Superb reading: Friends of MacDonald blog
“Friends of MacDonald: Celebrating the Life of Japan’s First English Teacher” is an absolutely superb blog in Japanese and English devoted to Ranald MacDonald’s legacy.
It’s beautifully designed and really well written.
A sample of what’s there that makes the blog a singular tool for understanding the story of this Chinook Indian métis:
- Rishiri Island wildflowers (Ranald first landed here before being taken away to teach English)
- A biography of Ranald as explorer and de facto ambassador
- Membership information; particularly for American learners of Japanese and Japanese learners of English
Incidentally, I see that in 1998, members of FOM were treated to a reenactment of Ranald MacDonald’s intentional stranding in Japan courtesy of the crew of the Lady Washington in Grays Harbor, WA. That must’ve been fun! This vessel is a re-creation of quite an important ship in Northwest history that was captained by Columbia River ‘discoverer’ Robert Gray and later by John Kendrick. (See also a present-day explorer of Kendrick’s routes.) The Lady Washington, our official state ship, is still going strong; I saw a help-wanted notice on a bulletin board in a coastal community last week seeking crew members.