No. 289.
Mr. Stevens to Mr. Evarts.

No. 55.]

Sir: Some time since, Dr. David Murray handed me several documents, in Japanese, relating to the visit of Mr. Townsend Harris, formerly [Page 621] United States minister in Japan, to Yedo in 1857. These documents Dr. Murray obtained from a Japanese gentleman, and he kindly gave me permission to have them translated and to transmit copies to the Department, containing a detailed account of the reception accorded by the Japanese authorities to the first foreign minister who had ever visited the capital or was granted an audience by the Shiogun (Taikun), as well as the memoranda of several important conversations between Mr. Harris and the Japanese officials on the subject of the treaty which he soon after concluded with Japan. The translations which I have the honor to inclose herewith will doubtless possess great interest in your eyes.

The careful and minute instructions given as to every detail of Mr. Harris’s reception in Yedo on this occasion are a curious illustration of Japanese methods even at that comparatively recent time, and also of the importance evidently attached to this, the first visit of an accredited representative of a foreign government to the capital.

It is true that in former times the superintendents of the Dutch Trading Company at Nagasaki had periodically been brought to Yedo, but their journeys were undertaken rather to pay homage to the Taikun than to receive audience from him as the representatives of a foreign state on an equality with Japan. Their visits to Yedo were supposed to be made secretly; they and their attendants were lodged outside of the official quarter of the city, sometimes beyond the city limits, were closely guarded during the whole of their stay, and otherwise received but scanty courtesy from a people by whom official etiquette and its attendant formalities were deemed most weighty and important matters. Mr. Harris, on the contrary, enjoyed every consideration and attention, his visit being marked by all the care as to ceremonies and details which the most exacting critic could have required.

It is gratifying to reflect that this unusual courtesy was first extended to a representative of the United States; still more gratifying to know that the recipient was worthy of the honors shown him; that his con duct was marked by sagacity and firmness becoming his position, and at the same time by such evidences of sincere friendship and generous consideration toward this government and people as have justly made his name memorable in Japanese annals.

The translations herewith inclosed are by Mr. Thompson, interpreter of this legation. The original documents, as I have before stated, were obtained by Dr. Murray from a Japanese gentleman, the successor of the Prince of Bitchu, who was in 1857 the chief of the Taikun’s council. The accompanying copy of a letter from Dr. Murray furnished proof of the trustworthy character of the record.

It is understood that the literary executors of Mr. Harris are engaged in collecting material for his biography. I have no doubt that they would find facts worthy of notice in this account of his first visit to Yedo.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 55.—Translation.]

visit of the american ambassador (mr. harris) to the castle of yedo in the 10th month of the 4th year of ansei (1857).

30th of the 6th month of the 4th year of Ansei.

Copy of a notice to Inouye, Prince of Shinano.

As there is to be a communication made respecting the visit of the American ambassador to the capital, you are to go at once to Shimoda and have a consultation [Page 622] with Nakaroura, Prince of Dewa, and, if anything of importance transpires respecting the important matter on hand, you are to return and report particularly.

The Prince of Dewa is to remain in office till the second month of next year, after which time you are to take his place.

(Not signed.—Tr.)

14th of the 8th month.

Notification to Honda, Prince of Mino.

The American ambassador, now residing at Shimoda, in Idzu, has desired to come to Yedo with a letter from the President of the United States. A precedent for such a visit and interview is found in the case of certain Englishmen before the cycle of Kan-ei (Before 1620.—Tr.) Besides, it is a universal rule of all countries which have made treaties to receive the ambassadors of treaty powers in their capitals.

You will therefore notify the Tei-sho-shu (officers of the Mikado), for His Majesty’s information, that an audience will be granted here at an early day to the American ambassador.

(Not signed.—Tr.)

Notification to Toki, Prince of Tamba, Haiashi Daigalcu no Kami, Udono, Mimbushoyou, Nagai, Prince of Gemba, aud Tsuha Koetosulce, all executive officers of the Taikun.

As the American ambassador has been granted permission to visit Yedo, you are directed to make all needful preparation to facilitate his visit and for his accommodation while here, as also for his visit to the palace, and for the audience there to be granted with the Taikun and council.

(Not signed.—Tr.)

21st of 8th month.

Copy of notification to officials charged with the preparation for the ambassador’s visit to Yedo.

The present audience of the American ambassador will be a precedent for all foreign countries, and must be managed therefore with the greatest care. As intercourse with foreign nations necessitates the repeal of old regulations and restrictions, the matter is attended with difficulty, and the possible evils cannot be foreseen, you must therefore neglect nothing, but attend to all things with the greatest care as the Taikun’s order requires.

The above was also notified to the members of the council, the coast-guards, and “Ometskes” (superintendents of Nagasaki and Hakodate), to the governor of Shimoda, and to the officials who attended the ambassador on his visit.

10th of the 9th month.

Route to be followed by the ambassador on arriving at Yedo: From the hotel at Shinagawa, along Takanawa street, Hon Shiba street, Hamasugi street, Shibakuchi Bridge, Nihon Bridge, Main street to Second street, thence to the left to Tokiwa Bashi Gate, thence to the right, outside the castle wall, along the moat by Kanda Bridge Gate, Hitotsu Bashi Gate, and Kiji Bashi Gate to the Bansho Shirabejo. (Present imperial college or Kaiseyo.—Tr.)

Route when entering the castle: From the Bansho Shirabejo, by Kiji Bashi Gate, on the outside: along the moat, through Kanda Bashi Gate, to the front of the palace of Saka Saiemonnojo, and from thence, by the side and front of the palace of Sakai, Prince of Uta, to Otei Gate.

Route when going to the house of Hotta, Prince of Bitchu: From Bansho Shirabejo, by Kiji Bashi Gate, on the outside; along the moat before the palace of Sakai Saiemonnojo, in the rear of the palace of Endo, Prince of Tashima, to Tatsunokuchi; through Wadagura Gate, in front of the palace of Matsudaira, Prince of Higo, to the gate of the house of the Prince of Bitchu.

Ninth month.

To the Ometskeis, or managing officers:

When, in a short time, the American ambassador visits Yedo, it will not be necessary to repair the yashikis (palaces or residences of princes) along the road; the temporary board fences may be left as they are. Each householder is to keep his portion of the road swept clean. It will likewise not be necessary to set out the ornamented firemen’s buckets before the houses, nor to place guards there. Travelers may be allowed to pass along as usual. Guards should be placed at the small stations or [Page 623] guard-houses to suppress any disorder, if required to do so by the officers in attendance on the ambassador. Beggars must be removed out of the way.

As to sight-seers, they may stand at designated spots along the road, but are not to be allowed to crowd together at the upper-story windows of tenement houses and like places. As much as possible, all encounters of persons on horsesback are to be avoided.

Great care must be taken by the officials to avoid all noise and confusion on the way. Hence, to avoid mistakes, careful directions must be given even to the lowest official. The foregoing is to be notified to all officers in charge by the Prince of Bitchu.

Ninth month.

