The Kiheitai was a volunteer militia raised by Takasugi Shinsaku of the Chōshū domain during the Bakumatsu period of Japan. Founded in 1863 by Takasugi Shinsaku, the Kiheitai militia consisted of 300 men, who came from all social classes, including farmers, merchants and others. Most were from Chōshū; the Kiheitai was known for its discipline, use of western-style weapons and military techniques. It was funded by the Chōshū domain, but gained the rest of its financial support through donations by wealthy merchants and farmers. Kiheitai followed a developing trend, spearheaded by the shogunate following the Convention of Kanagawa to form military units based on ability rather than hereditary social status. Shinsengumi, a Kyoto-based, pro-Tokugawa police force, was founded in the same year as Kiheitai, was composed of people from a broad variety of social classes; the Kiheitai militia saw action in the Bombardment of Shimonoseki in 1864, during which the fleets of Great Britain, the Netherlands, the United States fired upon the Chōshū port city of Shimonoseki, subsequently landed troops.
As the military arm of the pro-reform faction within the Chōshū domain, the Kiheitai helped overthrow the pro-bakufu faction in the Chōshū civil war, repulsed the Second Chōshū expedition sent by the Tokugawa bakufu in 1866. Around the same time, the Second Kiheitai was formed in the Suō Province. Takasugi died of tuberculosis in 17 May 1867, his Kiheitai militia was taken over by his protégé Yamagata Aritomo; the Kiheitai militia played an important role in the Boshin War. The Kiheitai was disbanded in 1868, with total enlistment of 622 men since 1863; the success of the mixed unit and its Western armaments and tactics was an important influence on the development of the Imperial Japanese Army, on the system of universal military conscription in Japan. The forces defending Aizuwakamatsu during the Boshin War, the forces of Saigō Takamori in the Satsuma Rebellion used the term kiheitai to describe themselves; the Kiheitai appeared in an expansion of Creative Assembly's Total War: Shogun 2, Fall of the Samurai as special units of the Chōshū Domain.
They are featured as an elite unit, having below-par statistics with other late game elite infantry but requiring less money and time to recruit and maintain, can be recruited on unlimited number unlike other elite units. In Rurouni Kenshin the Kiheitai is seen in a number of flashbacks as the title character, was recruited into the force by Takasugi Shinsaku himself. In Gintama the Kiheitai appears as a terrorist faction led by Gintoki's old friend turned enemy, Shinsuke Takasugi, loosely based on Takasugi Shinsaku. Huber, Thomas M.. The Revolutionary Origins of Modern Japan. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. Craig, Albert M.. Chôshû in the Meiji Restoration. Lanham et al.: Lexington Books
Count Kiyoura Keigo was a Japanese politician. He was the 23rd Prime Minister of Japan from 7 January 1924 to 11 June 1924, during the period which historians have called the "Taishō Democracy". Kiyoura was born with the name Fujaku in Kamoto-gun, Higo Province, as the fifth son of a Buddhist priest named Ōkubo Ryoshi, he studied at the private school of Hirose Tanso from 1865 to 1871. During this time, he befriended Governor Nomura Morihide and took up the name "Kiyoura Keigo". Nomura was appointed governor of Saitama Prefecture in 1873 and appointed Kiyoura to a junior-grade civil service position there. In 1876, at the age of twenty-six, Kiyoura joined the Ministry of Justice, served as a prosecutor and helping draft Japan’s first modern Criminal procedures laws. In 1884 he caught the attention of Yamagata Aritomo who appointed him head of the police forces in Japan, despite his relative youth of 34. Kiyoura went on to serve as Vice Minister of Justice, Minister of Justice and while at the Ministry of Justice, he helped draft the Peace Preservation Law of 1887.
In 1891, he was selected as a member of the House of Peers by Imperial nomination. A close ally of Yamagata Aritomo, he was rewarded with numerous cabinet positions, including that of Justice Minister in the second Matsukata and second Yamagata administrations, Justice and Commerce ministers in the first Katsura administration. In 1902, Kiyoura was elevated to the title of baron in the kazoku peerage system, he received the 1st class of the Order of the Sacred Treasures the following year, in 1906 was awarded with the 1st class of the Order of the Rising Sun. In September 1907, his title was elevated to viscount. In 1914, while he was Chairman of the Privy Council, Kiyoura received an imperial order appointing him Prime Minister of Japan following Yamamoto Gonnohyōe. However, Kiyoura declined the post because of the controversy involving the ongoing Siemens scandal and Ōkuma Shigenobu was chosen to become prime minister instead. Kiyoura accepted a second imperial order in 1924 following the Toranomon Incident, become 23rd Prime Minister of Japan.
