Geography Of Japan


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geography of japan Christopher Columbus1




Christopher Columbus was born in the port city of Genoa, Italy in 1451.  His father
was a wool weaver named Domenico Columbo.  As a boy, Christopher had no schooling.  He
and his younger brother Bartholomew helped their father by carding raw wool.  Christopher
grew up to be a tall, red-haired, quiet and deeply religious man.  He worked for his father until
he was 22.  He went out with the sardine fishing fleets, as other Genoese boys did and he sailed
along the coast to Corsica on business for his father.  Genoese traders had their own schooners as
did Christopher Columbus father.  He made at least one trip to the North African coast.  On
long trips such as these, Christopher learned the elements of seamanship.
                   In 1476, Columbus sailed as a common seaman aboard a Genoese merchant ship
that was headed for Lisbon, England and Flanders.  Since the Mediterranean nations were at war
at the time, the ship Columbus was on was attacked and went down.  Luckily, Columbus was
able to swim to shore and make his way to Lisbon where he settled.
                   At this time Portugal was the worlds greatest seafaring nation.  Many Genoese had
become rich and had prospered in Lisbon and Columbus saw his chance to do the same by
becoming sea captain under the Portuguese flag.  First, however, he had to educate himself.  He
learned to speak Portuguese and Castilian which was the official language of Spain at the time.  
He also mastered Latin so that he may be able to read scholarly books on geography.
                   To earn his living, Columbus became a chart maker.  He also made voyages as an
agent for a Genoese merchant in Lisbon.  In 1479 he married Dona Felipa Perestrello, whose
father had been one of Prince Henrys captains.  They had one son, Diego.  Felipas high social
rank enabled Columbus to meet important officials.  She also gave him her fathers collection of
charts and documents.  From these Columbus gained  more knowledge of Portuguese discoveries
and plans.  In 1481, he entered the service of King John II of Portugal and voyaged to the gold
                   During that time the wealth of Asia was being discovered and Europeans were eager
for more of it.  Asian goods had to be brought over to Europe through a perilous overland route
which made them scarce and expensive.  Ships could carry the good more cheaply and with
greater quantity.  To reach India, China, Japan and the East Indies the Portuguese were trying to
make a route that stretched all around the coast of Africa for trading.  Another possibility was
across the Atlantic Ocean.  At the time all educated men knew that the world was round and that
Asia was west of Europe.  But, no one knew how far it was.
                   Columbus studies lead him to believe that the Earth was much smaller than it really
was so Asia was a lot farther than he thought.  He made his calculations based on evidence from
sources such as the Bible, the writing of Marco Polo, and Pierre dAillys Imago Mundi
(picture of the world).  He only accepted the information that supported his beliefs and he
                   Columbus was determined to cross the Atlantic over to the Indies but he could not
accomplish this without ships and men.  He asked King John II of Portugal for support but his
committee decided that his plan was too unsound and he was refused.  Meanwhile, his wife had
died.  Columbus took his son Diego and went back to Spain to seek supporters.  He left his son
in the care of Friars in the monastery of La Rabida.
                  In Spain, Columbus made a number of influential friends who helped him present his
plan to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.  Even thought they were busy conducting a war
against the Moors in Grenada, they appointed a commission to examine Columbus proposal.  
The commission postponed making the decision and Columbus was left waiting. In Cordoba,
Columbus took Beatriz Enriquez as his mistress and they had a son, Ferdinand.
                   King John invited Columbus back to Portugal.  During the second review of
Columbus expedition plan, Bartholomew Diaz returned from discovering the Cape of Good
Hope at the southern tip of Africa. ... more

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Helen keller

Imagine a life without being able to see or hear and not knowing how to communicate with anyone around you.  That world of darkness is what Helen Keller lived in for six years.  Helen Keller has been an inspiration to people ever since she turned six.  From 1886-1960, she proved herself to be a creative and inspiring woman of America.  She was a writer and lecturer who fought for the rights of disadvantaged people all over the world.  Most importantly, she overcame her two most difficult obstacles, being blind and deaf.  Helen Keller devoted her life to improving the education and treatment of the blind, deaf, and mute and fighting for minorities as well.  Miss Keller was one of the first to educate the public and make them aware of inflicted individuals' potential.  Because of her persistence and strength, she is considered a creative and unique spirit by many people of the world, especially those who can relate to her physical impairments.
Helen Keller was born a healthy child. When Helen was 19 months old, she became ill with what was known as acute congestion of the brain and stomach; this is now known as scarlet fever.  As a result, she was left blind, deaf, and mute.  For many of her earlier years Helen lived in darkness with very few ways to communicate with others around her.   Obviously her attempts were not always successful.  When she failed to communicate she would throw fits and have outburst that would upset not only her, but her family as well.  Because of these violent fits, she appeared to be a very unruly child, but underneath all of the tragedy was a future inspirational figure that would surprise the world with amazing and countless abilities.
A large amount of Helen's accomplishments would not have been possible if it weren't for her mother and father.  Her parents read about Samuel Gridley Howe's accomplishments with the deaf and blind at the Perkins Institution in Boston.  With this knowledge, her father brought his daughter to Alexander Graham Bell, a family friend who was well known in society.  Bell was so fascinated by six year old Helen that he recommended that she contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston. Anne Sullivan, who was also a recent Perkins graduate, was suggested to be Helen's teacher by Michael Anagnos.  Michael Anagnos was the professor of Samuel Gridley Howe, a gentleman who was having great success working with the deaf and blind at Perkins (Notable 389).
Helen's greatest inspiration and life long companion, Anne Sullivan, arrived at her home in Alabama in March of 1887.  In just a couple of weeks, Helen learned that everything had a name and that she could communicate with others by using the manual alphabet.  Helen also found that she could use the manual alphabet and lip reading to prove her intelligence.  The manual alphabet is a system that contains 26 hand symbols, one for each letter of the alphabet.  It is used to finger spell words.  After a couple months of practice, she learned hundreds of new words.  In the middle of July, just four months after Sullivan's arrival, Helen was able to write her very first letter to her mother.  People around the world were so amazed by her accomplishments that her first biography was written when she was only fourteen years old (Ashby & Orhn 190).  
After the earlier successes, Helen and her teacher both left for the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston in 1888 to provide Helen with a more formal education.  Helen and Miss Sullivan moved to New York in 1894 in order for Helen to study at the Wright Humason School for the deaf.  Anne raised money so that her student could attend the Cambridge School for Young Ladies.  In 1896, Helen began her studies at Cambridge which included French, Greek, literature, mathematics, geography, and history.  She then went on to attend Radcliffe College in 1980.  In 1904, she graduated cum laude and received her AB Degree (Notable 390).
Not only did Helen help the organizations for the blind, but she helped individuals as well. Helen reached out to help a young four year old boy ... more

geography of japan

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