The narrative of a Japanese; what he has seen and the people he has met in the course of the last forty years./Chapter 4
June 6th. We have just heard that Shimadzu Saburo has reappeared at Kiōto at the head of 60,000 men in order to lay his views before the Mikado's Court with all due emphasis.
June 28th. The Yedo public are keeping high holiday in celebration of the Shōgun's safe return (by water) from Kiōto.
In the course of this month I began the publication of the Kaigai Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper printed with wooden type and containing a summary of foreign news. This was the first newspaper ever printed and published in the Japanese language. It continued to be issued from this date until I left for Nagasaki--a period of about two years.
July 20th. From Kaneko-mura, in the Province of Yashū, we get intelligence that a band of 200 or 300 Rōnin suddenly appeared there and told the inhabitants that inasmuch as the Shōgun had failed to carry out the Mikado's order to expel all foreign barbarians from Japan, they meant
to take the matter in hand themselves. But money was needed to carry out their project; therefore they called upon the townsmen for a contribution, not as a gift, but as a loan to enable them to effect their purpose. When the inhabitants refused their demand on the plea of poverty, the Rōnin began to sack and plunder and robbed them of 6,000 rio, with which they disappeared in the mountains. Since the leaders of the band were said to be Mito men, the Prince of Mito petitioned the Government to allow him to go and capture them, inasmuch as it gave him much concern to learn that retainers of his were behaving in this lawless manner. However, it is said that the Government has refused his petition, fearing that, if granted, Mito will purposely allow the Rōnin to escape, and has therefore entrusted three Daimio with the task of arresting the law-breakers.
July 21st. Two English men-of-war, the Barrosa and the Cormorant, have started for the Inland Sea with two Chōshiu Samurai on board. These are ITO SHUNSKE, and INOUYE BUNDA, who had returned from England by the mail of the last 25th May, I was told afterwards.
In the afternoon we heard from Yedo that several Gorōjiu and Wakadoshiyori have been dismissed from their offices, among them being Matsudaira Idzu-no-kami, Itakura Suwo-no-kami,
and Sakai Wota-no-kami. It is said that this is in consequenee of the death of the young Shōgun, who was said to have been poisoned by sucking his brush while painting, about a fortnight ago. It is further alleged that two physicians have come under suspicion in connection with His Highness' death, and have been arrested.
July 28th. Abe Bungo-no-kami, late Governor of Foreign Affairs and of Kanagawa, has been made a member of the Gorōjiu. Since Prince Hitotsubashi has been appointed keeper of ōsaka castle by the Mikado, he has been mustering a large force for some purpose or other.
August 10th. This morning's paper says; “H. B. M.'s Barrosa and Cormorant have just returned from the cruise on which they started hence on the 21st ult. “The great curiosity which has for many days agitated this community as to the reception they would meet with, can be only very partially satisfied by any intelligence we can afford.
“They arrived at Hime Shima, about 30 miles from Hagi, the residence of Nagato, on the evening of Tuesday the 27th. The two Japanese who accompanied the expedition, having donned the disguise of Doctors, were landed, with a journey of thirty miles before them, and in great dread of Rōnin on their road, and the reception that might await them on arrival.
“On Monday, the 1st, steam was got up, and the Cormorant bore down towards the entrance of the Inland Sea; as she approached, she easily discovered that a considerable number of new forts had been erected, on both sides of the channel. The Barrosa anchored of Hime-shima and the narrow entrance of the Inland Sea, and took soundings; on this occasion, so far as we ascertained, nothing particular occurred; but on Sunday, the 7th, the Cormorant again went down to the entrance of the Inland Sea, and it was discovered that in the week's interval the forts had been further strengthened, having more guns than on her former visit.
“The Japanese fired shot and shell across the Straits on the approach of the Cormorant. On the same day, Sunday, the 7th, the two Japanese envoys returned with the answer of the Prince Nagato, the tenor of which we have not heard officially, but it is rumoured to be unfavorable. The two Japanese returned on Sunday to the island, saying as they left, that the Prince of Nagato would probably open the Straits in a little time. The people with whom intercourse was had are said to have been unusually uncivil; saying that they wished our ships would go away; they did not want us at all.
“They report that Nagato has some sixteen
thousand Rōnin in his employ, independent of his regular army of 26,000 men.”
