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Utsuro-Bune (wikipedia.org)
98 points by ekianjo 13 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments

I love the thing about "and then the fishermen returned her and her boat to the ocean"... That's pretty mean of them!

my understanding that during time of shogun the foreigners were just executed, so it is kind of merciful to just let go.

As far as I know, that was only for one specific period in time (the Sakoku period[0].)


Sounds a bit like the legend of King Skjöldr, who was a Danish King who came to the shore as a small child in a boat with no other on it on a shild (hence the name.)


Like Moses, too. Bit of a theme going here. Only, she was an adult already; it's curious that she was presumed royalty like the other two. Perhaps she started her journey as a baby, like Skjöldr and Moses, but people just kept putting a little food in and sending her on her way.

clearly a circular lifeboat, sent back in time somehow


Occam's Razor. It was most likely a lost human from a distant land, speaking another language, traveling in an exotic looking vessel. This is a simpler explanation than invoking extraterrestrial life.

If we define 'alien' as humanoid traveler from distant land, foreign language and exotic vehicle, then we're most of the way there :)

My US visa says “alien” so “visitor from distant land speaking an odd language” sounds about right


Very much agree that the UFO thing is a red herring. But perhaps Occam's Razor actually points to an even simpler explanation, that of it being a reoccurring mythological trope that was repackaged as an historical event.

That said, I would love if it actually were the case that a mysterious woman from, say, the Dutch East Indies — to make up a random, semi-plausible example — really did wash ashore in a Japanese fishing village. Sounds like a sequel to "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" (awesome book by the way).

Always interests me how legends and stories like this are passed around, and how much changed since the original, but also what /really/ happened for the story to take form.

I wonder if a corrach might explain the description. I've never seen one that was circular, but many have a broader beam than many boats, and an Irish woman would account for the red hair.

I realize on further reflection that that was an idiotic comment. How do you take a corrach to Japan? Overland, probably.

Trey The Explainer has a nice video about this [0]

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVQ6nF2bJwo

Hmmmm "probably time traveling alien from the hollow earth", :P

>...The woman had red hair and eyebrows,...

Was it Leelo Dallas ?

I’m not saying it was aliens... but it was aliens. /s

True in a sense, if the woman in the boat wasn't from Japan.

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