However, his cabinet was formed at a time when non-partisan, aristocratic cabinets were falling out of favor, the Diet's lower house held up most of his initiatives for all six months of his administration. The most important event during his term as prime minister was the royal wedding of Crown Prince Hirohito with Nagako Kuniyoshi on 26 January 1924. In 1924, he dissolved the Lower House of the Diet of Japan when faced with the three party coalition of the Kenseikai, Rikken Seiyūkai and Kakushin Club which had formed a majority in Diet of more than 150 seats; as a result of his massive rout in the subsequent general election, his cabinet resigned en masse. In November 1928, Kiyoura was elevated to the title of Count, he was posthumously awarded the Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum in 1942. From the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia Baron Viscount Count Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum History of Japan Bix, Herbert P..
Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-019314-0. Modern Japan: A Historical Survey. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3756-9 Jansen, Marius B.. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347. Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5.
Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office
The Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office called the Army General Staff, was one of the two principal agencies charged with overseeing the Imperial Japanese Army. The Army Ministry was created in April 1872, along with the Navy Ministry, to replace the Ministry of Military Affairs of the early Meiji government; the Army Ministry was in charge of both administration and operational command of the Imperial Japanese Army. The Imperial Army General Staff was thus responsible for the preparation of war plans; the Chief of the Army General Staff was the senior ranking uniformed officer in the Imperial Japanese Army and enjoyed, along with the War Minister, the Navy Minister, the Chief of the Navy General Staff, direct access to the Emperor. In wartime, the Imperial Army General Staff formed part of the army section of the Imperial General Headquarters, an ad hoc body under the supervision of the emperor created to assist in coordinating overall command. Following the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867 and the "restoration" of direct imperial rule, the leaders of the new Meiji government sought to reduce Japan's vulnerability to Western imperialism by systematically emulating the technological, governing and military practices of the European great powers.
Under Ōmura Masujirō and his newly created Ministry of the Military Affairs, the Japanese military was patterned after that of France. However, the stunning victory of Prussia and the other members of the North German Confederation in the 1870/71 Franco-Prussian War convinced the Meiji oligarchs of the superiority of the Prussian military model and in February 1872, Yamagata Aritomo and Oyama Iwao proposed that the Japanese military be remodeled along Prussian lines. In December 1878, at the urging of Katsura Taro, who had served as a military attaché to Prussia, the Meiji government adopted the Prussian/German general staff system which included the independence of the military from civilian organs of government, thus ensuring that the military would stay above political party maneuvering, would be loyal directly to the emperor rather than to a Prime Minister who might attempt to usurp the emperor's authority; the administrative and operational functions of the army were divided between two agencies.
A reorganized Ministry of War served as the administrative and mobilization agency of the army, an independent Army General Staff had responsibility for strategic planning and command functions. The Chief of the Army General Staff, with direct access to the emperor could operate independently of the civilian government; this complete independence of the military from civilian oversight was codified in the 1889 Meiji Constitution which designated that the Army and Navy were directly under the personal command of the emperor, not under the civilian leadership or Cabinet. Yamagata became the first chief of the Army General Staff in 1878. Thanks to Yamagata's influence, the Chief of the Army General Staff became far more powerful than the War Minister. Furthermore, a 1900 imperial ordinance decreed that the two service ministers had to be chosen from among the generals or lieutenant generals on the active duty roster. By ordering the incumbent War Minister to resign or by ordering generals to refuse an appointment as War Minister, the Chief of the General Staff could force the resignation of the cabinet or forestall the formation of a new one.
Of the seventeen officers who served as Chief of the Army General Staff between 1879 and 1945, three were members of the Imperial Family and thus enjoyed great prestige by virtue of their ties to the Emperor. The American Occupation authorities abolished the Imperial Army General Staff in September 1945; the Organization of the Army General Staff Office underwent a number of changes during its history. Before the start of the Pacific War, it was divided into four operational bureaus and a number of supporting organs: Chief of the Army General Staff Vice Chief of the Army General Staff General Affairs G-1 Strategy and Tactics Department Land Survey Department G-2 Russia Department Europe and North America Department China Department Others Department G-3 G-4 G-5 General Staff College Note: The given rank for each person is the rank the person held at last, not the rank the person held at the time of their post as Chief of the Army General Staff. For example, the rank of Field Marshal existed only from 1898 onward.
