Saturday, November 13, 2010

1859: Bullocks, Japanese Ambassadors, Cholera in Northern Japan and European Ladies in Japan

The April 23, 1859 edition of the Polynesian featured a summary of news from Japan. Quoting the North China Herald of January 15, it contained news from Nagasaki to December 31. Among the features:

“The Japanese of that port now have permission to sell bullocks to foreigners, and they do so at three Mexican dollars a head.”

“The Japanese Commissioners appointed to proceed to Washington to exchange the ratification of the American treaty are Nagaai Genba no Kami, Governor of Accounts and Minister of the Navy, and Twa Say Higo no Kami, Imperial Inspector. The former is said to be a learned and intelligent man, instructed by some officers of the Dutch Navy and Desima, in algebra, mathematics, and navigation. In 1857 he conducted the steamer Soembing, the first ever possessed by the Japanese, from Nagasaki to Yeddo with Japanese engineers and sailors, and without any European aid. He was one of the commissioners engaged in negotiating the late treaty.”

“Cholera has been raging in the northern part of Japan to a frightful extent. At Yeddo alone the deaths are reported at one hundred and fifty thousand in one month.”

“It appears that there are some European ladies residing in Japan. The Russian Consul-General and his Secretary, with their wives, are dwelling at Hakodadi and Ionya, on the side of the bay opposite Desima, at Nagasaki; the merchant commanders who took the two steamers Yeddo and Nagasaki, from Holland to Japan, are residing there with their wives. The Russian steam-frigate Askold is undergoing repairs at Nagasaki.”

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