To the Inspector of Roads and Accountant:

When the American ambassador visits Yedo he will be attended by the governor of Shimoda and officials of his staff, and will pass through Amakiyama and Mishiina to the Tokaido. Of course, men (coolies) and horses must be provided, and care taken to have the lodging-places and bridges on the way in good order. The local officials on the way shall send one or two under officers to do duty at the estates of the Hata-motos. The retainers of princes, however, shall be called out to perform duty, preserve order, and to direct the village officials and hotel-keepers how to act. They must take care that travelers create no disturbance. Notice is to be given to the local officers on the Tokaido (main road) by the road inspectors, and to the local officers on the branch roads by the accountant.

Ninth month.

(Not signed—Tr.)

To the same:

A relay of coolies for special service shall be provided at all the stopping-places on the way when the American ambassador visits Yedo, and places of refuge must be provided in the vicinity to be resorted to in case of lire, &c. Houses and fences may be left as they are, without decoration, but each householder must keep the space in front of his house swept clean.

Travelers must be allowed to pass on their way freely. On the way the town officials shall disperse crowds of on-lookers when directed to do so by the attending officials.

The people must not be allowed to gather in front of shops or at second-story windows on the way to look on as if some unusual thing was taking place.

The substance of the above shall be notified to the local officials along the main road by the road inspector, and to those along the branch roads by the accountant.

The foregoing is issued by the Prince of Bitchu.

9th month.

Letter (with inclosure) from Hotta, Prince of Bitchu, to Honda, Prince of Mino, dated 7th of 10th month.

Give notice, without fail, to the officers of the Mikado’s household that the American ambassador and one interpreter, attended by the officials of the governor of Shimoda, are about to leave Shimoda, and, if not delayed on the way, will reach this place (in a few days).

10th month.

(Not signed.—Tr.)

Memorandum dated 12th of 10th month

On the 11th of the 10th month was informed by the governor of Shimoda that the American ambassador will reach Yedo the 14th instant.

Notice to the overseer of the Buddhist and Shinto Temples, and to the officers charged with making preparation for the ambassador’s visit.

Should anything happen to the quarters of the American ambassador while stopping in Yedo, he is to be removed to the temple of Tenryoji, in Yotsuya, or to the temple of Shoshinji, in Fukagawa.

To the officers charged with making preparations for the ambassador’s visit:

The notice immediately preceding has been given to the overseer of temples.

All the foregoing delivered by the Prince of Bitchu.

10th month.

(Not signed.)

[Page 624]

Notice to the “Ometske,” Toki, Prince of Tamba, dated 15th of 10th month.

The cedar chest or box to be delivered as directed when the ambassador reaches the city.

The foregoing delivered by the Prince of Bitchu,

10th month.

To the American ambassador, dated the 16th of the 10th month.

To Townsend Harris,
United States Minister Plenipotentiary and Consul-General:

I have received your letter of the 14th instant, and am happy to learn that you have reached this place without delay on the way, and understand that you come as the bearer of a letter from the President of the United States. Arrangements are making for your audience in the castle on the 21st instant at 9 a.m.

Very respectfully,

Prince of Bitchu.

16th of 10th month of 4th yr. Ansei.

Memorandum dated the 17th of 10th month.

The American ambassador goes to the house of the Prince of Bitchu on the 18th, and on the 21st will have his audience with the Taikun in the castle.

Notice to the “Ometskes” (superintending officials) issued by the Prince of Bitchu.

As the American ambassador is to have his audience in the castle on the 21st, notice is to be given to all who are to attend him to be in readiness by 9 a.m. of the day appointed.

17th of the 10th month.

Letter to Mr. Townsend Harris, United States Minister Plenipotentiary and Consul-General.

I have received translations in Japanese and Dutch of your address and of the President’s letter to the Taikun. I will be happy to see you at my house to-morrow, the 18th, and will send a guide to conduct you.


Hotta, Prince of Bitchu.

17th of 10th month of 4th year of Ansei.

The American ambassador’s entry into the castle on the 21st of the 10th month.

The officials in attendance all to wear flowing court-dresses. The governor of Shimoda is to precede the ambassador. The interpreter will get out of his kago at the dismounting place, in front of the main entrance. The ambassador will get out of his kago at the bridge called Gegobashi. Thence he shall be conducted by the governor of Shimoda to the top of the front steps. Here two ometskes, or superintending officials, will come out to meet him, and after a salutation will conduct him to his seat in the first room, after entering at the side of the Chinese screen facing the north. The interpreter shall be seated in the same room on the west side. For both, chairs shall be provided. The governor of Shimoda shall be along with them, and a table shall be placed at the side of the ambassador on which to place the President’s letter.

Here all the officers charged with making preparations shall pay their respects to the ambassador.

Before the Taikun comes out the two superintending officials shall conduct the ambassador from the first room to the room adjoining the obiroma, or wide room, and the kurumayose (Taikun’s place for entering his carriage), called the kari hikaijo.

The interpreter shall follow with the letter of the President. Here also chairs shall be provided. The governor of Shimoda shall be with them. The superintending officials shall have seats assigned them in the passage by the ninoma (or second room). The Taikun will now enter the obiroma (or wide room), wearing a takai eboshi (high hat) and a koshidare (loose robe). Thence he will pass to his seat in the gojodan (upper room) preceded by Naito, Prince of Kishu, bearing his long sword, and Iura, Prince of Harima, bearing his short sword.

The upper, middle, and lower rooms, and also the passage shall be provided with sudare (curtains or hangings). The curtains at the two sides of the upper room shall be down, those of the middle room shall be lifted, and all the other curtains shall be [Page 625] rolled up. The personal servants of the Taikun, his familiar retainers, and sword-bearers shall be seated behind him.

On the west side of the lower room to within one yard of the middle room the tamarizume dokaku (guardians of the Taikun’s person) shall be seated, while on the east side of the same room the princes shall be seated in order, beginning with the Prince of Bitchu one yard from the middle room.

In the passage to the west of the middle room the Wakadoshiyori (councilors) and the familiar servants of the second class shall be seated. The members of the high families shall be seated in order in the passage west of the lower room.

In the passage south of the second and third rooms the various household retainers and officials of the Taikun, with their first-born sons and heirs, shall be seated on mats. In the second room the hereditary princes of the first rank shall be seated on the north side, and those of the second rank on the east side or end, together with their oldest sons. In the third room those officials who are admitted into the Taikun’s presence, and also his physicians, shall be seated.

When the Taikun has taken his seat the Ometske, or superintending officer, shall give a signal to the governor of Shimoda, who shall conduct the ambassador along the passage and stop alongside the second room. The interpreter shall follow, bearing the President’s letter.

The Prince of Bitchu shall then, having ascertained that the Taikun is ready, advance to the entrance of the lower room, the sliding doors of which shall be removed, and shall signal the superintending officer and the kimoiri, or introducing officer, to introduce the ambassador, and shall then return to his place.

The introducer shall now advance two yards, or mats, into the lower room, and the superintending officer shall make a sign to the governor of Shimoda, who shall bring forward the ambassador and then take his place in the passage near the entrance of the lower room.