Ministry of the Army U. S. War Department, Handbook of Japanese Military Forces, TM-E 30-480. Hayashi, Saburo. Quantico, Virginia: The Marine Corps Association. Shin'ichi Kitaoka, "Army as Bureaucracy: Japanese Militarism Revisited", Journal of Military History, special issue 57: 67-83. Edgerton, Robert B
Order of the Golden Kite
The Order of the Golden Kite was an order of the Empire of Japan, established on 12 February 1890 by Emperor Meiji "in commemoration of Jimmu Tennō, the Romulus of Japan". It was abolished by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers of Occupied Japan in 1947 after World War II; the Order of the Golden Kite was an military award, conferred for bravery, leadership or command in battle. It ranked just below the Order of the Chrysanthemum in precedence and was the military equivalent of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers; the first three classes were equivalent to the three divisions of the Order of the Bath, the fourth, fifth and seventh classes were analogous to the DSO, MC/DSC, DCM/CGM and DSM/MM, respectively. The order consisted of seven classes. Enlisted rank soldiers were eligible for the 7th–5th classes, non-commissioned officers were eligible for the 6th–4th classes, junior officers for the 5th–3rd classes, field grade officers for the 4th–2nd classes and general officers for the 3rd-1st classes.
A total of 1,067,492 Order of the Golden Kite awards were made over the history of the order, most of them in the two lower 6th and 7th classes. Only 41 of the 1st class and 201 of the 2nd class were awarded. By conflict: First Sino-Japanese War: about 2000 Russo-Japanese War: about 109,600 World War I: about 3000 Manchurian Incident: about 9000 Second Sino-Japanese War: about 190,000 Pacific War: about 630,000The award came with an annual monetary stipend, fixed in 1916; this was awarded for the lifetime of the recipient, following his death, it would be awarded to the recipient's family for one year after. If the recipient died within 5 years of receiving the honor, the stipend would be awarded to the family until the end of the 5-year period. In 1939, the stipends stood as follows: 1st Class – 1500 yen 2nd Class – 1000 yen 3rd Class – 700 yen 4th Class – 500 yen 5th Class – 350 yen 6th Class – 250 yen 7th Class – 150 yenSince the monthly pay for a private in the Imperial Japanese Army at the time was 8 yen, 80 sen, which amounted to a substantial reward.
The monetary stipend was abolished in 1940. The honor was sometimes sometimes awarded en masse. In mid-October 1942, posthumous awards were announced following ceremonies at the Yasukuni Shrine. Posthumous honorees included 995 who were lost in combat in the far-flung Pacific War battles and 3,031 were lost fighting in China. In this instance, Tokyo's official radio broadcast of the list of posthumous recipients of the Order of the Golden Kite was monitored by Allied forces in Asia; the number of honorees was not considered remarkable at the time, but the number of posthumous awards was considered noteworthy by Allied analysts. Specific high ranking naval and army officers were named; the order of the Golden Kite was abolished by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers of Occupied Japan in 1947. The badge depicts a golden kite, a messenger of the kami as described in the ancient Japanese chronicle Nihon Shoki, which helped Emperor Jimmu defeat his enemies in battle; the golden kite stands on an eight-pointed star with 32 rays enameled in red.
Below the kite are two crossed ancient samurai shields, enameled blue, with two crossed swords enameled yellow, with silver hilts. On one side is a halberd, with the mitsu tomoe Shinto symbol on red banners; the reverse side is plain. The badge was gilt for the 1st-5th classes and silver for the 5th–7th classes, it was suspended on a ribbon in blue-green with a white stripe near the edges, worn as a sash on the right shoulder by the 1st class, as a necklet by the 2nd and 3rd classes, on the left chest by the 4th and 5th classes. The badges for 6th and 7th classes were non-enameled; the star of the 1st and 2nd classes was similar to the badge as described above, but with both red and yellow enameled rays. It was worn on the left chest on the right chest by the 2nd class. Prince Takamatsu Shirō Ishii Imperial Japanese ArmySakae Ōba Masanobu Tsuji. Imperial Japanese NavyTetsuzō Iwamoto. Yoshimi Nishida. Imperial Japanese ArmyTateo Katō. Kite —raptor referenced in Imperial war decoration Chamberlain, Basil Hall.
