The Edo period in Japan (1603-1867) was a prosperous time for the Japanese people. For most of this era, Japan was cutoff (almost) completely from the outside world. No trading, traveling, migrating or immigrating occurred during these couple hundred years. A total detachment from the young world; which was barely becoming aware of all its distant inhabitants, their customs, practices and religions. To the Japanese, this isolation allowed them to live war-free and instead focus on their culture, art and economic state.
During the Edo period, we begin to see Japanese folklore spread like wildfire throughout the island. Maybe the product of the isolation and boredom? Or maybe that’s just human nature. The stories kept making their way from the shores to the small inland villages. One of these stories in particular makes many Ufologists ask the question:
“DID JAPAN HAVE AN ALIEN ENCOUNTER OF THE THIRD KIND DURING THE EDO PERIOD?”
This is the story of Japan’s Utsuro-bune, or “hollowed ship”.
The year was 1803 and a few fishermen of the Harasha-ka-hama shore, which is located in the northern coast of Japan, were just about to relax from a hard day’s work when they spotted something strange coming towards the shore. From a distance, the men spotted what appeared to be a weird looking boat. The object seemed to have been aimlessly drifting through the Pacific Ocean. As it drifted closer and closer to the shore, the men decided to venture out into the waters and have a closer look at this “boat”. Cautiously, but more intrigued, the fishermen slowly glide towards the object as the tide helps bring it in. As soon as they were close enough, they noticed that this was no ordinary boat. At least nothing like they’ve ever seen before. The men quickly decide that they must inspect this strange vessel and tow it to shore. With a little guidance, they manage to drag the three by five meters wide vessel onto a safe spot on the beach. By now, more people were gathered around, curious to see what was inside this strange vessel. The men quickly surrounded it and began a close inspection of the construction materials. From what is known, the description of the upper part of this vessel resembled bamboo wood. It appeared to be very smooth and strong with a coat of red paint that covered the entire top part. Also on the top, were several glass or crystal windows that allowed them to peer into the vessels inside? These windows where covered by bars, maybe as ornaments, or maybe as a protective measure. As far as the lower part of the vessel, the legend reports it to be constructed out of brass plates. A truly bizarre design for that era. But what was more bizarre was what was on the inside of the vessel.