Perry Monument, Kurihama, Japan
- For views of the monument on dedication day (July 14, 1901), Rear Admiral Frederick Rodgers, and the Admiral's Calling Card Book, click here (#1901081139).
- For views of the monument on or about dedication day (July 14, 1901) and the U.S.S. New York, click here (#1902060413).
- For other views of the monument on dedication day (July 14, 1901), click here (#1901081127).
- For views of the monument over the years, click here.
- For views of the monument and the monument park as of December, 2008, click here.
~~ Item No. 1901081127 ~~
Four Photographs (#4)
Dedication of the M.C. Perry Memorial
July 1901, Kurihama, Japan
Photograph #4 of 4
Condition. The photograph is in Very Good condition. There are two small tears at the upper right edge.
General Comment. This photograph is unique in a couple of aspects.
- While I have not seen it noted before, it demostrates that the dedication ceremony included an outdoor display of larger than life figures representing Commodore Perry and a high Japanese official.
- Several Japanese are visible in the photograph and probably were dignitaries at the event. At the bottom left three Japanese can be seen. The third man from the right (with an umbrella) appears to be 91 year old Hirai Sukeshichi. Hirai was present when Perry first landed in 1853 and is credited in US reports as helping identify the correct location of the monument to commemorate that event. A photograph (not a part of this unit), identifies Hirai by name and age and shows him with his son, grandson and great grandson in front of the monument during the dedication activities. That photograph is here.
~~ Item No. 1901081127 ~~
This is one of a lot of four photographs.
~~ Sold ~~
- The Perry Monument Viewed From Across the Beach.
- The Perry Monument Viewed From Up Close.
- Entrance to the Dedication Ceremony Site with Perry Monument in Background.
- Commodore Perry and High Japanese Official.
General Information. The Perry Monument was dedicated at Kurihama (near Yokohama) on July 14, 1901. The American Navy was represented in the harbor by the flagship USS New York, which was painted white for the occasion, the USS New Orleans and the USS Yorktown. Rear Admiral Frederick Rodgers (Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Force on Asiatic Station) who was a grandson of Commodore Matthew C. Perry actually unveiled the monument. Officers and enlisted from the American war ships were present at the ceremony. Many high ranking Japanese Government officials were present at the dedication ceremony including the newly installed Prime Minister Viscount Katsura Tarō and Baron Kaneko, president of the Bei-yu Kyo-kai (Japanese-American Friendship Society). To see a letter (January 1901) by Baron Kaneko and supplemental discussion of the monument to be constructed, click here.
A detailed account of the ceremony is provided in a letter from the Secretary of the Navy titled "Unveiling Monument to Commodore Perry in Japan," dated February 10, 1902 and published in Senate Document 174, 57th Congress, 1st Session. This report notes:
Most interesting of all were what may be called living relics of the expedition in the persons of four generations of Japanese, the first, a bald headed patriarch of 90, who first sighted Perry's ships from a neighboring hilltop forty-eight years ago, and who identified the spot where the Commodore landed and where the memorial now stands, at the request of Admiral Beardslee and Mr. Skidmore; his son, a gay spark of 70; his grandson of 48, and his great-grandson of 18. (Senate Document 174 at page 16)
The dedication ceremony was also reported in Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, with the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 3, 1901, United States Department of State, Washington, DC, Government Printing Office, 1902, 8vo, 574 pp. To see the text of that report, click here. The following individuals or position are specifically identified in this report:
High Ranking Japanese Officials:
- Prime Minister Viscount Katsura (address at the dedication ceremony)
- Baron Kaneko, president of the Bei-yu Kyo-kai (address at the dedication ceremony)
- Marquis Ito Hakubumi (wrote the 17 character Japanese inscription the monument)
High Ranking US Officials:
- Colonel A.E. Buck - US Minister to Japan (not present due to illness)
- Rear Admiral Frederick A. Rodgers (address at the dedication ceremony)
- Rear Admiral Lester Anthony Beardslee (a member of Commodore Perry's Japan Squadron and advocate of establishing the monument)
- Mr. J.M. Ferguson, Second Secretary of the United States Legation (delivered an address for Colonel Buck)
Noted as Extending Courtesies to the Visiting Americans:
- Emperor and Empress of Japan (audience with Rear Admiral Rodgers and Colonel Buck).
- Governor of Kanagawa-Ken
- Mayor of Yokohama
- Governor and the Mayor of Tokyo
- Minister of Marine
- Several admirals of the Japanese Navy.
While not mentioned in these reports, Komura Jutaro (Jyutaro) the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a graduate of the Harvard Law School has been identified in photographs relating to the dedication activities.
On July 15, 1901 the New York Times reported the monument unveiling ceremony. The newspaper article noted that Rear Admiral Frederick Rodgers performed the unveiling of the monument and Viscount Katsura delivered the memorial address. It noted that speeches were made by Americans and Japanese and three American warships and five Japanese warships presented a naval salute. The article stated that the Bei-yu Kyo-kai erected the monument with funds largely contributed by Japanese.
- Print Size: The photographs are unmounted. The photographs measure 10 3/8 x 8 in - 26.4 x 20.4 cm.
- Color (tint) added by hand.
- The photographs are unmounted.
- No studio/photographer imprint.
- Type of Photographic Prints: The photographs are black & white/sepia tone and have a flat matte finish. I believe these are "Silver Prints" - Matte Collodian Printing Out Paper photographs or perhaps Matte Gelatin Printing Out Paper.
- Inscriptions. Each photograph has a handwritten number from 1 to 4 in the bottom left corner. There is no writing /marking on the back.
Conclusion. These photographs present the Perry monument on or about the date of its formal dedication on July 14, 1901. They show the monument from a distance as well as up close. They also show the general site of the dedication ceremony with the ceremonial entrance draped with the Japanese and United States flags. One photograph shows a seldom seen image of an outdoor display featuring larger than life size figures representing Commodore Perry and a high Japanese government official (probably either Prince Toda of Izu and Prince Ido of Iwami who were the dual governors of Uraga and representatives of Tokugawa Shogun) and a banner with a "Welcome From the People of Miura County." This image also has the elder Hirai (then 91) who witnessed the first landing of the Americans in 1854 and was instrumental in fixing the proper location for the monument.
A different set of four photographs relating the dedication of the M.C. Perry monument is here.