Kenichi Horie’s Story Told in New Children’s Book

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SAN FRANCISCO — A book release party for “Kodoku” (Heyday Books) will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 4th St., San Francisco.

Author William Emery and artist Hanae Rivera recreate the legendary tale of Kenichi Horie, a courageous boy who dared to follow his dreams. To celebrate their book release, they will be running a series of workshops at the museum.

12 to 12:30 p.m.: Emery reads “Kodoku” while Rivera illustrates it on the spot.

12:30 to 2 p.m.: Visitors are invited to contribute to a collaborative watercolor painting and make their own mini-boats on the patio.

1 to 1:30 and 1:30 to 2 p.m.: Rivera teaches participants how to paint with chocolate. Advanced registration required; space is limited. Ages 6 and up.

For more information, call (415) 820-3320 or visit http://creativity.org.

About the Book

In 1962 a young adventurer, Kenichi Horie, left the shores of his native Japan in a small sailboat he called the Mermaid. Three months later he reached San Francisco, becoming the first person to sail across the Pacific Ocean alone.

Horie arrived in the U.S on his 19-foot black plywood sloop with no passport, no money, and little knowledge of English. He was arrested and briefly detained, but when Mayor George Christopher found out about his story, he made sure Horie was released and presented with a visa and the key to the city.

Throughout his lifetime, Horie continued to make extraordinary sea voyages — sometimes in unusual vessels. In addition to completing two solo trips around the world, in 1974 and 1978, Horie sailed from Hawaii to Okinawa in a pedal-powered boat, used a recycled aluminum-can solar boat to sail from Ecuador to Tokyo, and in 1999 crossed the Pacific in a boat named Malt’s Mermaid II that was made out of recycled beer barrels.

In 2002, as a tribute to San Francisco, Horie at the age of 63 successfully recreated his original voyage. Today the Mermaid resides in the museum collection of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and Horie resides in his native Japan.

“The extraordinary courage and determination of this young Japanese sailor should inspire young readers to believe that anything is possible with imagination and commitment,” said Hiroshi Inomata, consul general of Japan in San Francisco.

“‘Kodoku’ is a gift that reminds us to nourish dreams of traversing vast and unfamiliar places simply for the risk of discovering in the journey who we really are,” said Patricia Wakida, former curator at the Japanese American National Museum.

William Emery grew up on the grass seas of the Kansas prairie, far from boats but still prey to wind and storm. He is the author of “Edges of Bounty: Adventures in the Edible Valley” and is currently transforming Salina, Kansas, to make it habitable for human beings, old and new.

Hanae Rivera traveled frequently as a child to her mother’s homeland of Japan. After receiving her BA in cinema/TV production from the University of Southern California, she returned to her native San Francisco, the beautiful city sandwiched between sea and sky. This is her first book.

On the Web: www.heydaybooks.com

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