Doctor Jan Taler was a man who made a trading voyage to Japan on the Osprey as the surgeon's mate. In 1658, the ship was caught in a storm and blown off course where it was wrecked on the rocks of Kangetsujima, an island in the Inland Sea. Taler managed to dive clear and make his way ashore before he passed out. When he awoke, he found himself being tended to by Buddhist monks, who nursed him back to health.

When he was well enough, Taler discovered the statue of a samurai. He was told the story of Yashaken and the last days of Nishimori by a dying monk. A few days later, Taler managed to signal a Dutch vessel and returned to Portsmouth. By 1665, Taler became a doctor and relayed the story of Nishimori in a letter to his sister, Anna.

Over time the letter found its way to a New York antique shop as part of the "Surgeon's Box" where it was collected by archaeologist Professor Charles Crichton who became intrigued by it while preparing to venture to Japan on an expedition.

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