August 20th. This morning one of the local papers writes on the Chōshiu matters as follows:--
“As we write these lines a combined naval expedition, one of the most formidable of any that ever appeared in this part of the world, is preparing to inflict upon one of the proudest Daimio of Japan, well-deserved punishment for his piratical attack on the flags of the Western powers. Long indeed has the patience of foreigners and their spirit of conciliation withheld the coming blow, but the long-deferred vengeance is impending at last, and is sure to fall with redoubled vigor on the head of Chōshiu.”
“It is needless to relate at length all the attempts that have been made by the various interested powers to bring this question of the Straits of Shimonoseki to a peaceful issue. For a long time the Ministers of the Tycoon expressed their willingness to arrange the affair themselves, and to bring Chōshiu to condign punishment; but we are not aware that anything was really done by them towards this end. All their efforts and procrastinating ways had no other effect, if with no other object, than to screen the culprit, and it became more and more evident that unless the Western powers took the matter out of the hands of the Gorōjiu, and applied to Chōshiu direct for a settlement, the Straits of Shimonoseki might remain closed to all Eternity, and the honor of our flags--as well as the integrity of our Treaty rights--be as far as ever from being vindicated.
“The Barrosa and Cormorant were sent on a special mission to Chōshiu, as the means of exhausting all the possible ways of conciliation and justice.
“That mission failed as signally as all the former negotiations, and nothing now remains but an appeal to the ultima ratio regum.
“Thus for a second time the Government of the Tycoon, after vainly attempting to deter the Foreign Powers from seeking redress where it was justly due to them, has shirked its responsibility and declared its inability to bring independent Daimio to justice. The responsibility of the Japanese Government does not, however, end here. The two Japanese envoys who had been sent in the Barrosa to convey to Chōshiu the ultimatum of the Foreign Ministers, stated
verbally but distinctly in reply, that Chōshiu had been instructed both by the Mikado and the Shōgun to keep the Straits of Shimonoseki closed. The connection of the name of the Tycoon with that of the Mikado created no little surprise as may well be imagined, and gave rise to serious suspicions of duplicity and complicity which will have hereafter to be cleared up.
“For the present the all-important affair is that of Shimonoseki. We entertain no doubt of its being successfully carried out, difficult as it may appear; we will not, however, anticipate the course of events and are satisfied to await the result. But soon after that, we trust that the Gorōjiu will have to answer for themselves and to make amends for their many delinquencies, and unless we are greatly mistaken, it will be so. We have it from an authentic source that all the Western Powers have come to a full understanding, and will henceforward insist upon the most complete execution of the Treaties. For too long have their most important provisions been evaded, infringed, set at naught by the native authorities of this country, to the serious inconvenience and loss of the foreign as well as of the native traders.
“We rejoice heartily to think that the time for equivocation or double-dealing has passed; and we can see looming in the distance the dawn of better days, when the patience of our merchants will have its reward.
“The above was actually in type when yesterday the Ganges arrived. The sudden and unexpected return of the Japanese Embassy by that vessel, together with the information brought by the mail that before leaving Paris the Envoys had signed a convention with the French Government, by which the Tycoon was engaged to open the Straits of Shimonoseki within three months after the return of the Mission to Japan, necessarily checked for the moment any movement of the combined forces. It now remains to be seen whether the Tycoon disavows the acts or will ratify the convention. If the latter, France, of course, cannot act in the interval; and in the former alternative, the Foreign Representatives may again feel free to take such steps as they may deem expedient. It is impossible not to see, however, that this premature return of the Mission, with the peremptory refusal of all the Treaty Powers to negotiate respecting the closing of Yokohama and the knowledge of this convention together, are likely to precipitate events, and bring on
a political crisis and a conflict of parties, which may demand all the resources as well as the prudence and vigilance of those in authority, adequately to provide against.”
In the course of the year I had innumerable native visitors to my place,--all eager after foreign news, more especially the local authorities. So; as already mentioned, I began the publication of the Kaigai Shimbun, a newspaper translated from Foreign papers whenever the mails arrived, and giving the local Prices Current for Imports and Exports, for the benefit of the natives. But it was a strange fact that although the native public were anxious to read the paper, they were afraid, I believe, on account of the Government and the law at that time, to subscribe to it or to buy it; so I had to give it away mostly for their benefit: the only regular subscribers being one Samurai (Shomura) of Higo and another (Nakamura), an officer of Yanagawa, in Kiushiu.
