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Breaking open Japan : Commodore Perry, Lord Abe, and American imperialism in 1853

Author: George Feifer
Publisher: New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, 2006.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"On July 8, 1853, the four warships of America's East Asia Squadron anchored at Uraga, twenty-seven miles south of the Japanese capital, then called Edo. The ships had come to pry open Japan after her two-and-a-half centuries of isolation and after years of intense planning by Commodore Matthew Perry, the squadron commander. Unabashedly imperialist, Perry, his vision grounded in the certainty of American good, was
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Feifer, George.
Breaking open Japan.
New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, 2006
(DLC) 2006044349
(OCoLC)67346297
Named Person: Matthew Calbraith Perry; Masahiro Abe; Masahiro Abe; Matthew Calbraith Perry
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: George Feifer
ISBN: 9780062309310 0062309315
OCLC Number: 853448015
Description: 1 online resource (xx, 389 pages) : illustrations, maps
Contents: The black ships --
The opening and the closing --
The initial panic --
The military odds and perils of visiting --
The commanding commodore --
The cracks in the double-bolted doors --
The first ultimatum --
The fateful landing --
The ephemeral respite --
The land of constant courtesy --
The mouse in the eagle's talons --
the heart of the matter --
The tortured reckoning --
The China crush and Russian spur --
The nonsolution --
The hated treaty --
The departure of the principals --
The pandora's box --
The legacy.
Responsibility: George Feifer.
More information:

Abstract:

"On July 8, 1853, the four warships of America's East Asia Squadron anchored at Uraga, twenty-seven miles south of the Japanese capital, then called Edo. The ships had come to pry open Japan after her two-and-a-half centuries of isolation and after years of intense planning by Commodore Matthew Perry, the squadron commander. Unabashedly imperialist, Perry, his vision grounded in the certainty of American good, was determined to get his way - largely by prompting fear of his very big guns."

"Perry's cloaking of imperial impulse in humanitarian purpose was fully matched by Japanese self-deception. High among the country's articles of faith was the certainty of its protection by heavenly power. A distinguished Japanese scholar argued in 1811 that "Japanese differ completely from and are superior to the peoples of ... all other countries of the world." The superior people nevertheless trembled at the threat of Western domination or even colonizing." "So began one of history's greatest political and cultural clashes."

"In Breaking Open Japan, George Feifer brings the drama to life as never before. At its heart were two formidable men who in many ways embodied their very different societies: thrusting Commodore Perry and genial, manipulative Lord Masahiro Abe, who as the head of the Shogun's advisory council was Japan's real decision maker and political authority. Providing a fascinating account of "sealed" Japan, Feifer shows that Perry's aggressive handling of his mission had far-reaching, sometimes tragic consequences for that country - and for the United States - well into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."--Jacket.

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