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He arrived in Shimoda in 1856, but, lacking the navy squadron that strengthened Perry’s bargaining position, it took Harris far longer to convince the Japanese to sign a more extended treaty. Japan sent its first mission to the West in 1860, when Japanese delegates journeyed to the United States to exchange the ratified Harris Treaty.

Ultimately, Japanese officials learned of how the British used military action to compel the opening to China, and decided that it was better to open its doors willingly than to be forced to do so. 1860s to 1891First year of the Man'en era mission to America which was dispatched in 1860 by the Tokugawa shogunate (bakufu).

Persistent attempts by the Europeans to convert the Japanese to Catholicism and their tendency to engage in unfair trading practices led Japan to expel most foreigners in 1639. consul assigned to a Japanese port was Townsend Harris.

For the two centuries that followed, Japan limited trade access to Dutch and Chinese ships with special charters. Like many of the early consuls in Asia, Harris was a New York merchant dealing with Chinese imports.

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Before the mid 1800s Japan was ruled by Shoguns and the Samurai warrior class.

Life was very traditional and restricted in many ways but items (not just China and porcelain) made during this time were of exceptional quality and workmanship.

Although he is often credited with opening Japan to the western world, Perry was not the first westerner to visit the islands.

Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch traders engaged in regular trade with Japan in the 16th and 17th centuries.

If you are purchasing online, request a picture of the Napco transfer mark from the seller. The transfer mark should be under the glaze of the piece and read “NAPCO” or “Napco China.” Numbers were also used to identify specific pieces, like an item number.