August 26th. We have just heard that in Kiōto, early on the morning of the 20th, the Chōshiu men marched into the heart of the Capital and without the least warning fired upon the City Guard, which consisted of Aidzu men. It is stated that some time ago Chōshiu had received orders both from the Mikado and the Shōgun to expel all foreigners from the country, and in consequence of this he had fired on all Western vessels that had attempted to pass through his
territorial waters. Yet after all this he finds that the Shōgun is giving aid and succour to those very foreigners he had charged him (Chōshiu) to drive from the country! Accordingly he is said to have sent a messenger to the Shōgun to demand an explanation of this behaviour. But the messenger was stopped by the guard, whereupon the Chōshiu men at once attacked the guard, and opened fire upon the Mikado's palace, which was burned to the ground.
In the afternoon we heard that the native authorities had repudiated the agreement which their Envoys signed with the French Government. On account of this rumour the French war-vessels in port have commenced preparations to start for Shimonoseki to open direct communication with the Prince of Chōshiu and to demand an indemnity for his late attacks on the French flag. They are to sail on the 28th, and are to be followed by the English, Dutch, and American men-of-war.
In the evening it was reported that Prince Hitotsubashi has joined the Chōshiu faction, while Mito was said to be lending succour to the Yashu Rōnin. The Governor of Kanagawa has called upon the people to suspend all amusements for seven days on account of the troubles at Kiōto.
August 28th. It is said that some 50,000 Rōnin have occupied the greater part of Yashu,
establishing batteries and posting guns on many commanding positions in the Province. In some places they have posted up placards written in large characters, to the following effect:-- These lands belong to the gods, and are given to men. Whoever tills them is under no obligation to pay any tax to the so-called owners. But for the protection we afford them, the tillers shall pay to us (Rōnin) one-half of the customary tax they have hitherto paid.
It is reported that two French warships, shortly after followed by two Dutch men-of-war, have steamed out for the Straits of Shimonoseki, while a native steamer from Yedo has just come down to follow them and watch their movements.
August 29th. In Yedo on the 25th inst. orders were issued that henceforth all Daimiō who had business within the Castle should leave their attendants at the first gate beyond the Moat. This in consequence of the disturbances in Kiōto.
It is further stated that the Bakufu has ordered the Prince of Aidzu and Sakai Saemon-no-jo to surround the Chōshiu Yashiki in Yedo, and not allow anyone to enter or leave it,--in other words to cut off all intercourse between the inmates and the outside world; which order is being carried out to the letter.
August 30th. Yesterday afternoon the U.S. Consul issued notice to his countrymen not to go outside the settlement, riding or walking, until the present difficulties between the Shōgun and Chōshiu have been adjusted.
At last the rumoured combined foreign expedition has started to punish Chōshiu. The fleet numbers 17 vessels,--English, French, Dutch, with one American ship. As the Jamestown, the only American man-of-war on the station, was a sailing ship and could not accompany the expedition, the Minister chartered the steamer Takiang for $10,000 per month, and placing an officer, and a few sailors and a gun on board of her, sent her to represent the American flag.
The steamer Chusan has just arrived from Shanghai, bringing 300 Indian troops and 80 men of the 67th regiment for the English garrison at Yokohama. This has caused great excitement among the Japanese, and much discussion of the possibilities of coming to blows.
It is reported that on the previous night the Governor of Foreign Affairs came from Yedo on horseback in great haste with a communication to the Foreign Representatives in Yokohama.
Overnight the Governor of Kanagawa has sent a detachment of soldiers in green coats with red stripes over to Kanagawa to guard the place.
News comes from Yedo to the effect that yesterday the Shōgun's Government ordered Sakai Saemon-no-jo to summon the Chōshiu samurai to surrender and deliver up their yashiki and their persons to him. The demand was peacefully complied with. The late Governor of Kanagawa, Gohara Isaburo, and another officer have been appointed Ometsuke, and ordered to Europe to settle about the Convention with France, signed by the late ambassadors, Ikeda and Kawadzu-Izu-no-kami.