The ambassador shall then advance two mats, or yards, from the entrance of the lower room and bow, when the introducer shall announce as follows: “The ambassador of the President of the United States of America.” The interpreter, bearing the letter, shall stand in the passage. After the preceding announcement the ambassador shall advance to the fourth mat and bow again. He shall then advance to within three mats of the upper end of the room, bow respectfully, and deliver his address and bow. The Taikun shall then reply.

The interpreter shall then come forward with the letter, deliver it to the ambassador, and return to his place in the passage. Then the Prince of Bitchu shall rise, receive the letter from the ambassador, and resume his seat, near which a table shall be placed to lay the letter on. The ambassador shall then bow and retire as he came, bowing at the fourth and second mats, after which he shall be attended by the governor of Shimoda, the interpreter, and two attending officers back to the waiting-room. At the same time one of the Wakadoshiyori (councilors) shall enter the lower room from the west passage and receive the President’s letter from the Prince of Bitchu, return with it to his seat, and there deliver it to the first secretary.

The sliding doors of the upper room shall now be removed, and the Taikun shall stand at the partition of the middle and lower rooms and receive the salutations of the hereditary princes and then retire.

The ambassador shall next be conducted back to the front room by the governor of Shimoda and two superintending officials.

After this the ambassador and interpreter shall be brought back to the waiting-room by the two superintending officers. The Prince of Bitchu and other princes of the council shall take their places at the west end of the second room, the private officers of the Taikun shall stand on the north side of the third room, and the managers of the audience shall be on the south side of the same room. The superintending officers and governor shall bring forward the ambassador and interpreter. The ambassador and governor of Shimoda shall enter the second room. The interpreter shall stand in the third room

A present of fifteen suits of seasonable clothing is now made to the ambassador from, the Taikun.

A porter dressed in the Taikun’s livery shall bring in the Taikun’s present and place it in the center of the second room. The Prince of Bitchu shall tell the ambassador that this is a present from the Taikun. The ambassador shall signify his acceptance and express his thanks. The Prince of Bitchu shall next inform the ambassador that a present is also to be given to the interpreter, for which also he will express his thanks. The Prince of Bitchu shall then announce that a dinner is to be provided by the Taikun. The ambassador shall again thank the prince and withdraw to the fourth room, conducted by the two superintending officers. The dinner shall be served in the lodging-place, and the gift to the interpreter will be delivered by the governor of Shimoda.

The Taikun’s address will be given to the interpreters, and by them be rendered for [Page 626] the ambassador, whose address shall be translated and given to, the governor of Shimoda, to be by him made known to the Taikun.

The managers and the Taikun’s private officers shall next take their stand on the west side of the fourth room, and the princes of the council shall stand at the south end facing the north to take leave. When the ambassador departs they shall follow him to the passage, when both parties shall stand and salute each other once more. The governor of Shimoda and superintending officials shall next conduct the ambassador and interpreter back to the front room. The managers shall pay their respects in the front room, as was the case in the morning.

When the ambassador leaves the superintending officers shall conduct him to the front steps, and the ambassador shall depart preceded by the governor of Shimoda, as in the morning. The “Goshokumi “guards shall be on duty in the “Goshoin” guardroom, and the “Ogoban” guards in the “Obiroma” (wide room) and the fourth room, and shall withdraw after the ambassador has departed.

Bill of fare of the dinner given to the American ambassador on the 21st of the 10th month.

First course on an unvarnished table, the plates or dishes of painted porcelain, the cups lacquered on the outside and painted red in the inside.

1st. A Tai fish (the Serramis Margmalis), dressed in Java style. Oysters and Tai. Sliced Bilone gigantea. Chesnuts and garlic. Citrus japonica. Bean sauce. The above served in vinegar.


Oysters and Tai. Rice soup. Small turnips. Small mushrooms. Asparagus.


Egg-plant in bean-sauce. Smooth cucumbers. Small radishes.

baked things.

Biche-de-mer. Duck cooked in oil. Small sugar potatoes. White rice.

Second course.—Dishes and cups as above.

Boiled lobsters. Sliced fish. Mushrooms. Mustard and vinegar. Boiled plums sprinkled with dried “katsuwo “(fish grated).

Soup of Tai sliced and served with bean-sauce and lemon-juice. Pickled salmon served on a Corean dish.

Third course.—Table and dishes as before.

Gold fish with its roe. Sliced eels. Sliced fish and sauce. Omelet. Mushrooms. Lotus bulbs. Tai. Small lobsters. Horseradish and bean-sauce. Oyster soup.

Fourth course.—Table and dishes as before.

Fish sausage. Sweet Tai in bean sauce. Mountain potatoes in the skin. Sliced Tai raw. Boiled clams. Stuffed goose. Mashed eggs. Mushrooms. Celery.

Fifth course.—Table and dishes as before.

A Tai on a large colored dish. A lacquered wine cup on a new tray. A silver pot for warming “sake” (wine”) on a tray as above. Cold “sake” and hot “sake” Fish and doughnuts on a medium sized dish. Cuttle-fish and sauce. Large oysters (Awabi) boiled.

Certain symbols of prosperity: The pine tree and bamboo on a Nara table. One porcelain cup. A pot, for warming liquor, of silver. Three year old liquor “sake” cold. Tea and candies. Oboro marya (a kind of tart or pie). Preserved chestnuts. Preserved bamboo sprouts. Chopsticks and tooth-picks on a smooth unpainted tray.

Second course of candies, &c.: Gold-colored sugar, purple-colored sugar, crystallized sugar. Tea powder candy. White thin crackers. Chopsticks and tooth-picks.

All the above to be served on tables, dishes, and trays, as before described.

[Page 627]

The dinner provided for the interpreter shall he served on a high table of unpainted wood, and shall be the same as that provided for the ambassador except in his case the symbols of prosperity placed on the Nara table shall be omitted.

Memorandum of places to be visited and streets to be traversed by the American ambassador during his visit to the captial.

From his lodging in the Bansho Shirabejo (present Tokio University.—Tr.) outside of Kiji Bashi gate, along the moat, outside of Kanda Bashigate, along Mikawa street, Kainakura street, Old Shirokane street, Honkoku street, Kashidori street, to the left, through the first square of Main street, thence along Otenma street, Hatago street, Abura street, Shi wo street, Yokoyama street, Yoshikawa street, Ryokoku Hirokoji, across Yanagi Bridge, along Yemon street, before the gate of the temple of Tairoku Tenjin, thence along Kay a street, Tenwo street, Okuramai street, Kurofune street.

Dinner in the Temple of Shokakuji.

Thence from the gate of the temple at Asakusa into the grounds of the temple of Kwanon. Thence, returning from the Raishin gate along Higashinaka street, beside the temple of Houganji, through new Tera street, to the left, before the gate of the temple of Tokakuji, and the residence of Toda Masunoske, and Satake Ukiyo no Taifu, and also before the medical school. Thence along the street before the gate of Toto, Prince of Idzushi, and Idzumi Hashi street, Sakuma street, thence to Sujikai gate, along Ogawa street, across Manaita Bridge, along Motoita street to Bansho Shirabejo again.

second day.

