In 1853, few Japanese people knew that a country called America even existed.<P><P> For centuries, Japan had isolated itself from the outside world by refusing to trade with other countries and even refusing to help shipwrecked sailors, foreign or Japanese. The country's people still lived under a feudal system like that of Europe in the Middle Ages. But everything began to change when American Commodore Perry and his troops sailed to the Land of the Rising Sun, bringing with them new science and technology, and a new way of life.<P> Newbery Medal Honor book
Based on a true story. In 1841 rescued by an American whaler, after being stranded on a deserted island with friends, 14-year-old Manjiro becomes the first Japanese person to visit the United States.
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