The green-coated soldiers have arrested an outlaw who was testing dynamite in the neighbourhood of Kanagawa. After this the Governor ordered the guard to be strengthened, since it was suspected that there were many Rōnin in the neighbourhood waiting for a favourable opportunity to attack the settlement, and that this man arrested was their spy.
September 1st. We hear from Hitachi that a band of some 3,000 Rōnin marched upon Shimotsuma, the Castle-town of a small Daimiō called Inouye, and took it by a coup-de-main. The Daimiō and several of his chief retainers committed hara-kiri rather than fall into the clutches of the outlaws, while others of his clansmen escaped.
September 5th. Everything is quiet in Yedo,
amusements and business proceeding as usual. Some of the Governors of Kanagawa who have been shelved are again getting Government appointments; Asano Iga-no-kami, for example, has been nominated Governor of Yedo. It is stated that the Prince of Aidzu, who was wounded in the conflict with Chōshiu, has since died of his injuries.
September 18th. The following appears in the local paper.--(From a correspondent.)
“The English Admiral in H.M. steamer Euryalus arrived off the Bungo Channel on the evening of Sept. 1st and there fell in with the French squadron, as did also the Perseus with a collier from Shanghai.
“The Admiral accompanied by the Perseus proceeded at once up the Channel and anchored at the rendezvous--the Island of Hime-shima--on the forenoon of the 2nd, where part of the Dutch squadron consisting of the Metalis Kruis, Djambi, and the American steamer Takiang, had already arrived.
“During the day and night the whole of the ships composing the allied forces had come in, and all were busily employed on the 3rd, coaling.
“On Sunday, September 4th, the allied fleet formed in three columns. The English Admiral leading the centre, weighed from Hime-shima in the morning, and arrived off the entrance of the Straits of Shimonoseki, where he anchored. The English squadron had in the meantime been re-inforced by the arrival of H.M. ship Coquette from Nagasaki.
“The Admiral and Commodore went on board of her and spent some time in steaming slowly along the shore to examine the strength of the batteries, and to make plans for an attack which was to commence the following day.
“Monday, Sept. 5th.--The ships appeared very busy getting ready for action, sending, boats away, sending down rigging, and everyone very impatient to go in and win.”
“At 2 p.m. the signal was made to weigh, and the ships were soon off to take up their respective stations, viz:--
HEAVY SQUADRON. LIGHT SQUADRON.
Led by Capt. Hayes. Led by Capt. Kingston.
Metalis Kruis Tancrede
“The heavy squadron was to take up a position on the south side at 1,600 yards in front of the Maita-mura and Saho batteries. The Light Squadron close in shore on the north side to take the Chofu point batteries, and to flank the Maita-mura and Saho ones, and also to keep under way.
“At 4 p.m., the ships being in position and the Japanese not having fired, the flagship signalled “engage the enemy,” at the same time sending a splendid shot from her bow-guns right into the Maita-mura battery, a distance of 4,300 yards. The Japanese instantly returned the fire, and the action became general, the heavy squadron, firing with slow, severe and certain effect, the light squadron cruising about and having silenced the Chofu point batteries, pouring in a most destructive flanking fire, as a small accompaniment to the heavy one. At a few minutes to five the whole of the batteries were silenced. At this time the Perseus, and shortly after the Medusa, were seen quietly stealing along the shore to the batteries of Maita-mura, and it afterwards became known by the loud cheers that greeted their return to the fleet, that Capt. Kingston, Lt. Pett, Lt. Froude, and Mr. Cochrane, gunner, had landed with a party of twenty men, and in spite of the fire of some riflemen in the adjoining wood had succeeded in spiking and rendering useless 14 guns, in which undertaking they were ably supported by the Medusa.
“Tuesday, 6th, at 5 a.m., the Saho battery opened fire on the Tartar and the Duplex, but was soon silenced.”
“The light Division towing the boats containing the landing parties now went in, consisting of the marines under Colonel Suther and Lieuts. Racose and Adair, and small arm companies of the Euryalus and the Conqueror under Captain Alexander, landed and formed under the protection of their guns; they advanced and the
Union Jack and the Tricolor were soon waving side by side on the Maita-mura battery.