From Bansho Shirabejo to Kudan, thence to the left along the moat, before the residence of Maida, Prince of Tamba, outside of Haso gate to First street in Kojimachi. Then from Third street, Kojimachi, to the left along Hira Kawa street, before the shrine of Tenjin, through Sankenya street and behind the residence of Iyi, Prince of Kamo, thence to the right through Kasumiga Seki and along the street before the residence of Matsudaira, Prince of Mino. Then from the corner at the residence of Nishiwo, Prince of Okij to the left beside the residence of Sanada, Prince of Mino, over the new bridge, to the left along Kubo street, then from the side of the bridge at the entrance of Shiba to the right along First, Second, Third, Shiba, and Genske street, Rogetsu street, Shibai street, Udakawa street, Shimei street, thence into the house of the Shinto priest of Shinmei Temple, to dinner.

In returning, set out from Shinmei street to Shibakuchi Bridge, then to the left across To Bridge, along Hachikan street, through Tsukiya Bridge Gate, Daimio Koji, then from the residence of Matsudaira, Prince of Sagami, to the left, through Yayodzu Kashi, Tatsuno Kuchi, out at Kandahashi Gate, along the moat to the Bansho Shirabo, or place of starting.

Account of an interview with the American ambassador in the 10th month of the 4th year of Ansei (December, 1857.)

I. Statement made by the American ambassador in the house of Hotta, Prince of Bitchu, on the 26th of the 10th month of the 4th year of Ansei (December, 1857).

The ambassador said:

“The matters concerning which I am now about to speak are of the utmost importance, and are so regarded by the President; and as everything springs from good-will and is done with kind consideration for His Majesty, the Taikun, I beg you to hear with attention.

“As I will only repeat what is said in the letter to the Taikun, please regard what I say as corning directly from the President.

“All that I say to-day shall be very plain and simple. There shall be no concealment of the least particular. By following this course I shall carry out the wishes of the President, who desires the negotiations to be carried out with the utmost frankness.

“As the treaty made with the United States is the first treaty entered into by your country with other countries, therefore the President regards Japan with peculiar friendliness.

“The United States have no possessions in the east and do not desire to have any, as other countries do. To acquire such possessions is prohibited by the Government of the United States. Heretofore many countries have asked to be admitted into the Union, but their requests have not been granted. Three years ago the Sandwich Islands asked to be admitted into the Union, but admission was refused.

“It is the uniform custom of the United States, while frequently making treaties with other countries, not to annex any country merely by force of arms. Many changes have taken place in the West within the last fifty years. Since the invention of steam-ships [Page 628] distant countries have become like those that are near at hand, Since the invention of the electric telegraph especially, rapid communication may be had between the most distant parts. By means of this instrument a reply may be had in an hour to a message sent from Yedo to Washington. By means of steam one can go from California to Japan in eighteen days. Commerce has become very extensive since the invention of steam, and the countries of the West have in consequence become rich. The nations of the West hope that by means of steam communication all the world will become as one family. Any nation that refuses to hold intercourse with other nations must expect to be excluded from this family, donation has the right to refuse to hold intercourse with others.

“Two things are desired in order that intercourse may be had: First, that a minister or agent be allowed to reside at the capital. Second, that commerce between different countries be freely allowed. Not only America but also all other countries desire the above-mentioned two things; and to grant them would be for the benefit of all, and not for the benefit of the United States only. Misfortunes are now threatening Japan in consequence of the state of things in England and other European states. England is not satisfied with the treaty made with Japan by Admiral James Sterling. The English Government hopes to hold the same kind of intercourse with Japan as she holds with other nations, and is ready to make war with Japan, as I will now show. England greatly fears that Russia will disturb her East India possessions. Quite lately England and France united to fight against Russia because the latter was disposed to annex other countries. England does not want Russia to hold Saghalien and the Amoor. England fears that Russia will take possession of Manchuria and China, Should Russia take possession of Manchuria and China, she may then attack the possessions of England in the East Indies, and thus the war between England and Russia break out again. Should Russia do as above indicated, it will become very difficult for England to defend herself, and in order to be in a position to defend herself successfully, she desires to take possession of Saghalien, Yezo, and Hakodate. Should England take possession of these places, she will send a large fleet to each place and cut off communication between Petropauloski, the port of Kamtchatka, and Saghalien. England would rather have possession of Yezo than of Manchuria.

“Japan and China are isolated and without intercourse with other countries; hence the President directed me to attend to or watch the state of affairs in China also.

“Eighteen years ago a war broke out between England and China, which might have been avoided by an agent residing in the capital of China, The above unfortunate war broke out because the Government of China committed the management of affairs to the governor of Canton instead of managing them directly. The governor of Canton acted deceitfully and made false reports to the government, and, besides, treated the English haughtily, thereby provoking the war.

“By that war China lost a million people. By the same war China lost many ports. The city of Nankin, too, fell into the hands of the English.

“China paid to England £5,000,000 for peace as an indemnity. The loss of millions of men and millions of money, as mentioned above, is only a tenth part of the whole loss incurred by China. By this war China was greatly weakened, and her cities and fortifications were destroyed. Thus China, though formerly very strong, has become weak as she was when conquered by the Tartars. Everything there is in disorder, and another war will break out there before long.

“The two nations England and France are now engaged in war with China, and what will be the result as respects China no one can conjecture. The indications are at present that China will yield to the demands of England and France, or, if not, the whole nation will be subjected to said two countries. In any case, the action of China can only result inrendering England stronger. France wants to have possession of Corea, and England wants Formosa. If the present war ceases, China must pay all the costs of the war.

“The above facts are mentioned that you may be on your guard and take proper care. I am quite certain that the war would not have broken out had an agent been admitted to reside in Pekin. The Governments of England and France asked the United States to unite in the war against China, but the President refused. The United States was also provoked by the Chinese; but, not being anxious for war, the government refused to unite with England and France. Some time ago the Chinese fired on the American man-of-war Portsmouth, and when an explanation was asked of the Chinese Government no answer was given, whereupon Commodore Armstrong opened fire on and destroyed four ports; but when, in consequence of the attack, the vice-governor of Canton made explanations, the hostilities were stopped. In this America did not act in concert with England. All nations unite in denouncing the unjust conduct of China. Opium has been the cause of the troubles in China. Thirty years ago opium was used only at one place, near Canton, in China, but now it is used in many parts by millions of people, who spend vast sums to obtain it. I have heard that two years ago China imported opium to the amount of $25,000,000. Opium is the one great enemy of China. If it is used it weakens the body and injures it like the [Page 629] most deadly poison; it makes the rich poor and the wise foolish; it unmans all that use it, and by reason of the misery it brings robbers and acts of violence increase. About one thousand criminals are executed annually for crimes committed while under the influence of opium; but notwithstanding this punishment crimes are on the increase. The uncle of the reigning Emperor of China died from the effects of opium. The opium used in China comes from India, which is subject to England.

