Text Box: Respect
and Consideration
How Queen Victoria's Royal Navy helped Japan
move from  feudalism and join
the modern community of nations

From The Richardson Affair
to the Meiji Restoration
John Denney

Text Box: Respect and Consideration   John Denney
Text Box: John Denney is a Chartered           Accountant by profession and a    historian by inclination.  His    interest in the bakumatsu was       engendered by a long holiday, with his wife, spent with his   oldest and Japanese-speaking son and his Japanese wife who live in the outskirts of the vast T?ky? conurbation.  They toured Japan, visiting many places off the beaten tourist track, including visits to Yokohama and             Kagoshima, two of the key places for the events detailed in this book.

John is a musician in, and     treasurer of, his thriving church. He is also a regular broadcaster on his local BBC Radio station.  He is currently preparing three volumes of his contributions broadcast over many years in their Thought for the Day slot.
Text Box:    In 1853, the West started       battering at the doors of the closed feudal society that was  Japan. Between then and 1868, Japan, somewhat reluctantly, threw off her feudal shackles and became a benevolent semi-democratic empire equipped to stand alongside the modern states of the West.
   This is an account of the part that the United Kingdom played in these events.  The death of one Englishman and an assault on his      companions resulted in the use of Gunboat Diplomacy. The Royal Navy was at the height of its prowess, and enforced the will of the British Government on the sh?gunate and the barons who increasingly wielded power in Japan. 
   In this book, there is a wealth of historical background concerning Japan, and details of the way the Royal Navy was run at that time.  There are chilling accounts of the injuries sustained and deaths incurred by the personnel of the fleet.  All of this is accompanied by over 150 illustrations and photographs.

Front Cover: Woodcut of the murderous assault on Charles Lenox Richardson, by Hayakawa Shouzan.
Back Cover: Japanese painting of the Royal Navy’s “Bombardment of Kagoshima”, artist unknown.

History / Asia / Japan

History / Military / Naval

Political Science / International relations / Diplomacy

In fifteen short years from 1853 to 1868, Japan's collision with the countries of Europe and America destroyed the old feudal system and replaced it with an embryonic democracy under the benevolent eye of the Emperor. Here is the fascinating and at times, bloody, story of those years.

Discover why the Emperor was - and is - revered by the Japanese.

Find out how the shōguns had taken power from the Emperors.

Learn why many Japanese resented the Treaties they had signed with the West.

Encounter the enthusiastic and frequently dishonest trade between rapacious merchants—Japanese and Western—in the fledgling port of Yokohama.

Uncover how the brutal death of a young Englishman was the start of decisive action by the Royal Navy.

Observe how the straights of Shimonoseki were kept open by a great punitive expedition by western gunboats under Royal Naval command.

See calm diplomacy on both sides leading to the normalisation of relations between Japan and the West and the establishment of friendly trading and cultural relations.

Above all, enter into the heady ferment of the bakumatsu as two great worldviews clash.