I am so excited to have found out this fascinating story of the first Japanese citizen ever in American soil... his being stranded in an island at 14, then rescued by a whaling ship... at the same time Melville was going around in a whaler and taking copious notes of that adventurous life, which later became part of his masterwork Moby Dick.
The book describes Manjiro's arrival in Hawaii and Massachusetts after that, his eventual return to Japan,his imprisonment and then his being named a Samurai, and finally his role in the opening of Japan to the rest of the world. A true story with so many incredible chapters! The illustrations are all very interesting as well! This is lenghthy picture book, and excellent!
Using inter-library loan I also borrowed Manjiro by Emily Arnold
McCully which is also excellent if a bit shorter, but brings new facts into the story.