Things Japanese: Being Notes on Various Subjects Connected with Japan for the Use of Travelers and Others, London: John Murray. Iwata Nishizawa.. Japan in the Taisho era. In Commemoration of the Enthronement. Tokyo: __________. OCLC 28706155 Keene, Donald.. "The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95 and its Cultural Effects in Japan", in Meiji Japan, Peter F. Kornicki, editor. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-885119-33-9 ISBN 978-0-415-15619-6. Peterson, James W. Barry C. Weaver and Michael A. Quigley.. Orders and Medals of Japan and Associated States. San Ramon, California: Orders and Medals Society of America. ISBN 1-890974-09-9 Tsuji, Masanobu.. Japan's Greatest Victory, Britain's Worst Defeat, Margaret E. Lake, tr. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-1-873376-75-1 Japan, Cabinet Office: Decorations and Medals—Order of the Golden Kite unmentioned in current system of honors Japan Mint: Production Process Imperial Japanese Navy Awards of the Golden Kite in World War II
Saigō Takamori was one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration. Living during the late Edo and early Meiji periods, he has been dubbed the last true samurai, he was born Saigō Kokichi, received the given name Takamori in adulthood. He wrote poetry under the name Saigō Nanshū, his younger brother was Gensui The Marquis Saigō Jūdō. He was born Saigō Kokichi in the Satsuma Domain on January 23, 1828, or Shiwasu 7 in the tenth year of the Bunsei era of the Japanese calendar. Saigō Takamori served as a low-ranking samurai official in his early career; the Saigō family's official status was Jōkashi but lived as Gōshi, part-warrior. Though they should have been able to live on a stipend from the fief and the daimyō, in practice, the Saigōs lived more like Gōshi and were quite poor, had debts Saigō Takamori needed 25 years to repay. Saigō Takamori was recruited to travel to Edo in 1854 to assist the daimyō of Satsuma, Shimazu Nariakira, in the Kōbu gattai movement.
Saigō's activity in Edo came to an abrupt end with the Ansei Purge by Tairō Ii Naosuke against anti-Shogunal activities, the sudden death of Shimazu Nariakira. Saigō fled back to Kagoshima, where he was banished to Amami Ōshima island, he was recalled in 1861, only to be banished again, to the more remote island of Okinoerabu, south of Amami Ōshima, by the new Satsuma daimyō Shimazu Hisamitsu. Hisamitsu pardoned Saigō in 1864 and sent him to Kyoto to handle the domain's interests towards the imperial court; when the Tokugawa bakufu sent a second punitive expedition against the Chōshū in June 1866, Satsuma remained neutral. In November 1867, Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned, returning power to the Emperor in what came to be known as the Meiji Restoration. However, Saigō was one of the most vocal and vehement opponents to the negotiated solution, demanding that the Tokugawa be stripped of their lands and special status, his intransigence was one of the major causes of the subsequent Boshin War.
During the Boshin War, Saigō led the imperial forces at the Battle of Toba–Fushimi, led the imperial army toward Edo, where he accepted the surrender of Edo Castle from Katsu Kaishū. Although Ōkubo Toshimichi and others were more active and influential in establishing the new Meiji government, Saigō retained a key role, his cooperation was essential in the abolition of the han system and the establishment of a conscript army. In 1871 he was left in charge of the caretaker government during the absence of the Iwakura Mission. Saigō disagreed with the modernization of Japan and the opening of commerce with the West, he famously opposed the construction of a railway network, insisting that money should rather be spent on military modernization. Saigō did insist, that Japan should go to war with Korea in the Seikanron debate of 1873 due to Korea's refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Emperor Meiji as head of state of the Empire of Japan, insulting treatment meted out to Japanese envoys attempting to establish trade and diplomatic relations.
At one point, he offered to visit Korea in person and to provoke a casus belli by behaving in such an insulting manner that the Koreans would be forced to kill him. However, the other Japanese leaders opposed these plans from budgetary considerations, from realization of the weakness of Japan compared with the western countries from what they had witnessed during the Iwakura Mission. Saigō resigned from all of his government positions in protest and returned to his hometown of Kagoshima. Shortly thereafter, a private military academy was established in Kagoshima for the faithful samurai who had resigned their posts to follow him from Tokyo; these disaffected samurai came to dominate the Kagoshima government, fearing a rebellion, the government sent warships to Kagoshima to remove weapons from the Kagoshima arsenal. This provoked open conflict, although with the elimination of samurai rice stipends in 1877, tensions were extremely high. Although dismayed by the revolt, Saigō was reluctantly persuaded to lead the rebels against the central government.