“Though opium is, as I have already said, a very bad thing for China, England will not prohibit it, because the trade is profitable. Hence the word ‘opium’ is not used in the treaty between the two countries.

“China has prohibited the importation of opium; but the English bring it in armed vessels and smuggle it in. The Chinese officials are aware of this practice, but they have no power to put a stop to it, and hence let it be carried on in the ports without opposition. It appears that the English think the Japanese, too, are fond of opium, and they want to bring it here also. If a man use opium once he cannot stop it, and it becomes a life-long habit to use opium; hence the English want to introduce it into Japan.

“The President of the United States thinks that for the Japanese opium is more dangerous than war. The expense of a war could be paid in time; but the expense of opium, when once the habit is formed, will only increase with time.

“The President wishes the Japanese to be very prudent about the introduction of opium, and if a treaty is made, he wishes that opium may be strictly prohibited. If American merchants should bring opium to Japan, the Japanese authorities may burn it or do what they please with it. Besides, a line may be required if landed and introduced among the people of Japan.

“The President assures you that if you have intercourse with other countries, and allow agents to reside in the capital, the country will be quite safe. I must congratulate your country that no war has taken place for hundreds of years; but peace, when continued too long, may be injurious, as thereby the military power may become weak and inefficient.

“The President regards the Japanese as a brave people; but courage, though useful in time of war, is subordinate to knowledge of arts; hence, courage without such knowledge is not to be highly esteemed. In time of war steamships and improved arms are the most important things. If war should break out between England and Japan, the latter would suffer much more than the former. The damage that might be done to Japan on the coast alone is very great.

“The Japanese are very fortunate, because they have had no experience of war and only know about it from history. The President hopes that hereafter also you will only know about it from history, and have no actual experience of its evils.

“If Japan had been near to either England or France, war would have broken out long ago. The great distance between the countries is the reason why peace has been preserved thus long. In case of war, a treaty would have to be made at the end of the war. The President wants to make a treaty without any war, and with mutual goodwill and respect.

“A famous foreign general has said that an ordinary peace is better than an extraordinary victory.

“The President is of opinion that if Japan makes a treaty with the United States, all other foreign countries will make the same kind of a treaty, and Japan will be safe thereafter.

“The President wants to make a treaty that will be honorable to Japan, without war, in a peaceable manner, after deliberate consultation. If Japan should make a treaty with the ambassador of the United States, who has come unattended by military force, her honor will not be impaired. There will be a great difference between a treaty made with a single individual, unattended, and one made with a person who should bring fifty men-of-war to these shores. We were sent to this country by the President, who desires to promote the welfare of Japan, and are quite different from the ambassadors of other countries. We do not wish you to open your ports to foreign trade all at once. It will be quite satisfactory if you open them gradually, as the circumstances may require; but the President assures you that this will not be the case if you make a treaty with England first.

“If you make a treaty first with the United States and settle the matter of the opium trade, England cannot change this, though she should desire to do so.

“When the ambassadors of other foreign countries come to Japan to make treaties, they can be told that such and such a treaty has been made with the ambassador of the United States, and they will rest satisfied with this.

“The President does not expect or wish to obtain from Japan anything extraordinary, but only such privileges as the people of the United States require.

“Everything is quite different now from what it was two hundred years ago, when the Portuguese and Spaniards were driven out of Japan. Then they desired to propagate religion.

“In the United States religion is neither supported nor prohibited by the state, but [Page 630] is left to the choice of each one. In the West military force is not now used in propagating religion, though changes may freely he made. We have at last found that the best way is to let each one have his choice in religious matters. Hence we neither support nor prohibit religion. There are many different religions in the world, but the aim of all is to make the people good; hence, to revile other religions and praise one’s own religion to make proselytes is the mark of a bad man.

“In America Christian churches and Buddhist temples are built near each other, but they do not quarrel among themselves.

“When the Portuguese and Spaniards came to Japan they came as private persons, and not on government business. They came to trade and to propagate religion and to subdue Japan ultimately by military force. They were all adventurers and rough characters, of a kind now rarely to be met with. At present times are greatly changed from what they were then, and now people universally cultivate friendly intercourse.

“It is the usual custom of these days to transport the superabundant productions of one country to where they are wanted, so that there may be an equalization. If, for instance, there should be a scarcity of food in England, those countries where food is abundant will send the needed supplies, even if they have to interrupt the usual trade. I do not mean by the word ‘trade’ only the exchange of marketable articles, but also the exchange of profitable new inventions. By trade the people of any one nation will become well acquainted with the productions and customs of all other countries.

“Although agriculture is of the first importance to a country, all cannot be farmers; there must also be workmen and merchants, and all these are mutually helpful. In some countries manufactured articles are much better and cheaper than those of other countries; hence it is usual to export such articles when not needed at home, and bring back what may be needed. If trade is carried on with other countries, manufactured articles will become abundant and be improved, and the productions of other countries may easily be obtained. Articles not manufactured in the home country may be, obtained by trade; and as trade can only be carried on in time of peace, extension of trade tends to prevent war.

“When things are imported customs must be paid on them. In America the expenses of the government are paid by this means, and the remainder laid up yearly in the Treasury.

“There are many ways of collecting taxes, but no one is so satisfactory as by custom or duty on imported articles.

“I will now tell you again what are the advantages of trade. Thereby the friendship between countries is perpetuated and increased. On my way to Japan I stopped in the Kingdom of Si am and made a treaty with that government. Shortly afterwards Siam made a like treaty with France. The reason why Siam made a treaty with America and France is because she fears that England has an intention of taking the country. Hence for her own safety she made the above treaties.

“India is now subject to England, but formerly it consisted of many independent states; but as none of them had treaties with western powers they were easily conquered by England when she attacked them. Hence we learn that it is very injurious for a nation to stand alone without any friendly treaty powers. Japan should therefore take care not to meet a like fate as the countries of India. If you open your country to commence, your flag will become known in the ports of all nations.

“If a person who has good eye-sight should ascend a high mountain in Japan he might see hundreds of American whale-ships along the coast. Is it not a ridiculous thing to let foreigners have the profit of a trade that might be carried on by the people of Japan?

“The President ordered me to tell you anything about America that you might wish to hear. America will furnish to Japan men-of-war, steamers, and needed arms, also officers of the army and navy, as many as may be required.

“The President wishes it to be understood that should difficulty arise between Japan and any foreign country, he will gladly become a mediator, and use his good offices in the interest of peace.

“On my way to Japan I met the English governor, of Hong-Kong, John Bowering, who told me that he was about to be appointed an ambassador to go to Japan, and I have received four letters from him since my arrival in Japan. Our conversation was of course private, but in his letters he discusses Japanese Government matters. He says he intends to bring with him a larger fleet than the Japanese have ever seen, and anchor at Yedo, where the discussions will be carried on. He says also that Yedo is the only place to hold consultation with the Japanese; that his object is, first, to get permission for a minister or agent of England to reside in Yedo, and, secondly, to get permission to carry on free trade at several places in Japan. If these two things are not granted war will be declared at once. The sending this ambassador he says is delayed by the war in China. He said he would be in Yedo in the third month, but he has been detained by the war. France will also send an ambassador at the same time with England. I understood from the first that he would come with many [Page 631] ships. From his last letter I learn that he will come with more than fifty steamers. I think he will come to Japan as soon as the Chinese war, which detains him, ends.

