Hayashi Akira was an Edo period scholar-diplomat serving the Tokugawa shogunate in a variety of roles similar to those performed by serial Hayashi clan neo-Confucianists since the time of Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was the hereditary Daigaku-no-kami descendant of Hayashi Razan, the first head of the Tokugawa shogunate's neo-Confucian academy in Edo, the Shōhei-kō. Hayashi Daigaku-no-kami Akira was a member of the Hayashi clan of Confucian scholars, each of whom were ad hoc personal advisers to the shōgun's prominent figures in the educational training system for the shogunal bureaucrats; the progenitor of this lineage of scholars was Hayashi Razan, who lived to witness his philosophical and pragmatic reasoning become a foundation for the dominant ideology of the bakufu until the end of the 19th century. This evolution developed in part from the official Hayashi schema equating samurai with the cultured governing class; the Hayashi helped to legitimize the role of the militaristic bakufu at the beginning of its existence.
His philosophy is important in that it encouraged the samurai class to cultivate themselves, a trend which would become widespread over the course of his lifetime and beyond. One of Razan's aphorism encapsulates this view: "No true learning without arms and no true arms without learning."The Hayashi played a prominent role is helping to maintain the theoretical underpinnings of the Tokugawa regime. Akira assumed his role as rector of the academy in 1853. 1853: Akira completed Tsūkō ichiran. The work was created under orders from the shogunate to compile and edit documents pertaining to East Asian trade and diplomacy. March 8, 1854: Commodore Perry returned to Edo Bay to force Japanese agreement to the Treaty of Kanagawa; the prince was moved, expressed his gratitude with evident feeling. The commodore next presented the other commissioners with gifts he had reserved for them. All business now having been concluded to the satisfaction of both delegations, the Japanese commissioners invited Perry and his officers to enjoy a feast and entertainment prepared for the celebration."
-- from American eyewitness account of the eventJanuary 22, 1858: Akira headed the shogunal delegation which sought advice from Emperor Kōmei in deciding how to deal with newly assertive foreign powers. This would have been the first time the emperor's counsel was sought since the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate; the most identified consequence of this transitional overture would be the increased numbers of messengers which were streaming back and forth between Tokyo and Kyoto during the next decade. There is no small irony in the fact that this 19th-century scholar/bureaucrat would find himself at a crucial nexus of managing political change—moving arguably "by the book" through uncharted waters with well-settled theories as the only guide. Ansei 4: Akira is dispatched from Edo to Kyoto to explain the terms of the treaty to Emperor Kōmei, who acquiesced in February 1859 when he came to understand that there was no alternative to acceptance. Matthew C. Perry Sō Yoshiyori Beasley, William G..
Select Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy, 1853–1868. London: Oxford University Press. Blomberg, Catherina.. The Heart of the Warrior: Origins and Religious Background of the Samurai in Feudal Japan. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 1-873410-06-9 Cullen, L. M.. A History of Japan, 1582–1941: Internal and External Worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-82155-X ISBN 0-521-52918-2 Hawks, Francis.. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan Performed in the Years 1852, 1853 and 1854 under the Command of Commodore M. C. Perry, United States Navy, Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson by order of Congress, 1856. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard A. B.. Kyoto: the Old Capital, 794-1869. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. Sewall, John S.. The Logbook of the Captain's Clerk: Adventures in the China Seas, Maine: Chas H. Glass & Co. ISBN 0-548-20912-X Smits, Gregory.. Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2037-1 Screech, Timon..
Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779–1822. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1720-X Text of demurral to Pres. Filmore's initial letter of 1853.
The Perry Expedition was a diplomatic and military expedition to Bakumatsu period Japan, involving two separate trips by warships of the United States Navy, which took place during 1853–54. The goals of this expedition included exploration and the establishment of diplomatic relations and negotiation of trade agreements with various nations of the region; the expedition was commanded by Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, under orders from American President Millard Fillmore. Perry’s primary goal was to force an end to Japan’s 220-year-old policy of isolation and to open Japanese ports to American trade, through the use of gunboat diplomacy if necessary; the Perry Expedition led directly to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the western "Great Powers", to the collapse of the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and the Meiji Restoration. Following the expedition, Japan's burgeoning trade routes with the world led to the cultural trend of Japonism, in which aspects of Japanese culture influenced art in Europe and America.