“About this time, 10 a.m., the Perseus, while trying to turn her head off shore was swept in by the tide and grounded, but was of great use in covering the landing parties and receiving the wounded, being only fifty yards from the shore.
“During the afternoon a great deal of skirmishing took place, the marines having marched forward from Maita-mura to the Saho battery, which they took possession of, and then returned. An assault was then made on a stockade fort of seven guns standing in a ravine to the rear of Maita-mura. It was led by Capt. Alexander, who here fell severely wounded by a musket ball through the foot. It was here also that the principal loss to the fleet occurred, but the fort was gallantly taken after some resistance, and the guns removed. During the afternoon most of the guns, some of them weighing as much as seven tons, brass and of Japanese casting, were removed by the boats of the fleet to their respective ships, and an attempt was made to get the Perseus off shore, but it proved unsuccessful.
“Sept. 7th. The Tartar, Dupleix, Metalis Kruis, and Djambi moved higher up the Straits and in a very short space of time had demolished the Battery of Kibuné on the Island of Hiku-shima and taken the guns. During the night the Perseus got off the ground with the assistance of the Barrosa and the Argus.
“Sept. 8th. A flag of truce was hoisted on shore and also on board the ships; there was nothing more to be done now, the guns being all on board the different ships of the allied fleet, and Nagato begging for terms.
“Sept. 9th. The light squadron weighed and stood in-shore, and the small-arm company landed under Capts. Kingston and Casembroke, and took possession of all the guns in the Chofu and Ravine batteries, which were sent on board the ships.
In Chofu point battery 4
Kibuné point 15
Taken from Stockade 7
“Of the killed and wounded, twenty-three belonged to the Euryalus, and ten to the Tartar. The former ship bore the brunt of the action on shore, the latter afloat, having no less than twenty-four shots in her.
September 20th. We have just heard from Yedo that after a long discussion the Council of State has issued the following instructions regarding raw silk:--“Hitherto raw silk, like any other article, has been allowed to find its way to Yokohama direct from the locality where it has been produced. But this direct conveyance has so enhanced the price of the article in question that the poorer classes (of Japanese) can no longer afford to purchase it for their use. In order to remedy this, we hereby enact that in future this article shall not be sent direct from its place of production to Yokohama, but shall in the first instance be sent to the Yedo Tonya, where its price shall be fixed according to its grade. And the dealers of Yokohama shall purchase the silk from the Yedo Tonya. The Tonya prices of purchase from the grower is fixed at 1 rio for 75 momme of the 1st grade. In this way the people of the country can obtain silk garments at a cheaper rate than they have done for some time past.”
As soon as the native dealers in Yokohama heard of this law, they informed the Foreign merchants, and the latter at once complained to their
Representatives and used every endeavour to have the enactment annulled. And it even went so far that the combined English, French, Dutch and American fleets sailed up to Yedo to lend emphasis to the protests of their Ministers against this interference with trade, which they maintained was contrary to the stipulations of the Treaties.
October 5th. The Council of State has cancelled the above-mentioned law, and raw silk again finds its way to Yokohama as before, with the single exception that all silk for the treaty port must be landed at Kanagawa and thence brought over on pack-horses. While the negotiations were in progress, there seems to have been a good deal of smuggling, the authorities having seized about 1,000 bales in all, at Hommoku, Shinagawa and elsewhere.
November 7th. We learn that those Daimiō who were sent to reduce the Rōnin at Tsukuba-san have at length succeeded in doing so, after an obstinate contest lasting several days and nights. The chief of the band was captured alive, and is said to be no less a personage than Matsudaira ōi-no-kami, a relative of the Prince of Mito.
November 25th. The following is the translation of a curious correspondence which has just
passed between the Prince of Higo (Hosokawa) and Chōshiu. I received the documents from Dr. F----, who vouches for their authenticity.
“I have the honour to make a communication to your Highness. Being a neighbouring Daimio I could not but notice the mistake which Your Highness has made in rebelling against the Shōgun and the Mikado. I am fully convinced that this rebellion was not of your own accord, but that you were urged thereto by certain ill-bred and evil-minded men about you.
I have been thinking over the matter, and to me it seems a very sad thing that your house should lose these two great and valuable provinces of Suwo and Nagato, and also its good name, on account of a mere mistake on your part. Actuated by this feeling and by the high regard I have for Your Highness, I beg to offer my services as a mediator to arrange the difficulty pending between Your Highness and the Shōgun, for I do not wish to see you lose you fief and disgrace your name.