“The best-informed people think the Chinese war cannot last long; hence the English ambassador may be expected before long. I hope therefore that you will arrange all matters before he comes. In my opinion it will be necessary in any case to make a commercial treaty.

“If I write in my name to the agents of England and France residing in Asia and inform them that Japan is ready to make a commercial treaty with their countries, the number of steamers will be reduced from fifty to two or three.

“I have to-day told you what is the opinion of the President and the intention of the English Government. To-day will be the happiest day of my life if what I have said is attended to so as to secure the welfare of Japan. I hope you will consider what I have advanced and communicated to your associates in office. What I have told you are unadorned facts acknowledged in all the world.”

Account of a conversation had with the American ambassador in the Banshe Shirabejo (a kind of foreign office.—Tr.) on the 6th of the 11th month.

Present, Toki, Prince of Tamba, Kawaji Saiemonnojo, WadonOmimbushone, Inouye, Prince of Shinano, and Nagai, Prince of Genba.

Question first, by the Japanese officials, who begin by saying: The Prince of Bitchu has instructed us to inquire more particularly about some matters mentioned at the time of the interview recently held in his house. May we hear you on those matters again?

American Ambassador. Certainly.

Question. Do all countries which have treaty relations admit a minister to reside at the capital?

Answer. All except China. However, some small countries do not send a minister, to avoid expense, which must be borne by the country sending the minister.

Question. What is the duty of a minister?

Answer. His principal duty is to attend to the intercourse between the two countries, keeping both governments informed as to what each government is doing. Also when, at the ports open to trade, any difficulty occurs between a native and foreigner the consul or vice-consul will give a minute account thereof in writing to the minister, who will then discuss the matter with the minister for foreign affairs. A consul or vice-consul cannot correspond directly with the government of a country.

Question. What is the rank of a minister?

Answer. This question is rather hard to answer. There are two kinds of officers, civil and military. Civil officers manage all government affairs and are higher than those who manage military affairs. In the matter of salutes even a minister receives a salute of seventeen guns, while an admiral, who is the highest officer of the Navy, receives a salute of thirteen guns. A minister sent to a foreign country has to attend to the affairs of his own country and the country to which he is accredited; hence he is the highest in rank of any officer sent abroad.

Question. Is there not a difference in rank according to the rank of different countries?

Answer. Formerly the minister of a powerful country was treated with more respect than the minister of a small country; but about forty years ago a rule was established between various countries that ministers should rank according to their time of service, the first arrival ranking first and the others ranking in the order of their arrival. For example, the minister of a small country like Holland who has served ten years will outrank the minister of a great country like Russia who has only served a short time.

Question. What kind of treatment is a minister entitled to from the country to which he is sent?

Answer. He must be treated according to the law of nations.

Question. What kind of thing is the law of nations?

Answer. To give a full answer to this question would require the space of a large book; so I can only briefly mention some fundamental principles, one of the first of which is that the laws of the country to which a minister is sent are not binding on him. Another is that a legation must not be entered by an outsider without the minister’s permission. Also, none of the inmates of his household must be interfered with. His residence, though small when compared with a whole country, is to be regarded, the same as his country.

Question. We understand that a minister is the highest in rank of all officials sent, to foreign countries, but what is his rank in his own land when compared with the officials there?

Answer. In America a minister to a foreign country, in official correspondence and titles of respect, ranks with the Secretary of State. When he meets the minister for [Page 632] foreign affairs of the country to which he is sent the salutations are the same and equal on both sides.

Question. Is the time of service fixed?

Answer. Some serve one year, others ten; so the time is not fixed. If the minister’s government is pleased, it may keep the same man in office many years. Some are recalled at their own request. Usually ministers wish to return home every four or five years. When the conduct of a minister displeases the ruler of the country to which he is sent, the matter should be communicated to the minister of said country and be by him made known to the government of the offending minister in order to his recall. In an emergency a resident minister may be ordered to leave at once.

Question. When there is a change of ministers is there any special ceremony or respects paid to the ruler of the country?

Answer. There is the ceremony of leave-taking. To take an example near at hand, a minister residing in Shinagawa or in this house, near the castle, would go to the castle to take leave of the Taikun before going home to his country. A minister having to transact business with the minister of foreign affairs should reside not far from the castle.

Question. Though inside the legation of a minister all are independent of our laws, how is it as respects the outside?

Answer. That is different; the will of the minister is not law there.

Question. Is a minister subject to our laws when outside the legation?

Answer. He has liberty to walk in the streets, but of course not to enter the castle nor even the residence of a private person without the consent of the owner. If the members of his household get into quarrels while in the street, the minister will punish them himself.

Question. Are ministers and consuls sent by the United States to all countries?

Answer. The United States sends ministers and consuls to England, France, Holland, Austria, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Persia, and like civilized countries.

Question. Are consuls sent to all other countries?

Answer. Consuls only are sent to some countries in Africa and South America, and also to every country to which a minister is sent.

Question. Is not a minister sent to China?

Answer. Yes, but he circulates among the five open ports and is not admitted to reside at the capital; hence the present difficulty in China.

Question. Have the ministers sent to the above-named countries all the same rank?

Answer. Their authority is the same, but their salaries are not the same, for the following reason: Salaries must be adjusted to correspond to the expense of living in different countries. They vary from $6,000 to $16,000.

Question. Do all the above-mentioned countries send ministers to the United States?

Answer. Yes, as a general thing, but there is no compulsion if they do not. This is left to each government. The United States never objects to receiving a minister or consul, because she has sent such officers. For example, should Japan make treaties with twelve countries and receive a minister from each, she might send abroad three or ten ministers, or none at all, at her own option.

Question. Do the ministers who come to the United States all reside in different parts of the country, or do they all live in Washington?

Answer. They all reside in Washington; but in summer when it is very hot they may go to New York and other places.

Question. Is a minister located in the capital rather than in an open port in order that he may have facilities for speedily informing himself about important matters in the country?

Answer. That is one reason. Another is that important matters communicated to him by his government cannot be intrusted to another, but must be made known by him directly to the minister for foreign affairs, and by him be discussed and settled.

Question. Are there are any other reasons?

Answer. None in particular, only the legation is a branch of the government of the minister’s country, charged with the management of the affairs of both countries, which should be conducted quietly, speedily, and so as to prevent misunderstandings.

Question. Perhaps not with the affairs of two countries only. In case Japan should get into difficulty with Russia or some other country; in that case would the minister interfere to settle the difficulty?