The growing commerce between America and China, the presence of American whalers in waters off Japan, the increasing monopolization of potential coaling stations by the British and French in Asia were all contributing factors in the decision by President Fillmore to dispatch an expedition to Japan. The Americans were driven by concepts of manifest destiny and the desire to impose the benefits of western civilization and the Christian religion on what they perceived as backward Asian nations. By the early nineteenth century, the Japanese policy of isolation was under challenge. In 1844, King William II of the Netherlands sent a letter urging Japan to end the isolation policy on its own before change would be forced from the outside. Between 1790 and 1853 at least twenty-seven U. S. ships visited Japan. There were increasing sightings and incursions of foreign ships in Japanese waters, this led to considerable internal debate in Japan on how best to meet this potential threat to Japan’s economic and political sovereignty.
In May 1851, American Secretary of State Daniel Webster authorized Commodore John H. Aulick, commander of the East India Squadron, to attempt to return seventeen shipwrecked Japanese in San Francisco, which might provide the opportunity for opening commercial relations with Japan. On May 10, 1851, Webster drafted a letter addressed to the "Japanese Emperor" with assurances that the expedition had no religious purpose, but was only to request "friendship and commerce" and supplies of coal needed by ships en route to China; the letter boasted of American expansion across the North American continent and its technical prowess, was signed by President Fillmore. However, Aulick became involved in a diplomatic row with a Brazilian diplomat and quarrels with the captain of his flagship, was relieved of his command before he could undertake the Japan expedition, his replacement, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry was a senior-ranking officer in the United States Navy, had extensive diplomatic experience.
Perry was well aware of the difficulties involving attempting to establish relations with Japan, protested that he would prefer to command the Mediterranean Squadron of the US Navy instead of being assigned to yet another doomed attempt to “open” Japan. These precedents included: From 1797 to 1809, several American ships traded in Nagasaki under the Dutch flag, upon the request of the Dutch, who were not able to send their own ships because of their conflict against Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1837, an American businessman in Canton named Charles W. King saw an opportunity to open trade by trying to return to Japan three Japanese sailors, shipwrecked a few years before on the coast of Washington, he went to Uraga Channel with an unarmed American merchant ship. The ship was attacked several times, sailed back without completing its mission. In 1846, Commander James Biddle, anchored in Edo Bay on an official mission with two ships, including one warship armed with 72 cannons, asking for ports to be opened for trade, but his requests for a trade agreement remained unsuccessful.
In 1849, Captain James Glynn sailed to Nagasaki, leading at last to the first successful negotiation by an American with Japan. James Glynn recommended to the United States Congress that negotiations to open Japan be backed up by a demonstration of force, thus paving the way for Perry's expedition. In advance of his voyage, Perry read amongst available books about Japan, his research included consultation with the renowned Japanologist Philipp Franz von Siebold. Siebold spent eight years working and studying at the isolated Dutch island-trading post of Dejima in Nagasaki harbour, before returning to Leiden in the Netherlands. Perry demanded greater latitude in his orders from Webster, a demand the Secretary of State granted just before his death in October 1852. Perry thus sailed for Japan with "full and discretionary powers", including possible use of force if the Japanese tried to treat him as they had the unfortunate Commodore Biddle. Perry refused to allow any professional diplomats to accompany the expedition.
He asked the German painter William Heine and pioneer daguerreotype photographer Eliphalet M. Brown, Jr. to join the expedition as official artists. Agricultural specialist Dr. James Morrow was assigned by the US State Department. Several Japanese castaways were taken on as unofficial interpreters; the expedition was assigned the steam warships Mississippi, Powhatan, a
In international politics, gunboat diplomacy refers to the pursuit of foreign policy objectives with the aid of conspicuous displays of naval power – implying or constituting a direct threat of warfare, should terms not be agreeable to the superior force. The term comes from the nineteenth-century period of imperialism, when Western powers – Europe and the United States – would intimidate other, less powerful states into granting concessions through a demonstration of their superior military capabilities depicted by their naval assets. A country negotiating with a Western power would notice that a warship or fleet of ships had appeared off its coast; the mere sight of such power always had a considerable effect, it was necessary for such boats to use other measures, such as demonstrations of firepower. A notable and controversial example of gunboat diplomacy was the Don Pacifico Incident in 1850, in which the British Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston dispatched a squadron of the Royal Navy to blockade the Greek port of Piraeus in retaliation for the harming of a British subject, David Pacifico, in Athens, the subsequent failure of the government of King Otto to compensate the Gibraltar-born Pacifico.
