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.)


He was a man born for this historical incident.


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.


His name was John Manjiro.


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.


The arrival of the black ships changed his life.


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


He was appointed as an interpreter for the government.



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.


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


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


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


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


A rumor spread that he was a spy.


He even worried about his safety.


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


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


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


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


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


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