Answer. He will interfere if it be a matter affecting the treaty, I am directed by the President to have an article inserted in the treaty to the effect that the United States will be a mediator in case of difficulty with other nations. In case such a treaty is made, the United States will use her influence to settle difficulties between Japan and any other country whatever.

Question. We would like to hear anything else that might be to our advantage to know about the matter, of a minister.

Answer. There is hardly anything else that need be repeated or dwelt on; still, as [Page 633] you ask, I will mention one or two things that should he kept in mind, namely, you have asked whether a minister resided in China. I reply there is no minister at Peking, hut one circulates between the five ports. The present war of England and France with China arose because no minister resided in Peking. If ministers of both countries had resided in Peking, matters might have been so arranged in ten days that the war would not have broken out. If Japan inserts a clause in the present treaty to the effect that in case of necessity the United States minister will act as a mediator to settle difficulties, the other foreign countries will follow this example. Then if ten countries should make a like treaty, and one of them, as Russia, should become unfriendly, and difficulties thereby arise, the remaining nine would all befriend Japan. Have you understood thoroughly all I have said on these points? I have been directed by the President to make everything plain and easy of comprehension, and to conceal nothing.

Question. Would the opium war that broke out at Canton eighteen years ago have been prevented by a minister residing in Peking?

Answer. The burning of the opium was one cause, but not the only cause of the war. The Chinese way of dealing with opium was very wrong and this greatly provoked the English Government. It was not the fact of confiscating opium, but the Chinese way of confiscating it, that caused the war. There were no doubt mistakes on both sides, but had a minister resided at Peking, these or even greater mistakes would not have been allowed to result in war.

Question. What is meant by unrestricted trade between the people of various countries?

Answer. Japan, like other countries, has the right to forbid the importation of certain articles according to their nature, and on the other hand foreign countries have the right to import all unforbidden articles, subject, however, to the payment of duties, and after the payment of fixed duties, may freely sell such articles to your countrymen.

Question. Are duties paid according to the nature of the article?

Answer. Should one man import one pound of anything he would pay duty on one pound; should another man import a hundred pounds of anything he would pay duty on a hundred pounds. To trade unrestrictedly is for the people of both countries, duties being paid, to trade directly without the intervention of government officials. Again, Japan has the right to forbid the exportation of rice, gold and silver. After this has been done, the unrestricted exportation of all other articles is free trade. In foreign countries trade is all in the hands of merchants; it is beneath the dignity of governments to engage in it. When any one imports baggage it is to be inspected and the duties collected. Afterwards it passes out of the hands of the government. Do you now understand the idea of unrestricted trade?

Answer and Question. Yes, perfectly; but we would like to know fully what the President means by a privilege not extravagant but moderate and suited to the needs of the people of the United States.

Answer. Only the privilege of locating a minister in the capital and of unrestricted trade; nothing else.

Question. We would like to know more fully what the President means by all the world becoming one family through trade?

Answer. He means only that all live at peace with one another without individual usurpation or selfishness. Since heaven regards all with impartiality and as equals, men should act as brothers of one family. It is not intended that they should become blood relations or intermarry.

Question. We are very much obliged for the assurance of the President that should a treaty be entered into with the United States other nations would follow the example set them, so that no anxiety need be felt by us. Let us now hear what is meant by opening ports like other nations.

Answer. When a treaty is entered into, the method of collecting duties, location of ports, and time of opening them must all be fixed; but these are secondary matters; the necessary things are the following: First, the location of an officer in the capital to attend to the business of both countries. Second, the opening of additional ports at a fixed time, especially of some other port instead of Simoda, which, being inconvenient, is to be closed. Third, the payment of duty on imported articles to the Japanese Government. Fourth, the prohibition of opium. Fifth, that trade be between the people of both countries without official interference. Finally, that the treaty once entered into be subject to revision at the expiration of fifteen years at the request of either party to it. The treaty should now be entered into and its working during fifteen years observed, after which you can revise it as may be desired.

Question. Have you any particular port in mind?

Answer. No particular one. I think two or three ports should be opened.

Question. Already Nagasaki, Simoda, and Hakodate have been agreed upon, but Simoda is to be closed. Is another port to be opened instead?

Answer. I think that one or two should be opened instead.

Question. Have you any choice as to ports?

[Page 634]

Answer. I prefer to leave that to he considered with the officer who shall, when the time comes, he appointed to attend to this business. Nagasaki is at one end of Japan and Hakodate at the other; hence they are not well situated for commerce. I have no choice. I only wish you to open a place convenient for the people of both our countries. If a treaty is made, hundreds of American whalers will resort to Hakodate. These vessels will need anchors and chains such as are not made in your country. These things must be imported and kept in store in Hakodate. Though not imported for your countrymen nor sold to them, duty will be paid on them all the same to the advantage of Japan.

Question. What do you think of opening ports gradually?

Answer. I think that one port should be opened at once to meet the demands of trade, then another, at the expiration of a year; and another in two years, and thus gradually. If, as I have said, you make a treaty first with me, this can be done, but not if you make a treaty first with England.

Question. What is the English idea of unrestricted trade?

Answer. When the English ask for trade, they say they will come with men-of-war and demand that ports be opened at once. If opened, well; if not, war will at once be declared. There will be a great difference between granting their demands and making a, treaty with me, who am consulting the advantage of both countries. It will be greatly to the honor of Japan to do as I now say.

Question. Is it the idea of a “modified commercial treaty that the present defective treaty be changed into a commercial treaty”?

Answer. The treaty made by Perry at Kanagawa is a treaty of amity. Foreign nations all advance from friendship to commerce. Hence the idea is to found a treaty of commerce on the former treaty. Nothing will be said about cultivating friendship in the new treaty; but of course it will provide for the opening of new ports, as the present are inadequate.

Question. Will not England desire additional concessions even if a treaty is made with America?

Answer. If a satisfactory treaty is made with the United States no other nation will ask more. England will not, as I have learned by letter from John Bowering. (Here Mr. Harris read from a letter as follows:) “I have received an appointment to take charge of the management of affairs in Japan. If I understand beforehand that Japan will make a satisfactory treaty, I will not alarm them by taking a large fleet; but England will not endure the present management of affairs on the part of Japan. There must be a change. If Japan grants the above request it will be to her advantage.” The above is from the last letter received. He should have come some months ago, but has been detained by the war in China. From the above letter it is evident that he comes to open trade. If you make such a satisfactory treaty as I have described on the above principles, you may feel secure. John Bowering has the same end in view.

Question. Do all foreign countries say that the conduct of China is bad; and in what respects is it bad?

Answer. All other countries dislike the pride and haughtiness of the Chinese. As I have already said, a minister is not allowed to reside in Peking, and the manner of treating the foreigners who reside in Canton and Amoy was not well known to the Peking government, and the governors of those places were not observed by that government, and hence they did as they pleased. The governors of Canton and of other places did not control the inferior officers well, hence they also in turn did badly. The treatment foreigners received being too bad, the foreign officers appealed to the government at Peking, but the Chinese governors opened the letters as soon as they came to hand and burned them, because they exposed their evil conduct; thus by degrees the war was brewed.