The effectiveness of such simple demonstrations of a nation's projection of force capabilities meant that those nations with naval power Britain, could establish military bases and arrange economically advantageous relationships around the world. Aside from military conquest, gunboat diplomacy was the dominant way to establish new trade partners, colonial outposts, expansion of empire; those lacking the resources and technological advancements of Western empires found that their own peaceable relationships were dismantled in the face of such pressures, they therefore came to depend on the imperialist nations for access to raw materials and overseas markets. The British diplomat and naval thinker James Cable spelled out the nature of gunboat diplomacy in a series of works published between 1971 and 1993. In these, he defined the phenomenon as "the use or threat of limited naval force, otherwise than as an act of war, in order to secure advantage or to avert loss, either in the furtherance of an international dispute or else against foreign nationals within the territory or the jurisdiction of their own state."
He further broke down the concept into four key areas: Definitive Force: the use of gunboat diplomacy to create or remove a fait accompli. Purposeful Force: application of naval force to change the policy or character of the target government or group. Catalytic Force: a mechanism designed to buy a breathing space or present policy makers with an increased range of options. Expressive Force: use of navies to send a political message; this aspect of gunboat diplomacy is undervalued and dismissed by Cable. Gunboat diplomacy comes in contrast to the views held prior to the 18th century influenced by Hugo Grotius, De Jure Belli ac Pacis, in which he circumscribed the right to resort to force with what he described as "temperamenta". Gunboat diplomacy is distinct from "Defence Diplomacy", understood to be the peaceful application of resources from across the spectrum of defence, to achieve positive outcomes in the development of bilateral and multilateral relationships. "Military diplomacy" is a sub-set of this, tending to refer only to the role of military attachés and their associated activity.
Defence diplomacy does not include military operations, but subsumes such other defence activity as international personnel exchanges and aircraft visits, high-level engagement and exercises, security-sector reform, bilateral military talks. Gunboat diplomacy is considered a form of hegemony; as the United States became a military power in the first decade of the 20th century, the Rooseveltian version of gunboat diplomacy, Big Stick Diplomacy, was superseded by dollar diplomacy: replacing the big stick with the "juicy carrot" of American private investment. However, during Woodrow Wilson's presidency, conventional gunboat diplomacy did occur, most notably in the case of the U. S. Army's occupation of Veracruz in 1914, during the Mexican Revolution. Gunboat diplomacy in the post-Cold War world is still based on naval forces, owing to the U. S. Navy's overwhelming sea power. U. S. administrations have changed the disposition of their major naval fleets to influence opinion in foreign capitals. More urgent diplomatic points were made by the Clinton administration in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and elsewhere, using sea-launched Tomahawk missiles, E-3 AWACS airborne surveillance aircraft in a more passive display of military presence.
Anson's visit to Canton in 1741 Second Barbary War Opium War Don Pacifico Incident Second Anglo-Burmese War Opening of Japan by Commodore Matthew C. Perry and his Black Ships Shimonoseki Campaign Christie Affair, Empire of Brazil against British Empire Tonkin Flotilla Môle Saint-Nicolas affair Baltimore crisis Franco-Siamese War of 1893 Anglo-Zanzibar War Luders Affair Yangtze River Patrol Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii Venezuela Crisis of 1902–1903 Panama separation from Colombia Great White Fleet Agadir Crisis Occupation of Veracruz First Taiwan Strait Crisis Second Taiwan Strait Crisis Operation Vantage Third Taiwan Strait Crisis Gaza flotilla raid Spratly Islands dispute Deterrence theory Peace through strength Arnold, Bruce Makoto. Diplomacy Far Removed: A
Prince Tokugawa Yoshinobu was the 15th and last shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. He was part of a movement which aimed to reform the aging shogunate, but was unsuccessful. After resigning in late 1867, he went into retirement, avoided the public eye for the rest of his life. Tokugawa Yoshinobu was born as the seventh son of Tokugawa Nariaki, daimyō of Mito. Mito was one of the gosanke, the three branch families of the Tokugawa clan which were eligible to be chosen as shōgun, his birthname was Matsudaira Shichirōmaro His mother, Princess Arisugawa Yoshiko, was a member of the Arisugawa-no-miya, a cadet branch of the imperial family. Shichirōmaro was brought up under spartan supervision and tutelage. While his father Nariaki respected the second Mito Tokugawa Mitsukuni who had sent off the second and younger sons from Edo to Mito to raise them, Shichirōmaro was seven months old when he arrived in Mito in 1838, he was taught in the literary and martial arts, as well as receiving a solid education in the principles of politics and government at Kōdōkan.
