The Arrival of Black Ships and Japan's diplomacy 黒船来航と日本の外交 (2-10)

 

 Just three months before Perry and his four black ships entered Uraga, a man started a career as a teacher in Edo (today's Tokyo.)

ペリーが浦賀に来航するわずか三ヶ月前、一人の男が教師として身を立てようとしていました。

He was a man born for this historical incident.

その男は、ペリー来航という歴史上の事件のために生まれて来た人物でした。

He spoke English like a native. In addition, he got university education in the U.S. and had real experience, and above all, was familiar with Japan and the U.S.

英語を母国語のようにあやつるばかりか、米国の大学を出て、実務にもたけ、日米に精通する人物でした。

His name was John Manjiro.

彼の名前はジョン万次郎。

When he was 14 years old, his boat was shipwrecked.  He was saved by an American whaling boat and got formal education in the mainland.

14歳の時、乗っていた漁船は遭難しました。アメリカの捕鯨船に救助されたのです。船長のおかげでアメリカ本土で正規の教育も受けたのでした。

The arrival of the black ships changed his life.

黒船は彼の人生を変えました。

Suddenly, he was ordered to become a samurai and work in Edo for the shogun.

突如、彼は武士にとりたてられ、江戸で働くようにと幕府から命ぜられました。

He was appointed as an interpreter for the government.

将軍付きの侍として迎えられました。

 

He worked for the shogun, saying that the U.S. didn't mean to attack Japan but wanted to use Japanese ports for the supply of food, water, and coal.

アメリカは日本を侵略する意図はなく、ただ水、食糧、石炭の補給のために寄港したいだけなのだ、と将軍に説きました。

The treaty of Peace and Amity between Japan and the U.S. was made.

こうして日米和親条約は調印されました。

But some members of the shogunate were jealous of his remarkable success. 

幕府の一部の者が目覚ましい彼の活躍をやっかみました。

Manjiro was a son of a poor fisherman' house. A person born of  such low rank had never advanced in life.

万次郎は貧しい漁師の息子でした。身分の低い者がかつてない出世をとげたのです。

Except that they were born of a samurai's house, they were inferior to Manjiro in almost every aspect.

武士に生まれたという特権を除けば、万次郎にかなうものはありません。

A rumor spread that he was a spy.

彼はスパイだという噂が広がりました。

He even worried about his safety.

万次郎は身に危険を感じることもありました。

Indeed, it was the time when Ii Naosuke, the second top next to the shogun, was assassinated.

実際、井伊直弼が桜田門で暗殺されるような世相だったのです。

In the end he was discharged from his post as an interpreter, never coming back to the stage of diplomacy.

結局、通訳者としての職を解かれ、外交交渉の場に戻ることはありませんでした。

In 1858, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce was concluded.

1858年日米通商条約が調印されました。

But it was an unequal treaty because Japan conceded extraterritoriality and had no customs autonomy.

しかしそれは不平等条約でした。治外法権を認め、関税自主権を手放したからです。

How much he was disappointed when he knew that Japan had made a fatal mistake.

日本が重大な過ちを犯したことを知って、万次郎どれほど落胆したことでしょうか。

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