The library of my elementary school had a shelf, which was full of non-fiction books with blue backs. I have read all of them. In that time I loved to read incredible stories.
I studied cultural anthropology in my university (, but I dropped out). When I am sometimes asked the reason why you majored in anthropology, I could not answered well in anytime. I guess the reason might be that I can find incredible stories in ethnographies of anthropology.
I have read Ryutaro Iwase's "Robinson in Edo Period: Seven Drifting Stories". The category of drifting stories is a gold mine of incredible stories. I was not disappointed at this book.
The seven drifting stories are divided into three categories. The first one is the cases that people drifted to remote and uninhabited islands and were forced to survive alone for a long time. Second one is the case that people drifted toward north and met Russians. They became to understand each others through the intercultural communication. Third one is the cases that people drifted toward south and got caught by natives. Of course there were far more dead people who could not return to Japan behind the people who could return to Japan.
Every story is incredible. Stories about people drifting toward south are most incredible. Because many people lived in the southern part of Pacific Ocean, drifters had more chance to meet people. And in that time trafficking a human being was ordinal, and many of them were sold as slaves.
Hisashi Fujiki’s "Common Soldiers in the Battle Fields" says that in the Warring States period many of the captives in the battlefields in the western part of Japan were sent to South East Asia as slaves. Drifters in Edo Period experienced the same thing. I wonder how their descendants are now.
Kunio Yanagida’s "Life on a Island" has a short story named "the Story of Return to Aogashima", which is the history of Aogashima placed beyond Hachijojima in Edo period. Aogashima has volcano. Sometime inhabitants in Aogashima run away to Hachijojima because of an eruption. And then they made an attempt to return to Aogashima, but the sea between Hachijojima to Aogashima was large barrier. A ship that went to Aogashima to see how it was happened to drift to Boso peninsula. This ship tried to go to Edo, but drifted to Toba, Ise again. It returned from Toba to Hachijojima after one year. What a hardship it was! This is a real incredible story.