Six months after the Japanese ambassadorial delegation arrived in Honolulu the Pacific Commercial Advertiser featured further news of their travels in the United States. ‘The Japanese at Washington: Incidents of Their Visit’ was featured in the August 2, 1860 edition of the paper.
The following is a transcript of the seventh section of the news story. The Japanese ambassadors visited Congress. No author is listed, so I am at this point assuming that the text was taken from various newspaper sources that managed through the mails to reach Honolulu.
VISIT TO CONGRESS –On Wednesday, 23d inst, the Japanese visited the Senate chamber at noon, accompanied by the naval commissioners. The Princes and six of their officers were received on the floor, and furnished with seats in the south-west corner of the Chamber. They were each surrounded by a number of the Senators. Mr. Mason of Virginia was presented, and his position as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations explained to the Japanese, who were furnished with printed plans of the Senate room and the Capitol building. They viewed with admiration of the splendid ceiling and other parts of the chamber, and exhibited intense interest as to the mode of conducting the legislative proceedings. Mr. Portman, for the Committee, explained to them, through the Japanese interpreter, the nature of the proceedings. The Ambassadors were afterward received by the Speaker of the House in his rooms, and then furnished with seats on the floor of the House, in company with the Naval Commission and Congressional Committee. The inferiors in the diplomatic gallery. They remained only a few minutes, and then proceeded to the rotunda to examine the pictures, during which they were surrounded by a dense crowd. After passing several hours in the Capitol and premises, they returned in carriages to their hotel.
(Next: Their Habits)