Question. You have said that opium was not the only evil with which China is afflicted. What other source of trouble is there?

Answer. I referred to the breaking out of the rebellion.

Question. Of course war would not have broken Out had a minister resided in Peking as you say, and the outbreak was caused by the bad management of the governor of Canton; but had not the distance between Peking and the open ports much to do with it?

Answer. As you say.

Question. Is there any reason for the co-operation of France and England?

Answer. They co-operate against China now because they were united with Turkey in the late war against Russia.

Question. Are there any countries, that do not have intercourse with the United States?

Answer. None.

Question. This is all we have to ask. Is there anything more that we ought to know?

Answer. There is nothing more. I have said all I wanted to say.

The above is a true record.

(Not signed.—Tr.)

[Page 635]

Conversation with the American ambassador, in the house of the Prince of Bitchu, on the 2d of the 12th month (February, 1858).

Prince of Bitchu. All that you said in our recent conversation has been reported to my associates and to the Taikun, who expresses himself as pleased with the President’s kind intentions; and I, myself, am pleased. A speedy answer should have been given, but, as there were difficulties in the way, the subject had to be discussed, and hence there has been delay.

The Taikun has been made acquainted with the contents of the President’s letter. As to opening trade, we must draw up regulations, but the officers charged with this work will consult with you.

What has kindly been said about sending a minister has been made known and assented to by the Taikun. Its importance required that the subject be duly considered, so that nothing should be done to provoke the people or endanger good understanding. Regulations, as to the time of sending, place of residence, &c., will be taken into consideration by you and the officers charged with this work.

As to closing Simoda and opening other ports, Japan being a small country, it will be inconvenient to open many ports; still one port instead of Simoda will be opened. The location of said port; additional to Nagasaki and Hakodate, will be fixed on discussion. The above is our reply to what you recently stated. Particulars will be decided by you and the officers charged to settle this matter.

American Ambassador. I understand. Have you nothing more to add?

Answer. The officers charged with this business will settle the particulars with you, so as to be convenient for both parties without reserve.

Ambassador. This reply is very full and satisfactory, but one thing has been left undecided. I refer to the ports.

Prince of Bitchu. Do you refer to the place?

Ambassador. As I said before, the object of the President is to secure unrestricted trade between foreigners and Japanese. The Taikun has just decided that there shall be trade between foreigners and Japanese, but there must be ports in order to carry on trade. The island of Niphon is a large island, eight hundred “ri “(2½ miles) in circumference. I cannot understand why only one port should be opened in all this distance. In order to reap the benefit of trade, ports should be opened at various places. (Niphon is the name given by foreigners to the main island, excluding Kinshu, Shikoku, and Yeso.) I stated that the President wished to form such a treaty as other nations would accept. Unless there should be trade with the whole of Japan other foreign nations would not accept the treaty. Though the prices of imported articles at Nagasaki and Simoda be the same, yet, when the price of transportation overland is added, the prices will vary greatly, as the Taikun will readily understand. I have more to say on this matter, but will reserve what I have to say till I meet the officers commissioned to make the commercial treaty, and from them you will hear what I have to say, and which you will find to be of importance. Trade will be profitable to Japan in proportion as it is free. This is what I have to say respecting the ports.

There is one thing more of which I want to speak. Nothing can be done unless the officers whom you shall appoint to attend to this business shall have full authority. Hence, it will be necessary for the government to give them written evidence of their having full authority. The seal of the President and of the United States is attached to the commission which I hold, and it is stated therein that I am to consult with officers having a like commission and authority from the Taikun. It must then be stated, in the commission given your officers, that they are empowered to consult with the plenipotentiary of the United States of America. I respectfully request that you will consider what I have said about ports, for if this one point is not settled satisfactorily all the rest will be in vain. I suppose a slight mistake must have been made, from your not haying fully understood me. I have told the Prince of Shinano that I wished you, as I still wish you, to inquire if there are any points not clearly stated.

Japanese. We will send officers to consult with you about particulars to-morrow or next day.

Ambassdor. It is my wish that the Government of Japan may be fully informed. The President has no object but good will to Japan. He has no wish but that the matter be fully understood, and the interests of Japan promoted. I, myself, am urgent only that you may avoid danger. Understand fully that there is no danger of the United States and Japan becoming enemies. Whether you grant what I desire, or do not grant it all, the President will bear you no ill will. Be assured of this. There will be no alienation if you reject the treaty, if you only do it understandingly. This is the amount of what I have to communicate.

(By Inouye, Prince of Shinano.) Of the points mentioned by the Prince of Bitchu, how do you understand the two points which do not relate to the opening of ports?

Ambassador. I understand that, according to the representations made by the President, trade will be opened, and that the particulars will be arranged with commissioners. This is one point, or article. The second is, that a minister will be received, [Page 636] but that the place and time will be taken into consideration by the commissioners, care being taken not to provoke popular opposition.

Prince of Bitchu. You understand that the matter of the ports will be taken into consideration, and settled so as to suit the convenience of both parties.

Ambassador. As you say, the convenience of both, not of one party. After you have appointed commissioners, at our first meeting we must show each other our commissions authorizing us to act, after which the protocol of a commercial treaty will be issued; after seeing which you can choose or reject what pleases or displeases you, and a mutual understanding be reached. I will not be displeased if you reject what you dislike after seeing all the clauses and each clause of the protocol or draught of the treaty. I will answer all inquiries. If matters are managed as I propose, there will be no misunderstanding on either side. I will not insist on any one article of the treaty that the Government of Japan does not thoroughly understand. Nothing is to be decided on that is not well understood. Day after to-morrow is Monday. I would like to compare our commissions then.

Answer. We cannot positively decide on that day, but will fix on a convenient one.

Ambassador. Can the commissions be seen at our first meeting, whenever it may take place?

Answer. Certainly.

Ambassador. I ask because nothing can be done till the commissions have been compared. I expect to show a draught of a treaty the first day after comparing commissions. If you consider it, and discuss at once after seeing it, the work will be expedited, and you will, after seeing this draught, clearly understand the President’s object. When the commissions are compared, there should be a formality observed in honor of the Taikun’s commission, like that observed at the recent audience at the palace. On this occasion a special dress should be worn. This paper (showing one) is a copy of the President’s commission, which I show to the commissioners. Please let me see a copy of your commissions before they are to be compared.

Prince of Bitchu. I suppose the commission is to be given only to the commissioners.

Ambassador. The Japanese Government, at its option, can give a special commission. A commission like the one recently given to the Governor of Simoda will suffice, if only the clause “Authorized to deliberate with the plenipotentiary of the United States” be added. I hope you will add this clause. I have, myself, another special commission in my possession.

Prince of Bitchu. Do you speak of yourself?

Ambassador. Yes. I have a special commission which I keep, but do not show. Any new or different business can be settled, if there is an order from the Taikun to undertake it. According to circumstances, matters may be settled, after conference with the minister for foreign affairs. This is all I have to say.

Note.—Accompanying diagrams of reception rooms not copied.