In the 1800s, the Japanese government had strict isolation laws. By decree, foreigners and ideas from outside Japan were forbidden. So when fourteen-year-old Manjiro and four other fishermen were shipwrecked on a small rocky island three hundred miles from shore, they wondered if they would ever be allowed to return home!Celebrated author Rhoda Blumberg regales us with Manjiro's exciting true story. He was the first Japanese person to come to the United States, and his impressions of the country give us vivid glimpses of midnineteenth-century American life. He even took part in the Gold Rush!In a surprising twist of fate, Manjiro became a hero in Japan, playing an important role in opening his country to westerners.Told here by a brilliant storyteller with a passion for history, Manjiro's biography is a fast-paced, historically accurate, inspiring true-life adventure.