Japanese Antarctic Expedition

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Lt Nobu Shirase, leader of the Japanese Antarctic Expedition

The Japanese Antarctic Expedition of 1910–12 was the first exploration of Antarctic territory by an expedition from Japan. Led by Army Lieutenant Nobu Shirase, its ship Kainan Maru left Tokyo in December 1910, reached the ice on 26 February 1911 and sailed on into the Ross Sea. As it was very late in the Antarctic season, the ship was not able to get beyond Coulman Island, and returned to Sydney, Australia to winter there.[1][2]

During the following season a third attempt was made to reach an Antarctic landfall, with the specific objective of exploring King Edward VII Land. At the Great Ice Barrier, the Kainan Maru encountered Roald Amundsen's ship Fram, which was waiting in the Bay of Whales for the return of Amundsen's South Pole party.[3] A "Dash Patrol" of seven men from the Kainan Maru then landed on the Barrier and journeyed southward to 80°05'S, at which point adverse weather forced their return. Meanwhile, the ship landed another party on the coast of King Edward VII Land, where an exploration of the lower slopes of the Alexandra Range was carried out. Kainan Maru returned to Japan; it reached Yokohama on 20 June 1912.[4]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Memorial plaque to the Japanese Antarctic Expedition visit to Parsley Bay, Sydney in 1911". www.australiaforvisitors.com. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  2. ^ Sue Myatt, Professor Edgeworth David and the Shirase Expedition, australianmuseum.net.au, Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  3. ^ Amundsen, Vol II, pp. 271–72
  4. ^ "Nobu Shirase, 1861–1946". www.south-pole.com. Retrieved 24 September 2008.


Further reading[edit]

  • Shirase Antarctic Expedition Supporters' Association (2011). The Japanese South Polar expedition, 1910-12 : a record of Antarctica. Norwich: Bluntisham Books. ISBN 9781852971090.

External links[edit]