At the instigation of his father, Shichirōmaro was adopted by the Hitotsubashi-Tokugawa family in order to have a better chance of succeeding to the shogunate and changed his first name to Akimune. He became family head in 1847, coming of age that year, receiving court rank and title, taking the name Yoshinobu. Upon the death of the 13th shōgun, Iesada, in 1858, Yoshinobu was nominated as a potential successor, his supporters touted his efficiency in managing family affairs. However, the opposing faction, led by Ii Naosuke, won out, their candidate, the young Tokugawa Yoshitomi, was chosen, became the 14th shōgun Iemochi. Soon after, during the Ansei Purge and others who supported him were placed under house arrest. Yoshinobu himself was made to retire from Hitotsubashi headship; the period of Ii's domination of the Tokugawa government was marked by mismanagement and political infighting. Upon Ii's assassination in 1860, Yoshinobu was reinstated as Hitotsubashi family head, was nominated in 1862 to be the shōgun's guardian, receiving the position soon afterwards.
At the same time, his two closest allies, Matsudaira Yoshinaga and Matsudaira Katamori, were appointed to other high positions: Yoshinaga as chief of political affairs, Katamori as Guardian of Kyoto. The three men took numerous steps to quell political unrest in the Kyoto area, gathered allies to counter the activities of the rebellious Chōshū Domain, they were instrumental figures in the kōbu gattai political party, which sought a reconciliation between the shogunate and the imperial court. In 1864, Yoshinobu, as commander of the imperial palace's defense, defeated the Chōshū forces in their attempt to capture the imperial palace's Hamaguri Gate in what is called the Kinmon Incident; this was achieved by use of the forces of the Aizu–Satsuma coalition. After the death of Tokugawa Iemochi in 1866, Yoshinobu was chosen to succeed him, became the 15th shōgun, he was the only Tokugawa shōgun to spend his entire tenure outside of Edo: he never set foot in Edo Castle as shōgun. Upon Yoshinobu's ascension as shōgun, major changes were initiated.
A massive government overhaul was undertaken to initiate reforms that would strengthen the Tokugawa government. In particular, assistance from the Second French Empire was organized, with the construction of the Yokosuka arsenal under Léonce Verny, the dispatch of a French military mission to modernize the armies of the bakufu; the national army and navy, formed under Tokugawa command, were strengthened by the assistance of the Russians, the Tracey Mission provided by the British Royal Navy. Equipment was purchased from the United States; the outlook among many was that the Tokugawa shogunate was gaining ground towards renewed strength and power. Fearing the renewed strengthening of the Tokugawa shogunate under a strong and wise ruler, samurai from Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa formed an alliance to counter it. Under the banner of sonnō jōi coupled with a fear of the new shōgun as the "Rebirth of Ieyasu" who would continue to usurp the power of the Emperor, they worked to bring about an end to the shogunate, though they varied in their approaches.
In particular, Tosa was more moderate. To this end, Yamanouchi Toyonori, the lord of Tosa, together with his advisor, Gotō Shōjirō, petitioned Yoshinobu to resign in order to make this possible. On November 9, 1867, Yoshinobu tendered his resignation to the Emperor and formally stepped down ten days returning governing power to the Emperor, he withdrew from Kyoto to Osaka. However, Satsuma and Chōshū, while supportive of a governing council of daimyōs, were opposed to Yoshinobu leading it, they secretly obtained an imperial edict calling for the use of force against Yoshinobu and moved a massive number of Satsuma and Chōshū troops into Kyoto. There was a meeting called at the imperial court, where Yoshinobu was stripped of all titles and land, despite having taken no action that could be construed as aggressive or criminal. Any who would have opposed this were not included in the meeting. Yoshinobu opposed this action, composed a message of protest, to be delivered to the imperial court.
