|小栗上野介の造船所 （東善寺） ●● 勝海舟の海軍５００年説
Kozukenosuke Oguri's shipyard (Tozenji Temple) ●● Kaisyu Katsu's "Navy needs 500 Years" Theory
Kaisyu Katsu's "Navy Needs 500 Years" Theory
Credibility of "Kaishu Nikki (Kaishu Diary)" is at stake.
◇ Kaishu Katsu's "Navy needs 500 years" Theory
In his "Kaishu Diary," Kaishu Katsu wrote the following:
On August 20, 1867 (Bunkyu 2), in the presence of the Shogun, with his ministers and others in attendance, I said that although warships could be built in a few years, it would take 500 years (in Japan, since it took 300 years in England) to train personnel to operate a navy, and that we should do that first.
(Translation from "The Complete Works of Kaishu Katsu," 18)
This is known as Katsu Kaishu's "Navy needs 500 years" theory," in which he opposed Kozukenosuke Ogur's proposal to build a shipyard, in a roundabout way.
◇ Structural Reforms to Become a "Country of Iron"
Kozukenosuke Oguri did not want to build a shipyard only to build ships. He wanted to build a shipyard as a comprehensive factory that would produce all kinds of industrial products, which he believed would lead to structural reform of Japan from a "country of wood" to a "country of iron." The model for this was the naval shipyard in Washington, D.C. After visiting the shipyard, he brought back many screw nails as souvenirs from the U.S. and gave them to people in Japan, not because they were rare, but because he wanted to make Japan a country that could produce more and more of those kinds of products.
Yokosuka Shipyard, "the source of all the Japan's modern engineering"
(Ryotaro Shiba wrote in his work, "Kaido-wo iku - Miura Peninsula Chronicles").
By the way, Mr. Hiroyuki Yasuike, curator of the Yokosuka Museum of Nature and Humanities, who investigated "August 20, Bunkyu 2", the day when Kaishu Katsu opposed the construction of the shipyard with his theory of 500 years needed for the Navy, revealed that the article on this day is unreliable (The Museum Bulletin, No. 48, 2004).
For example, according to the diary of Tadakiyo Mizuno, a roju (chief senior councilor of the Shogunate), the shogun Iemochi Tokugawa was not present on that day, and no kakuro (senior advisors) were summoned either. Mr. Yasuike said, "The fact that no one, including the kakuro, was summoned to the Shogun's presence on that day in the diary of Mizuno, who wrote detailed accounts of the Shogun's movements on other days, is evidence that the description in 'Kaishu Diary' itself is an erroneous account."
If the articles in the diary are erroneous, I wonder if “Navy needs 500 years” theory supposedly written by Kaishu Katsu is not his opinion, or is it still his opinion? Diaries left by those who are called the "Elder statesmen of the Meiji era" are often cited as valuable historical documents at the end of the Edo period and at the time of the Meiji Restoration. However, it is said that in some cases they wrote their diaries with exaggeration, self-assertion, and self-defense, taking pride in the fact that they were now engaged in important historical work and that their diaries would later be made public.
If the "Kaishu Diary," which often contains boasts and exaggerations, is also subject to this kind of artifice, we need to read it with great caution.
October 2005 or Heisei 17
The Falsehoods of Kaishu Katsu
◆"During the Man'en era, I went to the U.S. on board the Kanrin Maru without the slightest help from foreigners..." (The Foundations of the Japanese Navy, "Hikawa-seiwa").
"When the idea of appointing Kaishu Katsu as the captain of the Kanrin Maru came up, Katsu said he wanted to go the U.S, so I arranged for him to go. However, since we had not raised his status as he wanted and it was not urgent at that time, we could not go so far as to break the formalities, and he flared up at other people for that."
"He was always in his room, but since he was (a sort of) the captain of the ship, I couldn't help but ask him for advice. When I asked him for advice, he said, "Do whatever you want," and then he also objected to me in various ways, which really annoyed me. What was more serious was that, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, he even ordered the sailors to unload a boat, saying, "I am going home now." So, as Fukuzawa's biography says, it was not just that he was seasick; in other words, he was full of complaints."
The mild-mannered Kimura must have been really in over his head to speak of being "troubled" twice in the discourse.
*"... without the slightest help from foreigners...": In fact, they were able to ride out the stormy North Pacific Ocean with the help of 11 Americans, including Captain John Mercer Brooke, who was on board the Kamrin Maru. Therefore, that is a totally bluff statement, since Kaishu Katsu was bedridden at the time due to seasickness.
◆ "American gentlemen praised us highly, saying, 'This is the first time Japanese came here by themselves on a warship'..." ("Visit to the U.S." of "Hikawa Seiwa")
"by themselves": He borrowed words from others (in this case, American gentlemen) and bluffed his way out of his own responsibility.
◆ "When Oguri, Kurimoto and others were sent to France and the West to inspect their systems..." ("Koson Mukoyama" of "Hikawa Seiwa")
"Oguri": Kozukenosuke Oguri did not go to France.
◆ "I tactfully brought them to a hotel in Tsukiji and gave them 1,000 ryo for sake and snacks." ("Sangoku-kansho kurai Asameshi-mae" of "Hikawa Seiwa")
The construction of the Tsukiji Hotel began in August of 1867 or Keio 3 and was completed in August of the next year, so the construction had not even begun around April or May of Keio 3.
◇ Yokosuka shipyard, "House for sale with a storehouse"
◇ Reading the "Detailed Drawing of Yokosuka": We can read from the drawing that Yokosuka was the place of the Industrial Revolution in Japan.
◇ The bricks of the Yokosuka Shipyard
◇ The theory that the Yokosuka ironworks were built with borrowed money
◇ Falsely accued Oguri - he used Shikoku and Ezo as collateral：A baseless theory in the turmoil of the late Edo period
◇ Advocacy of forest protection and cultivation: Shipbuilding requires a lot of wood...
◇ Chief Engineer Francois-Leonce Verney: Yokosuka City Website (link)