Commodore Perry Opens Japan to the World

That's Commodore Perry, in the center

On this day in 1854, Commodore (later Rear Admiral) Matthew Calbraith Perry sailed back to Yokohama to receive the reply to his earlier missive, which reply led in a few weeks to the signing of the Convention of Kanagawa, opening the archipelago to general trade with the rest of the world.

The agreement was the culmination of decades of effort.  In fact, "opening of trade" is a bit of a misnomer because ships under the Dutch flag had been accepted at Nagasaki since 1797.

However, Perry realized through a long Navy career that it pays to toot your own horn.  History is written by the victors, they say.  In this case, the victor is also defined by the history, in the form of Perry's book.  It's available at archive.com.  Volume 1 is 584 pages.  Not a lot of laughs, I bet.

Here is part of a random page from Volume One

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