I offer my services as mediator on the understanding that Your Highness and Your Highness's son shall commit hara-kiri in expiation of the mistake you have made in assaulting the Palace of the Mikado, and in opposing the Shōgun's forces in Kiōto. If you agree to this I will do my best to obtain grace from the Mikado and the Shōgun, so that the provinces of Nagato and Suwo and its good name may be secured to Your Highness's House for ever.
As to hara-kiri, it is customary among samurai, who are taught that it is their duty to commit it, in the event of any insult offered, or even of mistake committed which tends to affront a superior, as in this present case. Therefore I hope Your Highness will give a favourable consideration to the offer I now make, and trust to receive an early reply.
Stated with respect,
10th day of the 10th month (1864.)
In reply to this Chōshiu wrote as follows:--
“Your Highness's communication has been duly received and
read with much interest, and we feel grateful to think that among the Shōgun's party that calls us rebels, there is one heart willing to offer its services as mediator in our case.
“We thank you greatly for the offer of your services on our behalf, but for the present we must decline to accept such terms as you have named in your communication.
“As you must be conscious, every lover of truth is aware that we have done no wrong to the Shōgun or the Mikado, and yet we are called rebels! Under these circumstances, when we know that we are in the right why should we sacrifice our lives or surrender our territories? Whatever we have done so far has been done in accordance with the orders of the Mikado and of the Shōgun. For instance, our firing upon foreign vessels in the Straits of Shimonoseki was in accordance with such orders. The Shōgun's Government accuses us of failing to make any discrimination in the nationality of the vessels we fired at. But our orders were to fire on all foreign vessels. Accordingly we fired on the Dutch ship as well as on the others. And now they would find fault with us on the ground that that ship was not an English vessel! But how could we make out the ship's nationality in the darkness of the night? Besides, granted that it was a Dutch vessel we fired on, what difference can this make? The orders we received from the Mikado through the Shōgun were “to fire on and attack all foreign vessels and drive them from our shores.” No exception was made! And these orders we obeyed. As to the conflict at Kiōto, it began by the Aidzu men firing on us, and all that we did was to return their fire. Our men had been specially warned not to fire, and not to disturb the Imperial City. But as the Chōshiu men were going to have an interview with the Mikado, the Shōgun's guard opposed their entrance into the City, and when our party insisted, the Aidzu men opened fire. Such are the facts of the case.
“Thus we have briefly stated the facts. From this you will readily understand that we are not in the wrong. Therefore we respectfully decline the kind offer you have made to act as mediator in our case. And we assure Your Highness and the party to which you belong that we are ready to meet you at all times and places.
Stated with respect,
November 28th. It is reported that my old friend, Tsukahara, has been appointed Ometsuke, and received the title of Tajima-no-kami. He is to be sent to Chōshiu to negotiate with that Prince.
January 2nd, 1865. During the past year the “Exchange” question had been much talked of and discussed in the papers and we were somewhat curious to know its particulars. The Consul, C-- asked me to apply in his name to the local Custom House for the list of Exchange given to all Foreign officials during 1864. Upon my application the chief Interpreter at the Custom House furnished me with the following document:--
“The exchange granted by the native Government to the Foreign Ministers, Consuls, Military and Naval officers and men for the year 1864,--is as follows:--”
To English, monthly exchange for the Legation, (for the year) $36,000.00
To English, monthly exchange for the Consulate (for the year) 12,000.00
To English, monthly exchange for the Military (for the year) 193,548.82
To English, monthly exchange for the Naval officers and men (for the year) 1,076,921.46
To English, an extra exchange asked by the Minister which was granted 7,000.00
To French, monthly exchange for the Legation (for the year) $36,000.00
To French, monthly exchange for the Consulate (for the year) 12,000.00
To French, monthly exchange for the Military (for the year) 180,806.96
To French, monthly exchange for the Navy (for the year) 341,003.04
To French, an extra exchange asked by and granted to Minister 8,000.00
To French, an extra exchange asked and granted on erecting buildings by M. C. 16,373.68
To French, an extra exchange granted to Navy when Japanese Embassy left for France 2,000.00
To Americans, monthly exchange for the Legation (for the year) $36,000.00
To Americans, monthly exchange for the Consulate (for the year) 12,000.00
To Americans, monthly exchange for the Naval officers and men (for the year) 57,057.00
To Americans, monthly exchange for the U.S. Marshal 1,188.00
To Dutch, monthly exchange for the Consul-General (for the year) $18,000.00
To Dutch, monthly exchange for the Consulate (for the year) 12,000.00
To Dutch, monthly exchange for the Naval officers and men (for the year) 223,533.17
To Swiss, monthly exchange for the Consul-General (for the year) $ 18,000.00
To Swiss, extra monthly exchange asked by Consul L-- 8,000.00
To Swiss, extra monthly exchange asked again (for the year) 6,000.00
To Portuguese, monthly exchange for the Consul. $ 12,000.00
To Hospital, allowed exchange 6,000.00
An extra asked and granted 6,300.00
Total $ 24,300.00
Thus, the grand total appears to be $2,593,277.78.
