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Japanese Survivor of the Titanic

By David Yamaguchi
The North American Post

The Titanic has been much in the news of late, owing to the implosion of the “Titan” carbon-fiber submersible on June 18. But did you know that a Japanese man survived the infamous 1912 sinking?

Masabumi Hosono Titanic record<br >Photo public domain via Wikimedia Commons

His name was Masabumi Hosono. He was a civil servant returning home to Japan. He had been on a temporary assignment to study the Russian railway system. Spoken poorly of for the rest of his life as a man who survived a disaster while many died, he had set down his own written account of the night shortly after rescue (left). There, he states that he took the initiative to jump into the ocean, then swim to a partially empty lifeboat, while many others remained “frozen” on board.

Moreover, among adult male passengers with second-class tickets who could get to the upper deck, he was one of 14 such survivors.

Key passages of his record read,
“I saw another person jump into the water, and I decided to jump as well, prepared to be shot with a gun….
“When I got on the boat, I rowed a few steps away from the ship, and when I looked back, I saw many passengers still wandering on the deck. Inside the boat, there were women crying and children screaming….
“(W)e drifted for some time. Eventually, we saw smoke from a distant ship…”

Hosono lived until 1939.