dreamt of. I might say that the whole procession seemed to the people of Washington to be a scene out of fairyland, as, indeed, their city appeared to us.

It was however, not without a feeling of pride and satisfaction that we drove, in such grand style, through the streets of the American metropolis, as the first Ambassadors that Japan had ever sent abroad, and that we witnessed the enthusiastic welcome accorded to us by the citizens.”

Herman Melville called Japan “impenetrable” in Moby Dick (1851), and predicted that “(if) that double-bolted land, Japan, is even to become hospitable, it is the whale-ship alone to whom the credit will be due; for all ready she is on the threshold.”  Less than three years later Commodore Perry’s steam-powered “Black Ships” [which included the U.S. frigate Powhatan] lowered their anchors in Edo Bay in 1853 and Japan’s official policy of national isolation, which had been followed for over two centuries, did indeed come to an end.

When I Googled “1860 Japanese ambassadors to America” over 90,300 results appeared.  Of course I did not visit each and every website, but I did peruse the first four pages totaling just under 40 links.  For Japanophiles the very idea that 90,000+ pages were devoted to one subject, e.g., the first Japanese embassy to visit America, is gratifying.   For Friends of MacDonald members, however, the sparkles of delight are definitely muted; nearly every web article I inspected lovingly pointed out that Commodore Perry had “opened” Japan a mere 7 years before the official Japanese embassy visit, but none – NOT ONE – made mention of the fact that it had been Ranald MacDonald’s efforts – his design, if you will -that had facilitated the success of America’s first official contact with Japan, but Ranald had clearly articulated his intent, to wit:

“Wonder in an ocean of wonders! – to us, on its opposite shore, gazing, searching into the far, far offing, it was ever an object of intense curiosity. What of such people? What of their manner of life? What of their unrivalled(sic) wealth with its gleam of gold and things most precious? What of their life, social, municipal and national? What of their feelings and tendencies – if any – toward association or friendly relations with other people, especially us, neighbors of their East?

These and such like questions and considerations ever recurring; the subject, oft, of talk amongst my elders … entering deeply into my young and naturally receptive mind; breeding, in their own way, thoughts and aspirations which dominated me as a soul possessed.  I resolved, within myself, to personally solve the mystery, if possible, at any cost of effort – yea, even life itself.

Satisfied in my own conscience with my purpose, I never abandoned it.  That purpose was to learn of them; and, if occasion should offer it, to instruct them of us.” ~~ Ranald MacDonald, The Narrative of His Life, 1824-1894; pg.131 (annotated and edited by Wm. Lewis & N. Murakami)

And so he did.  And if Ranald had not had the opportunity – and the audacity – to instruct several, bright Japanese students in the complexities of the English language – among them the Emperor’s eventual chief interpreter to Commodore Perry, Einosuke Moriyama – who knows how America’s initial foray into Japan would have turned out?

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