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In 1853, few Japanese people knew that a country called America even existed.

For centuries, Japan had isolated itself from the outside world by refusing to trade with other countries and even refusing to help shipwrecked sailors, foreign or Japanese. The country's people still lived under a feudal system like that of Europe in the Middle Ages. But everything began to change when American Commodore Perry and his troops sailed to the Land of the Rising Sun, bringing with them new science and technology, and a new way of life.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061971693
List price: $9.99
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Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun is a concise account of the forced opening of Japan to the Western world in 1854. The event marked a powerful and dangerous precedent that Japan itself would later use to its own advantage on neighboring Korea. Commodore Perry was not the first U.S. Naval officer to bring warships in hopes of establishing trade with Japan, but he was the first successful one employing a sort of "gunboat diplomacy"; a deadly mixture of stubbornness and the firepower to enforce an open-door policy with America. In truth, Japan had already been mingling on a limited scale with the Dutch but had also retained a rather nasty international reputation for its treatment of shipwrecked Americans. Therefore, in addition to insisting on opening a trading port to supply merchant and whaling operations in the Pacific, one of the many points of the Treaty of Kanagawa included ceasing an open hostile policy towards shipwrecked sailors. The radical diplomatic changes that Perry was able to enact coincided with the gradual decline of the shogunate and the young Japanese emperor's eventual sweeping reforms now known as the Meiji Restoration. The book abruptly ends on this note. Although the author's target audience is the young adult crowd, it's a sufficient account of the Commodore's expedition. Short, sweet and recommended.more
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Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun is a concise account of the forced opening of Japan to the Western world in 1854. The event marked a powerful and dangerous precedent that Japan itself would later use to its own advantage on neighboring Korea. Commodore Perry was not the first U.S. Naval officer to bring warships in hopes of establishing trade with Japan, but he was the first successful one employing a sort of "gunboat diplomacy"; a deadly mixture of stubbornness and the firepower to enforce an open-door policy with America. In truth, Japan had already been mingling on a limited scale with the Dutch but had also retained a rather nasty international reputation for its treatment of shipwrecked Americans. Therefore, in addition to insisting on opening a trading port to supply merchant and whaling operations in the Pacific, one of the many points of the Treaty of Kanagawa included ceasing an open hostile policy towards shipwrecked sailors. The radical diplomatic changes that Perry was able to enact coincided with the gradual decline of the shogunate and the young Japanese emperor's eventual sweeping reforms now known as the Meiji Restoration. The book abruptly ends on this note. Although the author's target audience is the young adult crowd, it's a sufficient account of the Commodore's expedition. Short, sweet and recommended.more
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