On August 14, 2012 Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara journeyed from Japan with 30 other visitors to the Cooke Memorial Park in Fairhaven to dedicate the cherry trees he had donated to the town. Also in attendance were Fairhaven Selectmen Dr. Brian Bowcock (chairman), Mr. Charles Murphy, Jr. and Mr. Robert Espindola as well as, Consul General and Mrs. Hikihara, Ms. Tomoko Nakahama, her daughter, Kei Konishi (5th generation descendant of Manjiro) and Gerry Rooney, President & CEO of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society. The group was joined by Mr. Junji Kitadai (Manjiro historian and current member of the Executive Committee of the Society) and six members of the Kochikenjinkai of New York.

During the earlier weeks 14 cherry trees had been planted in Fairhaven and New Bedford. One tree had been planted at each oif the following sites:
Fairhaven: Town Hall, Unitarian church, Academy building, Old Stone School, and Whitfield Gravesite at Riverside Cemetery. Three trees were planted in New Bedford (one in each of the major parks). The main cluster of six trees had been planted in the Cooke Memorial Park (corner of Pilgrim and Cherry streets, Fairhaven). Note: three additional trees are included to be planted next year at the site of the new Wood School in Fairhaven.

In his remarks Dr. Hinohara’s stated, “…Japanese cherry trees were planted on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. exactly 100 years ago as a token of friendship between two great nations. In the same spirit, we are happy today to be able to plant 17 cherry trees at meaningful places in Fairhaven and New Bedford. I sincerely hope these cherry trees will grow strong and bloom beautifully and become constant reminders of the spirit of Captain Whitfield and Manjiro.”

The dedication ended with the presentation of a granite bench with plaque in Dr. Hinohara’s honor from the Town of Fairhaven. The bench is located in the Cooke Memorial Park.

6th Generation Manjiro Descendant

Asuka Nakamura, a 6th generation descendant of John Manjiro, visited the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship museum and was given a tour of the Manjiro Trail by Gerry & Ayako Rooney.


Following are two photos of the group from Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture.  Machiko was able to view the two upper floors from her wheelchair as she watched the upper tour in Japanese from our video in the gift shop.  They visited the Manjiro Trail on February 22.


Here are a few pictures of a group of happy students who had just taken a tour of the Manjiro Trail with their incredibly informative tour guides, Gerry & Ayako Rooney. The children were incredibly excited and inspired by the history of Manjiro and Captain Whitfield.


Following are a few photos of students from this years’ visit from Keio Academy in New York with their teacher and coordinator, Yuki Fujita.  The first picture is Yuki and the second picture is Gerry & Ayako Rooney with students during the museum tour.  It was a wonderful visit and we look forward to seeing them again next year.


Photos of students visiting from Keio Academy in New York led by teacher, Yuki Fujita, who reminded us all that it was the 179th year anniversary of the first day that Manjiro lived at the Captain’s house.  Soon we received letters from all four students indicating how much they had enjoyed, and learned from, the visit.

Highlights from the 2022 Summer Courses

Following are pictures captured during our 2022 – 2 Part Summer Course Offerings where students participated in a variety of activities including creating seascape memories with Nina Mach, basic calligraphy techniques & Japanese language, cooking Japanese dishes including sushi, dumplings, miso soup & more.  Jill Simmons presented a Bonsai workshop, Dr. Brian Bowcock presented a hands-on Scrimshaw workshop & participants learned much about Whaling Japanese Culture and the Whitfield Manjiro story.  Thanks to Instructors Debbie Almeida and Ayako Rooney for their time and talent.

Colonial Centerpiece Workshop

On December 18, 2022, a workshop was held at the Whitfield-Manjiro museum spearheaded by Debbie Almeida with 9 participants.  They created beautiful Colonial centerpieces.  Highlighted here are some of their masterpieces.