Morrison incident

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Japanese drawing of the Morrison, anchored in front of Uraga in 1837.

The Morrison incident (モリソン号事件, Morison-gō Jiken) of 1837 occurred when the American merchant ship, Morrison headed by Charles W. King, was driven away from "sakoku" (isolationist) Japan by cannon fire. This was carried out in accordance with the Japanese Edict to Repel Foreign Vessels of 1825.


In addition to its commercial aims, the ship was attempting to repatriate seven shipwrecked Japanese citizens who had been picked up in Macau, it also carried Christian missionaries such as Samuel Wells Williams.

The nature of the ship's mission became known one year after the event, and this resulted in increased criticism of the Edict.


Among the Japanese castaways was Yamamoto Otokichi, who became known for his role in bridging the cultural gap between Japan and rest of the world.

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