The Shōgun was the military dictator of Japan during the period from 1185 to 1868. The shogunate was their government. In most of this period, the shōguns were the de facto rulers of the country, although nominally they were appointed by the Emperor as a ceremonial formality; the shōguns held absolute power over territories through military means. An unusual situation occurred in the Kamakura period upon the death of the first shōgun, whereby the Hōjō clan's hereditary titles of shikken and tokusō dominated the shogunate as dictatorial positions, collectively known as the Regent Rule; the shōguns during this 134-year period met the same fate as the Emperor and were reduced to figurehead status until a coup d'état in 1333, when the shōgun was restored to power in the name of the Emperor. Shōgun is the short form of Sei-i Taishōgun, the individual governing the country at various times in the history of Japan, ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to Emperor Meiji in 1867; the tent symbolized the field commander but denoted that such an office was meant to be temporary.
The shōgun's officials were collectively the bakufu, were those who carried out the actual duties of administration, while the imperial court retained only nominal authority. In this context, the office of the shōgun had a status equivalent to that of a viceroy or governor-general, but in reality, shōguns dictated orders to everyone including the reigning Emperor. In contemporary terms, the role of the shōgun was equivalent to that of a generalissimo; the title of Sei-i Taishōgun was given to military commanders during the early Heian period for the duration of military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Ōtomo no Otomaro was the first Sei-i Taishōgun. The most famous of these shōguns was Sakanoue no Tamuramaro. In the Heian period, one more shōgun was appointed. Minamoto no Yoshinaka was named sei-i taishōgun during the Genpei War, only to be killed shortly thereafter by Minamoto no Yoshitsune. In the early 11th century, daimyō protected by samurai came to dominate internal Japanese politics.
Two of the most powerful families – the Taira and Minamoto – fought for control over the declining imperial court. The Taira family seized control from 1160 to 1185, but was defeated by the Minamoto in the Battle of Dan-no-ura. Minamoto no Yoritomo seized power from the central government and aristocracy and established a feudal system based in Kamakura in which the private military, the samurai, gained some political powers while the Emperor and the aristocracy remained the de jure rulers. In 1192, Yoritomo was awarded the title of Sei-i Taishōgun by the Emperor and the political system he developed with a succession of shōguns as the head became known as a shogunate. Yoritomo's wife's family, the Hōjō, seized power from the Kamakura shōguns; when Yoritomo's sons and heirs were assassinated, the shōgun himself became a hereditary figurehead. Real power rested with the Hōjō regents; the Kamakura shogunate lasted for 150 years, from 1192 to 1333. In 1274 and 1281, the Mongol Empire launched invasions against Japan.
An attempt by Emperor Go-Daigo to restore imperial rule in the Kenmu Restoration in 1331 was unsuccessful, but weakened the shogunate and led to its eventual downfall. The end of the Kamakura shogunate came when Kamakura fell in 1333, the Hōjō Regency was destroyed. Two imperial families – the senior Northern Court and the junior Southern Court – had a claim to the throne; the problem was solved with the intercession of the Kamakura shogunate, who had the two lines alternate. This lasted until 1331, when Emperor Go-Daigo tried to overthrow the shogunate to stop the alternation; as a result, Daigo was exiled. Around 1334 -- 1336, Ashikaga Takauji helped; the fight against the shogunate left the Emperor with too many people claiming a limited supply of land. Takauji turned against the Emperor when the discontent about the distribution of land grew great enough. In 1336 Daigo was banished again, in favor of a new Emperor. During the Kenmu Restoration, after the fall of the Kamakura shogunate in 1333, another short-lived shōgun arose.
Prince Moriyoshi, son of Go-Daigo, was awarded the title of Sei-i Taishōgun. However, Prince Moriyoshi was put under house arrest and, in 1335, killed by Ashikaga Tadayoshi. In 1338, Ashikaga Takauji, like Minamoto no Yoritomo, a descendant of the Minamoto princes, was awarded the title of sei-i taishōgun and established the Ashikaga shogunate, which lasted until 1573; the Ashikaga had their headquarters in the Muromachi district of Kyoto, the time during which they ruled is known as the Muromachi period. While the title of Shōgun went into abeyance due to technical reasons, Oda Nobunaga and his successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who obtained the position of Imperial Regent, gained far greater power than any of their predecessors had. Hideyoshi is considered by many historians to be among Japan's greatest rulers. Tokugawa Ieyasu seized power and established a government at Edo in 1600, he received the title sei-i taishōgun in 1603, after he forged a family tree to show he was of Minamoto descent.
