Manjirō Nakahama: A Japanese Pioneer’s Odyssey from Shipwreck to Gold Rush

Manjirō Nakahama, at the young age of 14, was a fisherman who, along with four companions, found himself stranded on an island following a shipwreck. Their rescue arrived in the form of an American whaleship, which transported them to Honolulu. While his friends decided to stay in Honolulu, Manjirō ventured onwards to Massachusetts. This journey marked him as the first Japanese individual to set foot on the mainland of the United States.

Immediately following his arrival in Massachusetts, Manjirō embarked on a journey towards the California Gold Rush. His venture led him to San Francisco in May 1850. From there, he traversed up the Sacramento River via a steamboat and ventured deep into the mountains. After a few months, his efforts yielded a significant amount of gold, which he exchanged for approximately 600 pieces of silver. With this wealth, Manjirō made the decision to seek a path back to his homeland, Japan.

Upon his return to Japan, Manjirō was honored with the prestigious rank of a samurai. In addition to this, he pursued a scholarly career and served as a professor at Tokyo Imperial University.

Thanksgiving Nuptials: NYC’s Chinese Immigrant Wedding Rush

In New York City, Thanksgiving holds the distinction of being the preferred wedding day for Chinese immigrants, given that it’s typically the one day when entire families aren’t working. Due to the high demand, restaurants must be reserved a year ahead, and it’s not uncommon for a single venue to accommodate up to 10 wedding receptions in a day.

Deportation Agent Discovers Own Undocumented Status

In 2023, Raul Rodriguez, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent responsible for the deportation of numerous individuals, was shocked to discover that he himself was undocumented. Upon presenting his birth certificate to assist his brother in obtaining U.S. citizenship, Rodriguez found out that his documents had been fabricated since birth, making him a non-citizen. As a result, he was promptly terminated from his position.

Raul Rodriguez

Interestingly, this case highlights the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and raises questions about the potential for others in similar situations. Furthermore, it underscores the importance of comprehensive immigration reform, which seeks to address such issues and provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented individuals living in the United States.