〔２０１０年３月２２日（月）： 『歴史フットパス・ウォーキング in 鎌倉』 の参加者募集中！〕
During the Edo period, the Tokugawa government was afraid that Christianity and foreign missionaries from Spain and Portugal in particular would lead to the invasion or colonization of Japan and the Japanese believers in Christianity would unite against the ruler. Between 1633 and 1639, the government issued five (5) directives that would prevent Catholic missionaries and traders from landing, ban the practice of Christianity in Japan and stop Japanese from going abroad. Catholic missionaries brought a message that believers should be loyal to God before being loyal to the rulers of Japan. The teaching was a potential threat to its rule. Consequently, the government adopted a policy of national exclusion. In fact, they had kept the condition of seclusion for more than 200 years since then. They closed the door to any countries except for the Netherlands, China, Korea and Ryukyu. Because the country was self-sufficient, the government could continue the seclusion system for more than two centuries. Under national seclusion, the Tokugawa government enjoyed such the long peaceful time for 267 years without any war. This period of time is, therefore, labeled as “Pax Tokugawana”.
However, an event shook the Tokugawa government hard towards the end of the Edo Period. Four “black ships” suddenly appeared offshore from Uraga in June, 1853. Commodore Mathew Perry led the ships demanding to open the door to the Americans and handing in an official letter from President Millard Fillmore. The Tokugawa government was really confused and upset because they had been naïve about contact with foreigners with their huge ships. Next year Perry arrived again at Edo Bay Haneda offing to consistently ask for the conclusion of the agreement. Eventually the Tokugawa government signed the US-Japan Peace and Amity Treaty or Kanagawa Treaty with Perry. The treaty was arranged to :
1) provide American ships with water, fuel and foods :
2) salvage wrecked vessels and crews :
3) open the two (2) ports of Shimoda and Hakodate and acknowledge the
presence of the consul : and
4) give preferential treatment to the Americans.
The United States sought Japan as a supply base en route to China for commercial trade and during long periods at sea for whaling. But this treaty did not mention the terms and conditions of trade between the United States and Japan.
● 古街道研究家 道の考古学者 歴史ルポライター
● 歴史古街道団長 歴史古道まちづくりプランナー 歴史計画コンサルタント
● １４講座レギュラー講師 日本フットパス協会理事 １９５９年東京出身