The Tokugawa shogunate lasted until 1867, when Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned as shōgun and abdicated his authority to Emperor Meiji. Ieyasu set a precedent in 1605 when he retired as shōgun in favour of his son Tokugawa Hidetada, though he maintained power from b
The Black Ships was the name given to Western vessels arriving in Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries. In 1543 Portuguese initiated the first contacts; the large carracks engaged in this trade had the hull painted black with pitch, the term came to represent all western vessels. In 1639, after suppressing a rebellion blamed on the Christian influence, the ruling Tokugawa shogunate retreated into an isolationist policy, the Sakoku. During this "locked state", contact with Japan by Westerners was restricted to Dejima island at Nagasaki. In 1844, William II of the Netherlands was rejected. On July 8, 1853, the U. S. Navy steamed four warships into the bay at Edo and threatened to attack if Japan did not begin trade with the West, their arrival marked the reopening of the country to political dialogue after more than two hundred years of self-imposed isolation. Trade with Western nations would not come until the Treaty of Amity and Commerce more than five years later. In particular, kurofune refers to Mississippi, Plymouth and Susquehanna of the Perry Expedition for the opening of Japan, 1852–1854, that arrived on July 14, 1853, at Uraga Harbor in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan under the command of United States Commodore Matthew Perry.
Black refers to the black color of the older sailing vessels, the black smoke from the coal-fired steam engines of the American ships. In this sense, the kurofune became a symbol of the ending of isolation. In 1543 Portuguese traders arrived in Japan initiating the first contacts with the West. Soon they established a trade route linking their headquarters via Malacca to Nagasaki. Large carracks engaged in the flourishing "Nanban trade", introducing modern inventions from the European traders, such as refined sugar and firearms, they engaged in triangular trade, exchanging silver from Japan with silk from China via Macau. Carracks of 1200 to 1600 tons, named nau do trato or nau da China by the Portuguese, engaged in this trade had the hull painted black with pitch, the term came to apply for all western vessels; the name was inscribed in the Nippo Jisho, the first western Japanese dictionary compiled in 1603. In 1549 Navarrese missionary Francis Xavier started a Jesuit mission in Japan. Christianity spread, mingled with the new trade, making 300,000 converts among peasants and some daimyō.
In 1637 the Shimabara Rebellion blamed on the Christian influence was suppressed. Portuguese traders and Jesuit missionaries faced progressively tighter restrictions, were confined to the island of Dejima before being expelled in 1639; the Tokugawa shogunate retreated back into a policy of isolationism identified as Sakoku, forbidding contact with most outside countries. Only a limited-scale trade and diplomatic relations with China, the Ryukyu Islands, the Netherlands was maintained; the Sakoku policy remained in effect until 1853 with the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry and the "opening" of Japan. Commodore Perry's superior military force was the principal factor in negotiating a treaty allowing American trade with Japan, thus ending the Sakoku period of more than 200 years in which trading with Japan had been permitted to the Dutch, Koreans and Ainu exclusively; the sight of the four ships entering Edo Bay, roaring black smoke into the air and capable of moving under their own power frightened the Japanese.
Perry ignored the requests arriving from the shore that he should move to Nagasaki—the official port for trade with the outside—and threatened in turn to take his ships directly to Edo, burn the city to the ground if he was not allowed to land. It was agreed upon that he should land nearby at Kurihama, whereupon he delivered his letter and left. To command his fleet, Perry chose officers with. Commander Franklin Buchanan was captain of Susquehanna and Joel Abbot was captain of Macedonian. Commander Henry A. Adams became the Commodore's chief of staff with the title "Captain of the Fleet". Major Jacob Zeilin was the ranking Marine officer, was stationed on Mississippi; the following year, at the Convention of Kanagawa, Perry returned with a fleet of eight of the fearsome Black Ships, to demonstrate the power of the United States navy, to lend weight to his announcement that he would not leave again, until he had a treaty. In the interim following his previous visit, the Tokugawa shogunate had learned about the staggering destruction of the Chinese fleet by a handful of British warships in 1841 during the First Opium War, about China's subsequent loss of Hong Kong to British sovereignty.
