(Commodore Perry's visit in 1854
)#MathewPerry finally reached Uraga at the entrance to #EdoBay in #Japan on July 8, 1853. His actions at this crucial juncture were informed by a careful study of Japan's previous contacts with #Western ships and what he knew about the Japanese hierarchical #culture. As he arrived, Perry ordered his ships to steam past Japanese lines towards the #capital of #Edo, and turn their guns towards the town of #Uraga.Perry refused Japanese demands to leave, or to proceed to #Nagasaki, the only Japanese #port open to #foreigners.
Perry attempted to intimidate the Japanese by presenting them a #whiteflag and a letter which told them that in case they chose to fight, the #Americans would #destroy them.He also fired blank shots from his 73 cannons, which he claimed was in celebration of the #AmericanIndependenceDay. Perry's ships were equipped with new Paixhans shell guns, cannons capable of wreaking great explosive destruction with every shell. He also ordered his ship boats to commence survey operations of the coastline and surrounding waters over the objections of local officials.•In the meantime, the Japanese government was paralyzed due to the incapacitation by illness of #Shogun Tokugawa Ieyoshi and by political indecision on how to handle the unprecedented threat to the nation’s capital. On #July 11, Rōjū Abe Masahiro temporized, deciding that simply accepting a letter from the Americans would not constitute a #violation of #Japanesesovereignty. The #decision was conveyed to Uraga, and Perry was asked to move his fleet slightly southwest to the beach at Kurihama (in modern-day Yokosuka), where he was allowed to land on July 14, 1853.After presenting the letter to attending #delegates, Perry departed for #HongKong, promising to return the following year for the Japanese reply.