Not that great. I'm reading a lot of duds this year.
This is the story of Hikozo, a young boy from a small village in Japan who get s agig as a cook's apprentice on a merchant ship. The ship gets into a big storm, gets dismasted, drifts, and is rescued by an American whaler. Then the castaways go on to America and various adventures.
There is almost no conflict in this story. It's more like Yoshi's writing a (boring) diary of Hiko's (boring) life. Toward the end of the book I had taken to calling it Boringrider. I'm falling asleep just trying to write this entry.