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What is “Fukushima”? — 4 Comments

  1. Thanks James, you help make some things clear. Easy to read map. I’ve been in Japan nearly as long as you and still learn things new and old. The Roman factor may be bit hard to understand for the average Japanese. Here’s some info on the man who negotiated with Japan to kick off the restoration as well as starting the custom of killing cows for meat and introducing milk into Japanese daily life.
    President Franklin Pierce named Harris the first Consul General to the Empire of Japan[5] in July, 1856, where he opened the first US Consulate at the Gyokusen-ji Temple in the city of Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture,[6] some time after Commodore Perry had first opened trade between the US and Japan in 1854.

    Townsend Harris had the US Legation relocate at the Zenpuku-ji Temple from 1859, following the Treaty of Amity and Commerce.Harris demanded the courtesies due to an accredited envoy, and refused to deliver his president’s letter to any one but the Shogun in Edo, and to him personally. After prolonged negotiations lasting 18 months, Harris finally received a personal audience of the Shogun in the palace. After another four months, he successfully negotiated the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, or the “Harris Treaty of 1858,” securing trade between the US and Japan and paving the way for greater Western influence in Japan’s economy and politics.[1]

    Harris returned to the US in 1861. Upon his departure, senior Japanese diplomat Moriyama wrote to him “You have been more than a friend. You have been our benefactor and teacher. Your spirit and memory will live forever in the history of Japan.”[7]

    Harris was favorably impressed by his experiences in Japan at the end of its self-imposed period of isolation. He wrote: “The people all appeared clean and well fed… well clad and happy looking. It is more like the golden age of simplicity and honesty than I have ever seen in any other country”.[8]

    According to a persistent legend, Harris adopted a 17-year-old geisha known as Okichi (お吉), whose real name was Kichi Saitou (ja:斎藤きち, Saitou Kichi?). The legend has it that she was heavily pressured into the relationship by Japanese authorities and then ostracized after Harris’ departure, eventually committing suicide in 1892.[9] However, it appears that Okichi was merely one of Harris’ housekeepers,[9] and the Kodansha Encyclopedia states that Harris fired her after just three days of work.[10]

  2. Greetings James Japan,
    First you have to know the difference between Fukushima and Futaba. How many people around the world know really that uninhabitable nuclear wasteland is related with Futaba, not Fukushima. This is a text book example how the mass media can mislead a news story and take you down a bunny trail. We all have to do are research before we can believe anything the mass media reports.
    Thanks for sharing this to the western world,
    Walt