During the battle, Saigō was badly injured in the hip. However, the exact manner of his death is unknown; the accounts of his subordinates claim that he stood up and committed seppuku after his injury or that he requested that the comrade Beppu Shinsuke assist his suicide. In debate, some scholars have suggested that neither is the case and that Saigō may have gone into shock following his wound, losing his ability to speak. Several comrades, upon seeing him in this state, would have severed his head, assisting him in the warrior's suicide that they knew he would have wished, they would have said that he committed seppuku to preserve his status as a true samurai. It is not clear what was done with Saigo's head after his death; some legends say Saigo's manservant hid the head, it was found by a government soldier. The head was somehow retrieved by the government forces and was reunited with Saigo's body, laid next to that of his deputies Kirino and Murata; that was witnessed by the American sea captain John Capen Hubbard.
A myth persists. Saigo's death brought the Satsuma Rebellion to an end. Details regarding Takamori's death are unknown to this day. There are no published reports by eyewitnesses. Three firsthand accounts of the condition of his body exist, it is said that he was shot in the femur he lured a sword into h
Japanese names in modern times consist of a family name, followed by a given name. More than one given name is not used. Japanese names are written in kanji, which are characters Chinese in origin but Japanese in pronunciation; the kanji for a name may have a variety of possible Japanese pronunciations, hence parents might use hiragana or katakana when giving a birth name to their newborn child. Names written in hiragana or katakana are phonetic renderings, so lack the visual meaning of names expressed in the logographic kanji. Japanese family names are varied: according to estimates, there are over 100,000 different surnames in use today in Japan; the three most common family names in Japan are Satō, Takahashi. This diversity is in stark contrast to the situation in other nations of the East Asian cultural sphere, which reflects a different history: while Chinese surnames have been in use for millennia and were reflective of an entire clan or adopted from nobles and were thence transferred to Korea and Vietnam via noble names, the vast majority of modern Japanese family names date only to the 19th century, following the Meiji restoration, were chosen at will.
The recent introduction of surnames has two additional effects: Japanese names became widespread when the country had a large population instead of dating to ancient times, since little time has passed, Japanese names have not experienced as significant a surname extinction as has occurred in the much longer history in China. Surnames occur with varying frequency in different regions. Many Japanese family names derive from features of the rural landscape. While family names follow consistent rules, given names are much more diverse in pronunciation and character usage. While many common names can be spelled or pronounced, many parents choose names with unusual characters or pronunciations, such names cannot in general be spelled or pronounced unless both the spelling and pronunciation are given. Unusual pronunciations have become common, with this trend having increased since the 1990s. For example, the popular masculine name 大翔 is traditionally pronounced "Hiroto", but in recent years alternative pronunciations "Haruto", "Yamato", "Taiga", "Sora", "Taito", "Daito", "Masato" have all entered use.
Male names end in -rō -ta or -o, or contain ichi, kazu, ji, or dai. Female names end in -ko or -mi. Other popular endings for female names include -ka and -na; the majority of Japanese people have one surname and one given name with no other names, except for the Japanese imperial family, whose members bear no surname. The family name – myōji, uji or sei – precedes the given name, called the "name" – or "lower name"; the given name may be referred to as the "lower name" because, in vertically written Japanese, the given name appears under the family name. People with mixed Japanese and foreign parentage may have middle names. Myōji, uji and sei had different meanings. Sei was the patrilineal surname, why up until now it has only been granted by the emperor as a title of male rank; the lower form of the name sei being tei, a common name in Japanese men, although there was a male ancestor in ancient Japan from whom the name'Sei' came. There were few sei, most of the medieval noble clans trace their lineage either directly to these sei or to the courtiers of these sei.
Uji was another name used to designate patrilineal descent, but merged with myōji around the same time. Myōji was what a family chooses to call itself, as opposed to the sei granted by the emperor. While it was passed on patrilineally in male ancestors including in male ancestors called haku, one had a certain degree of freedom in changing one's myōji. See Kabane. Multiple Japanese characters have the same pronunciations, so several Japanese names have multiple meanings. A particular kanji itself can have multiple meanings and pronunciations. In some names, Japanese characters phonetically "spell" a name and have no intended meaning behind them. Many Japanese personal names use puns. Few names can serve either as surnames or as given names. Therefore, to those familiar with Japanese names, which name is the surname and, the given name is apparent, no matter which order the names are presented in; this thus makes it unlikely that the two names will be confused, for example, when writing in English while using the family name-given name naming order.
