Click here to ask questions about this web site
The voyage in 1969, later known as "Alone on the Pacific", was a voyage with "No Passport" "No English" "No Money" smuggling in and out of the countries. Young Horie had enough reasons to be arrested and sent back to Japan when he reached his destination. But George Christopher, the mayor of San Francisco at that time, wished to approve the reckless challenge of the young Japanese, for he himself was a challenger to America, being a son of a Greek immigrant. Mr. George Christopher, the Mayor of San Francisco at that time consulted with Ex-president Mr. Eisenhower whom he had served as a close adviser.
The relationship between the U.S. and Japan was not very favorable with the campaign against the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Condoning the harsh campaign hard enough to abandon his visit to Japan two years before, Mr. Eisenhower suggested to do something good for the Japanese, especially for the young generations. Being encouraged with this advice, the mayor immediately decided to accept Horie as an honorable citizen of San Francisco.
Noon on the next day was the time limit. The Immigration Office had to admit Horie's illegal entry into the country according to San Francisco admitting Horie as an honorable citizen of the city, and the Head Officer himself was generous enough to declare an exceptional measure admitting one months' stay in the country. "If Columbus had been deported, there had been no America today." was Mr. Christopher's words and the people of the U.S. welcomed Horie, and he became a hero. People still call Horie a man of legend and respect him.
It was 17 years after the World War, yet Japan had not recovered from her defeat in the war. The feeling of ineffectualness hang over the younges mind from the defeat in campaigning against Japan-U.S. Treaty. When few Japanese paid attention to outside Japan, Horie's spectacular achievement was quite a astonishing event which brought U.S. so close at hand, which used to seem so far away as the moon.
Hopes, dreams and self-confidence were awaked in the minds of the Japanese. And this adventure of Horie was a prologue for the arrival of an epoch, which many young Japanese launched out to the world stage. The Key of an Honorable Citizen, which Mr. Christopher had handed Horie, was practically a key to the world for the Japanese granted by the Americans.
's success not only opened up Japanese yacht environment, but also Japanese mind which was bounded for 300 years by the Isolation Act issued in 1633. President Eisenhower appreciated Mayor's decision at the news of Horie being accepted as a hero, and even though Mr. Christopher was proud of the president's appreciation, he had kept it to himself until just recently.