A trove of manuscript insider reports & accounts on the two Perry expeditions and the turbulent Bakumatsu period that followed. THE PERRY EXPEDITIONS AND THEIR AFTERMATH.
A trove of manuscript insider reports & accounts on the two Perry expeditions and the turbulent Bakumatsu period that followed.

A trove of manuscript insider reports & accounts on the two Perry expeditions and the turbulent Bakumatsu period that followed.

Several dozen manuscripts in various formats, incl. long folded sheets, stitched pamphlets, sewn volumes, and letters. Japan: ca. 1853-63.

A substantial group of documents revealing internal, high-level debates and discussions in response to Commodore Perry’s landings and later controversies that arose as Western powers established a foothold in Japan. This is an exceptional collection, filled with top-secret information on government intrigues as the Japanese state responded to aggressive foreign expansion and dissenting groups within the government urging top-to-bottom reforms.

The manuscripts touch upon pivotal events in Japan’s history:

–Commodore Perry’s two expeditions (July 1853 & February-March 1854) and the resulting ratification of the Treaty of Shimoda.

–Japanese translations of the treaties signed with the United States, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom from 1854 to 1858.

–The assassination of Ii Naosuke in March 1860, also known as the Sakuradamon Incident, which precipitated a violent backlash against foreigners under the banner of Sonno joi (“Honor the Emperor, expel the barbarians”).

–General dissatisfaction with the bakufu and efforts to reform it.

–The attempted assassination of Ando Nobumasa, a chief councillor during this period.

–The Namamugi Incident, in September 1862, when the British merchant Charles L. Richardson was killed by Satsuma domain warriors.

–The bombardment of Kagoshima (August 1863).

Among all these materials, we must highlight several examples of manuscript kengen, proposals and commentaries written by aristocrats with policy advice on the difficult situations faced by the Japanese state. These offer compelling perspectives on the most pressing dilemmas of the day. While they were not composed by the decision-makers, these documents are filled with the minutiae and data employed in the policy-making process.

All of the items are in a fine state of preservation.

❧ John McMaster, “Alcock and Harris. Foreign Diplomacy in Bakumatsu Japan,” Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 22, No. 3/4 (1967), pp. 305-367.

Price: $5,000.00

Item ID: 7712