The shogunate realized that—if they wished for their country to avoid a similar fate—they would need to make peace with the west. After a a month of negotiations, the shōgun's officials presented Perry with the Treaty of Peace and Amity. Perry refused certain conditions of the treaty but agreed to defer their resolution to a time, establishing formal diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States; the eight ships departed, leaving behind a consul at Shimoda to negotiate a more permanent agreement. The Harris Treaty was signed with the United States on July 29, 1858, within five years of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Amity, Japan had moved to sign treaties with other western countries; the surprise and fear inspired by the first visit of the Black Ships are described in
The Edo period or Tokugawa period is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, "no more wars", popular enjoyment of arts and culture; the shogunate was established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 1868, after the fall of Edo. A revolution took place from the time of the Kamakura shogunate, which existed with the Tennō's court, to the Tokugawa, when the samurai became the unchallenged rulers in what historian Edwin O. Reischauer called a "centralized feudal" form of shogunate. Instrumental in the rise of the new-existing bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kantō area.
He maintained two million koku of land, a new headquarters at Edo, a strategically situated castle town, had an additional two million koku of land and thirty-eight vassals under his control. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu moved to seize control from the Toyotomi clan. Ieyasu's victory over the western daimyō at the Battle of Sekigahara gave him control of all Japan, he abolished numerous enemy daimyō houses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, redistributed the spoils of war to his family and allies. Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyō, but his assumption of the title of shōgun helped consolidate the alliance system. After further strengthening his power base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada as shōgun and himself as retired shōgun in 1605; the Toyotomi were still a significant threat, Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication. In 1615, the Tokugawa army destroyed the Toyotomi stronghold at Osaka; the Tokugawa period brought 250 years of stability to Japan.
The political system evolved into what historians call bakuhan, a combination of the terms bakufu and han to describe the government and society of the period. In the bakuhan, the shōgun had national authority and the daimyō had regional authority; this represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The Tokugawa became more powerful during their first century of rule: land redistribution gave them nearly seven million koku, control of the most important cities, a land assessment system reaping great revenues; the feudal hierarchy was completed by the various classes of daimyō. Closest to the Tokugawa house were the shinpan, or "related houses", they were twenty-three daimyō on the borders of Tokugawa lands. The shinpan held honorary titles and advisory posts in the bakufu; the second class of the hierarchy were the fudai, or "house daimyō", rewarded with lands close to the Tokugawa holdings for their faithful service.
By the 18th century, 145 fudai controlled the greatest assessed at 250,000 koku. Members of the fudai class staffed most of the major bakufu offices. Ninety-seven han formed the tozama, former opponents or new allies; the tozama were located on the peripheries of the archipelago and collectively controlled nearly ten million koku of productive land. Because the tozama were least trusted of the daimyō, they were the most cautiously managed and generously treated, although they were excluded from central government positions; the Tokugawa shogunate not only consolidated their control over a reunified Japan, they had unprecedented power over the emperor, the court, all daimyō and the religious orders. The emperor was held up as the ultimate source of political sanction for the shōgun, who ostensibly was the vassal of the imperial family; the Tokugawa helped the imperial family recapture its old glory by rebuilding its palaces and granting it new lands. To ensure a close tie between the imperial clan and the Tokugawa family, Ieyasu's granddaughter was made an imperial consort in 1619.
A code of laws was established to regulate the daimyō houses. The code encompassed private conduct, dress, types of weapons and numbers of troops allowed. Although the daimyō were not taxed per se, they were levied for contributions for military and logistical support and for such public works projects as castles, roads and palaces; the various regulations and levies not only strengthened the Tokugawa but depleted the wealth of the daimyō, thus weakening their threat to the central administration. The han, once military-centered domains, became mere local administrative units; the daimyō did have full administrative control over their territory and their complex systems of retainers and commoners. Loyalty was exacted from religious foundations greatly weakened by Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, through a variety of control mechanisms. Like Hideyoshi, Ieyasu encouraged foreign trade but was suspicious of outsiders, he wanted to make Edo a major port, but once he learned that the Europeans favored ports in Kyūshū and that China had rejected his plans for official trade, he moved to control existing trade