Voyage to America
"Every since about 18 years old I determined to go to America and it was my ambition."
Preparation go to America
Every since about 18 years old I determined to go to America and it was my ambition. Idea go to US to study, come with my contact with Mr. T. Shimoisaka. The idea get stronger after influenced by Dr. Inago Nitobe, professor of University of Sapporo at the time. And other reason was, I tried to study in a college or university, but hopeless because of my poverty, found not find the way to finance the study.
I wanted to study in America and observe and practice farming and farm life among real American farm and farm family. Thus with my new eye I wanted to review Japanese farm and farming from more higher, and broader view point, and knew, the way future Japanese farmers way to go.
First November I went home to bid my family goodbye, and to leave home. I still see in my eye of mind my mother stand behind of house looking for departing son.
Voyage to America
Get on board SS Kaga Maru Dec. 17, 1901, parting with my two friends who came to Yokohama to send me off. It was Winter, cold and windy. Mount Fuji half hidden with cloud. We say adieu each other with tears till could not see, the weather was cold, and sea was very rough most time high wave washing the deck, so stay inside most time. Inside of ship smelling mixture of hot steam, fresh paint, and oil. Together with up and down movement of sea make nearly all of us sick. For about 10 days could not eat much, after over ten days we see American continent very dimly, most of us start to eat. Our ship was one of new ship of fleet of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (Japanese Steamship Company). The captain was the Dutchman, he come round our room, urged to get outside do some exercise, but we stay inside, so most of us getting weaker. The ship reached port of Victoria B.C. on end of year, we stopped about 5-6 hours walking around city, everything interesting, and sailing again soon reached Port Townsend. There we all get physical examination. Sailing again, when we woke up in morning the sun just rising and we are in U.S. First day of January, looking bright, flag of rising sun, our national flag with big star and stripes banner of U.S. We all feel happy and hopeful.
words by Zenkichi Kikuchi, 1880 - 1965
read in 日本語