The jagged rocks off Oshima Island break the surface of the ocean like so many knives strewn across the shallow water. Even on a calm day, they are a menacing reminder of the maze of reefs that surround this island in the Pacific just off the coast of Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, in central Honshu.

It was into these treacherous waters that the Ottoman frigate Ertugrul was blown one stormy night 118 years ago. Thrown against the reefs, the ship split apart and sank, taking with it more than 500 men and leaving just 69 survivors, says Kiyoshi Oishi, director of the Turkish Museum on Oshima.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.