The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Shimonoseki
SHIMONOSEKI, a seaport of Japan, in the province of Nagato (Choshiu), on the S. W. point of the main island; pop. about 10,000. It commands the strait of Shimonoseki, which connects the Inland sea and the sea of Japan. The town consists chiefly of one long street. A famous naval battle between the fleets of the Taira and Minamoto families, in which 1,200 junks were engaged, was fought near it in 1185. In 1864 the forts near Shimonoseki were bombarded and destroyed by a combined fleet of one United States, five British, three French, and four Dutch men-of-war, in retaliation for the act of the daimio of Choshiu in firing on the vessels of those nations while they were passing through the strait. Besides $420,000 demanded as a compensation for injuries, the Japanese government was obliged to pay an indemnity of $3,000,000, of which the United States received $750,000. In 1873 Shimonoseki was nearly destroyed by fire.