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Ertuğrul Ship: The First Contact Between Japan And The Islamic World

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.

 

The Ertugrul at anchor in Constantinople, Turkey.

The Ertugrul at anchor in Constantinople, Turkey.

 

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)

 

Admiral Ali Osman Pasha and Ertugrul crew members (unknown date and location).

Admiral Ali Osman Pasha and Ertugrul crew members (unknown date and location).

 

Wakayama’s rocky coast near the site where the Ertugrul sank.

Wakayama’s rocky coast near the site where the Ertugrul sank.

 

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.

 

Kushimoto Turkish Memorial and Museum.

Kushimoto Turkish Memorial and Museum.

 

The Ertugrul monument in Wakayama Prefecture.

The Ertugrul monument in Wakayama Prefecture.

 

Model of Ertugrul ship at Kushimoto Turkish Memorial and Museum.

Model of Ertugrul ship at Kushimoto Turkish Memorial and Museum.

 

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.

 

The Japanese corvette Kongō anchored in Constantinople, Turkey, in 1891.

The Japanese corvette Kongō anchored in Constantinople, Turkey, in 1891.

 

Leaders of Ertugrul, left side Osman Pasha second to him Ali Beg, with Japanese prince, 1891. via Besim Tebuk

Leaders of Ertugrul, left side Osman Pasha second to him Ali Beg, with Japanese prince, 1891. via Besim Tebuk

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3 Comments

  1. Rohia says:

    It’s very interesting i am very happy to now news of m’y brothers and sisters in japan

  2. Abdul Hakim says:

    We Love “Brothers & Sisters Muslim” in Japan. Barakallaahu fiikum . . . .

  3. Sham says:

    Assalamu alaykum. My family and I love Japan trough Shotokan Karate but now we love it even more because we see our Muslim brothers and sisters there. What a beautiful world! Japanese Nafs- Samurais 😀 Why are Japanese people so cute and kind and natural? I wish that my Japanese friend converts to Islam, because she is so kind and nice and deserves all the best. I love Japan and Japanese people, don’t know why : D Long live Japan and Muslims may be forever happy there and all nice people.

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