By Noreen Jones
Whaling hyperlinks among Japan and Australia. Whaling undefined, Australian-Japanese family, historic money owed and perspective.
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Additional info for North to Matsumae : Australian whalers to Japan
8 Port Jackson to Lauchlan Islands By the time Russell decided to transfer his interests from carrying cargo and passengers to hunting whales, the industry had extended from the northern waters of the Atlantic Sea to the southern Pacific Ocean. Russell seems to have had no previous personal experience of hunting whales, but he was determined to learn the trade, and his lack of skill was balanced by his expertise in navigation and the experience gained during previous journeys through south Pacific islands.
The treatment of captured seamen had been eased somewhat before Commodore Perry of the United States Navy arrived in Japan. His visit and demands, made under the threat of invasion, culminated in the eventual opening of Japanese ports and the subsequent change in the course of Japan’s history. 1 Aboard the ship, two boys were about to begin an education and an adventure that would exceed any that most young men would ever experience in a lifetime. During the following twenty months, they would endure the extreme conditions of spectacular sub-Arctic places of ice and snow, and see the power of typhoons, earthquakes and volcanoes.
It now struck Russell that these must have been erected by the men from the American ship, referred to by Captain Dibbs, which had been cruising for bêche de mer, and whose crew had recently killed many natives. He was curious to go ashore and find evidence of their actions. People could be seen in what looked more like a raft than a canoe, and others were wandering along the reef. Two boats were lowered, with Russell in one and the other carrying the doctor and Russell’s son. Not knowing what might happen, members of the crew were armed for selfdefence.