Kyosuke Yasuda or more commonly known as Frank Yasuda,
was one of the first Japanese to contact the Alaska Natives,
and see the beautiful land of Alaska. He played a very important
role to the Inupiaqs of Point Barrow, Alaska. A role that not
very many people know about. His most impressive contribution
to them was when he migrated them down and founded the town
of Beaver, Alaska on the Yukon river, where they settled. Due
to the decreased amount of whales left because of poaching and
the measles breaking out in there town, almost killing them
all. He also tried a little mining and ended up very successful
Frank Yasuda was born in 1868 in Miyagi Japan. By age 15 both
of his parents had passed away and all of his sisters were of
married and all his brothers were becoming doctors, like his
dad, and his dad's dad. At age 15 you're considered an adult.
Not having any of his family to care for him or help
him out, he went and got a job with the Isinomaki branch of
the Mitsubishi shipping company. four years later he became
a trainee crewman for the company's international route. On
one of his routes he got off at San Francisco and stayed He
worked there on a vegetable farm for about 6 months. After being
treated bad because he didn't know how to speak English he replied
to an add in the paper to be a cabin boy on the USS Cutter Bear.
This brought him to Alaska. where they watched for illegal seal
and whale hunting.
During one trip the Bear got stuck in the ice and Frank
volunteered to go ashore to Barrow to get help, which nearly
killed him. Once ashore he decided to stay and he resigned from
the Bear. Frank was quickly accepted into the Native community.
In the book, "An Alaskan Tale "by Jiro Nitta, it says
how the Inupiaqs thought he was an Eskimo from an island called
Japan. He adapted to the necessary skills to survive in Point
Barrow and he also picked up their language very quick. Charles
Brower, one of the first white man there, helped Frank a lot.
After Frank went on his first whale hunt which
he has never done, he was like a hero, because he was the first
one to spear the whale. He was then chosen to be the lead hunter
on the next hunting trip. Because of his great success on his
first hunting trip. The Eskimos believe that the whales like
woman. So the Chief of the hunting group would give his wife
to the lead hunting man, in this case Frank, to sleep with.
They thought by doing this you would gain the scent of the woman
so the whales would come to
you. Frank refused , since this was not customary where he was
from. This was also a way to protect the woman when the men
were out hunting.
The Russian and American ways of hunting as well
as the illegal whale hunting greatly affected the population
of the whales. When the time came for whale hunting season no
one could catch anything. A local shaman said that Frank was
to blame for it. No one had to tell Frank that they wanted him
to leave, he knew. He went to Charles Brower for advice, who
told Frank he could send him to Flaxmann Island for a couple
of years. So Frank did. On his trip to Flaxmann Island, the
one woman in Barrow who he loved chased him down to spend the
rest of her life with him. Her name was Nevelo and she moved
to Flaxmann Island, where they would trade