Legend or Fact?
On February 22 in 1803, local fishers of the ‘Harayadori’ shore in the Hitachi province saw an ominous “ship” drifting in the waters. Curious, they towed the vessel back to land, discovering that it was 129.9 inches high and 212.6 inches wide, reminding the witnesses of a Kohako (Japanese incense burner). Its upper part appeared to be made of red coated rosewood, while the lower part was covered with brazen plates, obviously to protect it against the sharp-edged rocks. The upper part had several windows made of glass or crystal, covered with bars and clogged with some kind of tree resin. The windows were completely transparent and the baffled fishermen looked inside. The inner side of the Utsuro-bune was decorated with texts written in an unknown language.
The fishermen found items inside such as two bed sheets, a bottle filled with 3.6 litres of water, some cake and kneaded meat. Then the fishermen saw a beautiful young woman, possibly 18 or 20 years old. Her body size was said to be 4.93 feet. The woman had red hair and eyebrows, the hair elongated by artificial white extensions. The extensions could have been made of white fur or thin, white-powdered textile streaks. This hair style cannot be found in any literature. The skin of the lady was a very pale pink colour. She wore precious, long and smooth clothes of unknown fabrics. The woman began speaking, but no one understood her. She did not seem to understand the fishermen either, so no one could ask her about her origin. Although the mysterious woman appeared friendly and courteous, she acted oddly, for she always clutched a quadratic box made of pale material and around 23.62 inches in size. The woman did not allow anyone to touch the box, no matter how kindly or pressingly the witnesses asked.