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Perry, Commodore Matthew Calbraith

(1794-1858). U.S. Naval officer who opened Japan to the Western world after more than 200 years of national seclusion. Perry set sail late in 1852 and arrived on July 8, 1853 in Edo Bay (now Tokyo Bay), subsequently delivering a letter from the U.S. president to the Tokugawa leadership. In February 1854 he returned for an official response and demanded that negotiations be held. Perry succeeded in securing the Kanagawa Treaty on March 31, 1854. The main provisions were hospitality for shipwrecked Americans, most-favored-nation treatment, the opening of two ports as supply stations, and the right of the U.S. to station a consular official. The treaty was the model for agreements, often called the "unequal treaties," Japan subsequently made with Britain, Russia, and the Netherlands. Amendment of the treaties remained an important diplomatic issues throughout the Meiji period (1868-1912). (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993) Pillow Book, Thesee "Sei Shōnagon"

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