Lord Hotta the Pioneer Diplomat of Japan

by Henry Satoh

Satoh, Henry
Hiyashi, Count (Preface):
Lord Hotta the Pioneer Diplomat of Japan, Tokio, Hakubunkan, MCMVIII (1908), Second Edition, 8vo, green cloth with title in gilt on front and back covers, 121 pages in English (108 pp + 13 pp appendix) and 97 pages in Japanese (85 pp + 12 pp appendix). Hotta Bitchiu-no-Kami Masayoshi's (1810-1864 ) life with particular focus on the political events surrounding the opening of Japan by Commodore Perry and the subsequent Japan/American trade treaty negotiated by Townsend Harris. An important view of the troubled times as Japan was being forced to end her self-imposed isolation policy. Lord Hotta was progressive political figure and openly favored and aggressively advocated the opening of Japan. While that result was eventually forced upon the country, he was pushed aside by the more conservative elements within the government who opposed the policy and viewed it as tantamount to a "national collapse." An important account, from the Japanese perspective, of the opening of Japan. Included is an appendix containing the Japan/America "Treat of Amity and Commerce" (trade treaty) signed in Yedo on July 29, 1858 with ratifications exchange in Washington on April 3, 1860. While a second edition, it was published only two months after the first edition. The book reads Western style from front to back for the English portion. The Japanese portion reads Japanese style from back to front. The colophon is in Japanese and separates the two portions.


Title Page (English)

Title Page (Japanese)


Table of Contents for English Portion

PREFACE by COUNT HAYASHI, Ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs....iii.



CHAPTER 1. Hotta as the Lord of the Sakura Clan. Watanabe Osamu, his tutor and adviser. The work of reform nearly completed. Lord Hotta now free to engage in a more extensive sphere of usefulness....10

CHAPTER II. Lord Hotta's early career as an important official of the Central Government. His quick promotion. Lord Mizuno, the drastic reformer. Hotta's relation with him. Disagreement between Mizuno and Hotta. The resignation of the latter....14

CHAPTER III. Lord Hotta busy with reforms in his Clan. Education encouraged. Students sent to study. Scholars invited. Study of Dutch encouraged. Western tactics studied. Military system re-organized. Instruction concerning the introduction and adoption of the new system. Arrival of the American Fleet at Uranga....20

CHAPTER IV. The views of the Daimios on diplomatic questions. General state of unrest caused by the coming of the American ships. Hotta's reply to the Government. Lord Abe promises Perry a reply within a year's time. Perry departs. But internal commotions continue. Lord Abe recommends Hotta to the Deanery of the Ministerial Council....27

CHAPTER V. Townsend Harris arrives in Shimoda. The principle guiding Hotta's diplomacy. His policy announced. Opposition rampant. Hotta's rejoinder to his critics....32

CHAPTER VI. The opposition somewhat silenced. The American Envoy's audience with the Shogun decided. Strong opposition re-appears. Lord of Mito, the center of opposition, His anti-foreign memorandum. Harris received in audience.....42

CHAPTER VII. Hotta holds conference with the American Envoy. Harris speaks on the impossibility of having the country closed. Epitome of his speech from Japanese record, and also in his own words. The dangers of seclusion vividly pointed out. National honour to be saved by concluding a treaty with a peaceful Envoy unaccompanied by any means of threat....50

CHAPTER VIII. The Shogun's approval obtained for opening negotiations with the American Envoy. Harris quoted. Treaty of fourteen articles concluded....59

CHAPTER IX. The opinions of the Daimios invited on the new Treaty. Violent opposition. The celebrated anti-foreign memorandum of the Senior Lord of Mito. Hostilities openly advocated. The total failure of the mission. Crisis reached in relations between the courts in Kioto and Yedo....64

CHAPTER X. Lord Hotta goes to Kioto. His address to the Throne. The world in want of a Ruler powerful enough to command universal vassalage. Possibility of Japan assuming hegemony in the council of nations. Hotta nearly succeeds. Fresh opposition to the new policy. Memorandum by the opposition. Threats against those in favour of the Shogun's policy. Eighty-eight courtiers march to the Premier's residence demanding the removal of the clause in the Imperial Reply authorizing the Shogun to use its discretion. Premier finally yields to their pressure....72

CHAPTER XI. Complete change in the political condition of Kioto. Hotta's attempt to turn the tide unsuccessful. The Imperial Reply deprives the Shogunate of its authority to use its own discretion. Hotta still hopeful makes fresh attempt by presenting a new memorandum. The Reply more explicit in its exclusive policy. Hotta finally departs from Kioto....84

CHAPTER XII. The dissensions among the officials of the Shogunate over the question of the appointment of the heir to the Shogun. Hotta's opponents predominant during his absence. Hotta in favour of appointing Lord Keiki as Heir decided. Dictatorial officer appointed. The Shogun's Heir decided. Hotta still undespairing. His conference with Harris. The postponement of the signing of the Treaty requested. Harris disgusted. The Shogun convenes a meeting of the Daimios. Announces the Imperial Reply to the assembly. The Shogunal edict issued, to the assembly....89

CHAPTER XIII. The real nature of the political agitation in Yedo. Hashimoto's memorandum indicative of the real motive of the Mito party. Kishiu party victorious. Lord Ii's reasons for his opposition to the Mito Clan. The portfolio of the Foreign Minister suddenly transferred to Lord Ii....95

CHAPTER XIV. The signing of the Treaty officially postponed. Arrival of the American and Russian ships. Expected coming of the British and French Fleet. The Treaty finally signed. Ii and Hotta irreconcilable. Hotta disgraced. Retires from active life. Suddenly sentenced to life confinement in his own house. Chaotic conditions in Kioto and Yedo. Ii assassinated. Richardson killed. Kagoshima bombarded. Hotta breathes his last. His personality epitomized....103



Meiji 41 (1908).8.14 - Printed, 1st edition
Meiji 41 (1908).8.17 - Distributed, 1st edition
Meiji 41 (1908).10.17 - 2nd edition

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