May. In the course of this month, a dispatch was received from the Shōgun's Government, by the Foreign Representatives to the following effect:--“By this communication we beg to inform you that since the opening of the country to foreign intercourse, the feelings of both natives and foreigners have become more and more intimate and cordial. We intend, therefore, to allow our people (traders as well as officials) to visit foreign countries from time to time in accordance with treaty stipulations.”
“As we understand that it is the custom of European countries to issue passports to their countrymen who desire to visit other countries, we have adopted a similar rule, and will in future hand such passports to our subjects who go abroad--with the seal of our Government, which seal we will forward to your Government beforehand.”
“Should any of our subjects ever go to your country with such passport with proper seal thereon, we request that you will treat them kindly, while those who shall have no such passport to show are not to be considered subjects of ours, and you may treat them accordingly. In view of the above, we will hand you at an early date a copy of the passport and the Government Seal, which we request you to forward to your
Government, with the aforesaid request, at your earliest convenience.”
This was the first intimation the Shōgun's Government had given of its willingness to allow its subjects to travel abroad.
May 23rd. On this date it is reported that at Yedo the Government issued the following notice to the people:--“In future any person wishing to visit other countries for the purpose of either acquiring languages, sciences, or arts, or for objects of trade, should apply to the Government for permission, with their names, residences, and objects, and the name of the country which they wish to visit, when the Government will grant them passports.”
“All retainers of Daimio and Hatamoto should make their application through their respective masters. Citizens and peasants shall make their application through their respective local Governors, and tax collectors, or through their landlords.
“If any person should go abroad without a proper permit from the Government he shall be punished severely. Let everybody understand this order and observe the regulations issued and circulated to those whom it may concern, even to the commonest subjects, in order that any person who wishes to go abroad may make proper application.
“(Signed) GOVERNMENT OFFICE.”
July 1st. It is reported in the newspaper that the following notice has been sent by the Tycoon to the Gorojiu:--“Mōri, having violated the greatest of our Laws--that which is the basis of the Empire--by having profaned and burned the Capital of Kioto, having set at naught the authority of the Government, and being besides guilty of many other crimes and misdemeanours, we have resolved to punish him, as a lying, traitorous rebel, dangerous to all the Empire, who ought to be punished. We shall leave on the 16th day of the 5th month at noon. Everyone in Yedo must continue his occupations. The Samurai will do his duty, with more energy, the Hiyakusho (peasants) shall fearlessly work in the fields, the Chonin, and Shoku-nin (merchants and artizans) all shall comport themselves as if We were still in Our Palace. Those who are at the head of the Government, having Our entire confidence, must see that Our will is conformed to, which is, that peace and security reign over all.
“Yedo and the provinces that understand the duties of true Japanese, are happily free of Ronin. Those who have escaped the sword of Our brave Sae-mon-no-jo have retired to Choshiu to help that chief of rebels. If Our absence be longer than last year, all the arrangements must continue the same. It is customary in the absence of the Tycoon, for
the administration of the Laws to be more rigid, and for delinquents to be punished more severely, but this time to prove Our goodwill and the confidence we have in Our people, We have given orders to Our government that nothing be changed. This is a new proof of Our affection for all Our subjects, throughout Our dominions.”