The Takeuchi Embassy


The "Takeuchi Embassy" or the "Takeuchi Mission" of 1862 was one of the less well-known trips taken by Japanese diplomats at the end of the Tokugawa period and preceded only by the embassy to the United States in 1860. It was led by Takeuchi Yasunori, together with Matsudaira Yasunao and Kôgyoku Takaaki. Fukuzawa Yukichi also joined the mission, as did Fukuchi Gen'ichirô and Matsuki Kôan. There were a total of 35 participants.

The embassy reached France in early April of 1862, had an audience with Napoleon III, and later travelled to England at the end of April. Some of the reports of their sightseeing can be seen in the links to the Times articles to the right. After signing the London Protocol in England, the group travelled to the Hague and to Russia where they signed similar agreements.

Fukuzawa Yukichi's diary from this time as the basis for his future Seiyô jijô (Things Western).

Takeuchi Yasunori

竹内保徳 (1807-67) - Also goes by "Shintarô" ...

London Protocol

ロンドン覚書 - While in London the group signed the "London Protocol" (the meetins are also known as the "London Convention") on June 6th, which delayed the opening of Edo, Osaka and Hyogo ports until January 1, 1868.

In Negotiating with Imperialism, Michael Auslin argues that this was the "captstone of the bakufu's attempts to maintain key physical barriers towards the West, primarily by preventing the building of new settlements. It might be considered the highpoint of Tokugawa diplomacy..." (84)

Links and Sources

In this case, I have simply summarized some information from:

Auslin, Michael R. Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004)

In this section there would be a more substantial list of sources, links to online articles, wikipedia, etc.

About this Mini-Site

This is my first experimental history "mini-site." I have decided that every once in a while, when coming across something of historical interest of which there is little written online, I will occasionally create a small collection of information about it in this format. On the left will be writing "about" the topic, while on the right will be images or text from primary materials about something. The mini-site may have very little information, and may never be a "complete" and compact source of information for a given topic. Primary materials will only be taken from materials which have expired copyrights (as in this case), or by using excerpts, are protected under fair use.

In this case I have put all the explanatory content on a single page, but with more substantial topics, each page would be dedicated to its own related article (in this case, if I had enough information, the London Protocol "article" would get its own page, for example).

Primary Materials

The 1862 Japanese embassy's activities in England were mentioned in several articles in the London Times:

I simply looked up these references as they were cited in Michael Auslin's Negotiating with Imperialism p85.