A fascinating inside account of the epic clash between the Japanese in the West in its earliest days.
Sir Ernest Satow entered the British diplomatic service in 1861, a fresh graduate of London University, shortly arriving in Yokohama as the pressure of the Western powers heightened to force Japan from her self-imposed seclusion. This illustrated work, written between 1885 and 1921, offers his intriguing firsthand account of the critical years which led to the final overthrow of the Shogunate, the restoration of direct rule to the ancient line of emperors and, indeed, to the birth of modern Japan. It was a period of momentous importance for Japan, and of crucial significance in global history.
Based on diary notes kept without interruption during twenty years of service in Japan, Satow reconstructs the strange and occasionally hazardous world confronting foreigners in those early days. Combining astute personal insight with a direct knowledge of the details of treaties and the circumstances of their negotiation, he provides a unique and authentic inner history of the events which finally brought Japan onto the international scene.