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Robertson, Joshua: Australian convict pirates in Japan: evidence of 1830 voyage unearthed

Joshua Robertson

Australian convict pirates in Japan: evidence of 1830 voyage unearthed‘, Guardian Australia, 28 May 2017

An amateur historian [Nick Russell] has unearthed compelling evidence that the first Australian maritime foray into Japanese waters was by convict pirates on an audacious escape from Tasmania almost two centuries ago.

Fresh translations of samurai accounts of a “barbarian” ship in 1830 give startling corroboration to a story modern scholars had long dismissed as convict fantasy: that a ragtag crew of criminals encountered a forbidden Japan at the height of its feudal isolation.