However, due to the variety of pronuncia
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1868 until 1945, when it was dissolved following Japan's surrender in World War II. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force was formed after the dissolution of the IJN; the Imperial Japanese Navy was the third largest navy in the world by 1920, behind the Royal Navy and the United States Navy. It was supported by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service for aircraft and airstrike operation from the fleet, it was the primary opponent of the Western Allies in the Pacific War. The origins of the Imperial Japanese Navy go back to early interactions with nations on the Asian continent, beginning in the early medieval period and reaching a peak of activity during the 16th and 17th centuries at a time of cultural exchange with European powers during the Age of Discovery. After two centuries of stagnation during the country's ensuing seclusion policy under the shōgun of the Edo period, Japan's navy was comparatively backward when the country was forced open to trade by American intervention in 1854.
This led to the Meiji Restoration. Accompanying the re-ascendance of the Emperor came a period of frantic modernization and industrialization; the navy had several successes, sometimes against much more powerful enemies such as in the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, before being destroyed in World War II. Japan has a long history of naval interaction with the Asian continent, involving transportation of troops between Korea and Japan, starting at least with the beginning of the Kofun period in the 3rd century. Following the attempts at Mongol invasions of Japan by Kubilai Khan in 1274 and 1281, Japanese wakō became active in plundering the coast of China. Japan undertook major naval building efforts in the 16th century, during the Warring States period, when feudal rulers vying for supremacy built vast coastal navies of several hundred ships. Around that time Japan may have developed one of the first ironclad warships when Oda Nobunaga, a daimyō, had six iron-covered Oatakebune made in 1576.
In 1588 Toyotomi Hideyoshi issued a ban on Wakō piracy. Japan built her first large ocean-going warships in the beginning of the 17th century, following contacts with the Western nations during the Nanban trade period. In 1613, the daimyō of Sendai, in agreement with the Tokugawa Bakufu, built Date Maru, a 500-ton galleon-type ship that transported the Japanese embassy of Hasekura Tsunenaga to the Americas, which continued to Europe. From 1604 the Bakufu commissioned about 350 Red seal ships armed and incorporating some Western technologies for Southeast Asian trade. For more than 200 years, beginning in the 1640s, the Japanese policy of seclusion forbade contacts with the outside world and prohibited the construction of ocean-going ships on pain of death. Contacts were maintained, with the Dutch through the port of Nagasaki, the Chinese through Nagasaki and the Ryukyus and Korea through intermediaries with Tsushima; the study of Western sciences, called "rangaku" through the Dutch enclave of Dejima in Nagasaki led to the transfer of knowledge related to the Western technological and scientific revolution which allowed Japan to remain aware of naval sciences, such as cartography and mechanical sciences.
Seclusion, led to loss of any naval and maritime traditions the nation possessed. Apart from Dutch trade ships no other Western vessels were allowed to enter Japanese ports. A notable exception was during the Napoleonic wars. Frictions with foreign ships, started from the beginning of the 19th century; the Nagasaki Harbour Incident involving HMS Phaeton in 1808, other subsequent incidents in the following decades, led the shogunate to enact an Edict to Repel Foreign Vessels. Western ships, which were increasing their presence around Japan due to whaling and the trade with China, began to challenge the seclusion policy; the Morrison Incident in 1837 and news of China's defeat during the Opium War led the shogunate to repeal the law to execute foreigners, instead to adopt the Order for the Provision of Firewood and Water. The shogunate began to strengthen the nation's coastal defenses. Many Japanese realized that traditional ways would not be sufficient to repel further intrusions, western knowledge was utilized through the Dutch at Dejima to reinforce Japan's capability to repel the foreigners.
Numerous attempts to open Japan ended in failure, in part to Japanese resistance, until the early 1850s. During 1853 and 1854, American warships under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry entered Edo Bay and made demonstrations of force requesting trade negotiations. After two hundred years of seclusion, the 1854 Convention of Kanagawa led to the opening of Japan to international trade and interaction; this was soon followed by treaties with other powers. As soon as Japan opened up to foreign influences, the Tokugawa shogunate recognized the vulnerability of the country from the sea and initiated an active policy of assimilation and adoption of Western naval technologies. In 1855, with Dutch assistance, the shogunate acquired its first steam warship, Kankō Maru, began using it for training, establishing a Naval Training Center at Nagasaki. Samurai such as the future Admiral Enomoto Takeaki were sent by the shogunate to study in the Netherlands for several years. In 1859 the