The Iwakura Embassy, 1871-1873 : A True Account of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary's Journal of Observation Through the United States of America and Europe
Kume Kunitake, Graham Healey, Chushichi TsuzukiISBN: 4901617001;
Available here in English for the first time, these reports chronicle the dawning of the modern era in Japan. When Commodore Perry opened Japan, ending the long-standing feudalism and isolation of the Tokugawa Shoganate, Japan's reaction to the West was unique among Asian countries--and it changed the course of history. The newly established Meiji government sent a large delegation on a tour of Western countries to report on how Japan might modernize its political, economic, and social infrastructure. This embassy of some fifty top officials was headed by Iwakura Tomomi and included such luminaries as Ito Hirobumi and Kido Takayoshi. These emissaries journeyed to the United States and eleven European countries, making thorough investigations into each country's politics, military affairs, trade and industry, education, and culture. Their reports, which helped Japan emerge as a modern industrial nation, constitute an indispensable documentary resource. The reports comprise five...
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