The ship ‘Ertuğrul’ was first Islamic ship carrying Muslims to Japan in 1890, and the first known official contact between the Islamic world, represented by Ottoman Empire, and Japan.
As the Ottoman Empire and Japan were the only two independent countries in Asia, they decided to establish friendly relations, so they started to exchange visits. Sultan Abdul Hamid II -may Allah have mercy on him- sent the ship Ertugrul to Japan in July 1889 and arrived in Yokohama aboard in June 1890.
The mission was successfully accomplished, the Ottoman admiral met with Emperor Meiji and offer him the gifts and prestigious medal of the Ottoman Empire.
After 3 months, the Ertugrul set sail from Yokohama on its return voyage, but it was encountered by a typhoon. The ship crashed by rocks off the island of Kii Ōshima, Kushimoto in Wakayama Prefecture, causing the death of more than 550 people. Kii Ōshima islanders braved the typhoon, making frantic efforts to save 69 members of the ship. Word of their heroic deeds soon reached Ottoman Empire, where it elicited an effusion of pro-Japanese sentiment and a reason for the establishment of a solid relationship between Japan and the Islamic Ottoman Empire.
Ertuğrul, ordered in 1854 by Ottoman Sultan Abdülâziz, and was launched on 19 October 1863 in presence of the Sultan. She was named for Ertuğrul Gazi (1198–1281), the father of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire. A three-mast wooden ship, she was 79 m (260 ft) long, 15.5 m (51 ft) wide and had a draft of 8 m (26 ft). The frigate sailed to England in 1864, where she had steam engines and state of the art machinery installed, including electrical lighting. (wikipedia)
The Kushimoto Turkish Memorial and Museum is a monument and a museum to commemorate the sailors of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul, which sunk in 1890 off Kushimoto, Wakayama in Japan.
The Ertugrul’s survivors left Tokyo for Constantinople aboard the Japanese corvettes Hiei andKongō in early October 1890. They arrived safely in January 1891, occasioning a public outpouring of gratitude toward Japan.