Date: 7 July 2010, 6:30pm
Venue: The Japan Foundation, Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square, London WC1B 5EH
Organiser: Haus Publishing
Free talk and book launch event at the Japan Foundation for Admiral Togo : Nelson of the East by Jonathan Clements
Launching this new biography with an illustrated talk, author Jonathan Clements will examine the turbulent relationship between a Japanese war hero and the people of Britain. Feted as the ‘Nelson of the East’ after his victory over the Russian fleet in the battle of Tsushima, Admiral Togo Heihachiro (1848-1934) returned in triumph to the UK, where he had studied as a youth at a Kent maritime college.
The young Togo’s English schoolmates had taunted him with the nickname Johnny Chinaman. He later lived in Greenwich, and worked in an Isle of Dogs shipyard on the next generation of Japanese warships. He also stayed with a family in Cambridge, where he was once mistaken for a juggler. Returning to the Far East, he became infamous in the letters page of the Times, when he controversially sank a British-registered transport. All this, however, was forgotten when he sank the Tsar’s navy at Tsushima 1905: the high point of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, followed by his celebrated world tour, which brought him back to the UK 99 years ago this month.