Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Polynesian Reports: Interesting from Japan (Opposition to Foreigners)

Interesting from Japan
The Polynesian, Honolulu: June 2, 1860, page 2, col. 4

By the arrival of the Zoe from Kanagawa in consequence of a portion of the people being opposed to foreigners coming there to trade, and great fears are entertained for the safety of the foreigners there residing. Two Dutch Captains were most horribly murdered a few days ago. This was an act of wanton cruelty on the part of the rebels for which no reason can be assigned, and the Prince Gotairo, who is in favor of foreigners, has also been attacked by the rebels and so badly wounded that there are no hopes of his recovery.

The American Minister, resident at Yeddo, and all the foreign Consuls at Kanagawa, have advised all foreigners to keep within doors as much as possible, especially nights, and at all times go armed, which they have done. It is stated after the murder of the said captains, the authorities had arrested some thirty of the rebels, all of whom were executed at Yeddo, by having their heads cut off.

The government notifies all foreigners that whenever they desire to walk or ride out they can always have a guard accompany them, and it is their wish that they will not go about without them.

The accounts from Yeddo show proof of the good faith of the government. They state that the Prince Gotairo is not yet dead, and there is every hope of his recovery. H.B.M.’s Enjoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Japan offered his services surgically if needed. During the attack on the Gotairo one of the assailants was so badly wounded that he could not escape, so one of his friends in order to prevent detection cut off his head and run away with it in his hand, making his escape through the gate, close at hand. In consequence of this the Tycoon ordered the head officer in charge of the gate to commit the “Hara Kari,” which he accordingly did, and the Daimo, whose men the police were, was ordered to be confined to his house, and it is said, he will probably lose half his estates, in consequence of his negligence.

The Gotairo on getting home, sent off to his provinces, 110 miles away from here, for a reinforcement of soldiers to guard him, all heavily armed. The news traveled in 24 hours. The Gotairo is one of the most powerful men in the empire, and rules over thirty-five provinces.

The latest official accounts are contained in a dispatch to the U.S. Consul, from the governors of Kanagawa and Yokohama, which is as follows:

“WE, Mizokortsi Sanoe Kino Kami, and Kakemoto Dzoesiono Kami, would announce the death of the Gotairo and the cessation of the period of Ansei. The period now commencing is that of Mansen.”

At the present writing, affairs seem to be quiet, but there is no doubt but the trouble will end in a civil war.

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