An exposition devoted to the history of Russo-Japanese relations opened in the local lore museum of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the Russian Far East, on Wednesday. It tells about Russian admiral Vasily Golovnin and Japanese merchant Takadaya Kaheya who stood at the sources of the two countries' relations. The historical documents, photographs, drawings, and elements of the national clothes were handed over to the Kamchatka museum as a present by the descendant of the Japanese merchant, Takadaya Kushiti.
In 1811, during the inventory of the Kurile islands, Vasily Golovnin with his team landed on the Kushnir island and was immediately taken prisoner by the Japanese. Later, the Russian seamen were transferred to the prison in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. It was only in 1813 that the admiral and his team were freed thanks to the Japanese merchant, Takadaya Kaheya. While in prison, the admiral has written the notes about his three-year captivity which have become the first work about Japan issued in Russia.
Merchant Takadaya Kaheya is the Japanese national hero. According to his descendant Takadaya Kushiti, who is now visiting Kamchatka, the history of Vasily Golovnin and Takadaya Kaheya helped Japan, which had maintained relations only with the Netherlands, to become a more open country.