小栗上野介の業績(東善寺)  遣米使節団の業績


2002(平成14)年11月20日、NHK「その時歴史が動いた」で「改革に散った最後の幕臣 小栗上野介」が放送されると、「一本のネジから日本の近代は始まった」というサブタイトルがきいたのか、おまいりにおいでの方が口々に「感動した」「ネジを見せてください」「「ネジはどこ…」と言われる。

On November 20, 2002 (Heisei 14), NHK aired a historical documentary program, "Sono Toki Rekishi ga Ugoita" ("The History Moved at That Time"), titled "Kozukenosuke Oguri: The Last Vassal of the Tokugawa Shogunate Who Died Doing Everythhing He Could in the Reforms." Perhaps because of the subtitle, "Japan's modern era began with a single screw," people who came to visit the temple said, "I was moved," "Please show me the screw," and "Where is the screw?"



A screw that Tadamasa Oguri brought back to Japan from the U.S. as a souvenir. It was probably one of the screws in the box he got from the Washington Naval Shipyard.

国際レースにたとえれば これは「近代化」という長距離種目。このレースの特徴は一斉スタートではなく支度の出来た者は先に走り出していい種目。欧米諸国がとっくにスタートを切っていて、背中も見えないくらい遠くへ走っているのに日本はまだ支度ができておらず、スタートラインにすらついていないことを痛感したのが遣米使節の旅だった。



The screw, that Kozukenosuke Oguri brought back to Japan as a symbol of the modern culture of Western countries, is indeed stored in the temple. However, it is not so easy to start modernization only by bringing back a single screw. There must be a facility that can realize Kozukenosuke Oguri's wish, "I want to make this country a place where we can make more and more of these screws."

In terms of international races, this is a long-distance event called "Modernization," and the feature of this race is that it is not a simultaneous start, but those who are ready can start running first. While Western countries had already started the race and were running so far away that Japan could not even see their backs, the mission members realized, Japan was not ready yet and not even at the starting line.

A politician in his right mind would have thought, "Since we are not ready to join the race, where should we start to get ready?"
That was Kozukenosuke Oguri, who was singled out by the New York Times as a person who showed great interest in American improvements.

The New York Times (June 22, 1860) reported, "OGURE-BUNGO-NO-KAMI (Tadamasa Oguri) is said to be greatly in favor of introducing American improvements in Japan."

ウィラードホテル(ワシントン)  使節一行が泊まったホテルは、水洗トイレつきで、地下室では蒸気エンジンによる洗濯機が動き、部屋ごとの電信機など当時最新の設備を備えていた。このホテルの経験が株式会社組織による「築地ホテル」建設の構想につながる。

The Willard Hotel in Washington (presently called Willard InterContinental Washington), D.C., where the delegation stayed, was equipped with flush toilets, a steam-powered washing machine in the basement, telegraph machines in each room, and other state-of-the-art facilities of the time. The experience of this hotel led to the idea of building the Tsukiji Hotel as a joint-stock corporation.

  A drawing from the cover of the menu when the delegation stayed there.
The building was later renovated to look like the photo above.




The inspiration for the construction of the Yokosuka Shipyard was a visit to the Navy Yard in Washington.

The Navy Yard in Washington was not just a place to build ships. It was a place where pig iron was brought in and melted down, steam engines were built, and all kinds of iron products, parts, and tools were made, from pipes, shafts, gears, screws, and bolts to planes, rifles, and even pots, kettles, knives, forks, spoons, and other household items that supported life on the ship. It was a comprehensive factory where many such factories lined up, and on the other side, "ships" were also built and repaired.

Kozukenosuke Oguri must have been convinced that, if Japan could build such a facility, it would be able to start modernizing the entire country. The hint for the construction of the Yokosuka Shipyard was here.

The photo below shows the envoys when they came out of the Navy Yard after the tour. Kozukenosuke Oguri, the second from the right in the front row, looks like he has started to think, "How can we introduce such a facility to Japan?"

               ワシントン海軍造船所見学 1860・萬延元年四月四日(西暦5月24日)
横須賀は日本近代工学のいっさいの源泉(司馬遼太郎『三浦半島記』)=日本の産業革命の地 となってゆく。日本に近代工学をもたらす契機となった記念すべき写真といえよう。

Visit to the Washington Naval Shipyard on May 24, 1860 (April 4 of Men'en 1st)

This visit inspired Oguri to build the Yokosuka Shipyard, and "Yokosuka became the source of all modern engineering in Japan" (Ryotaro Shiba, "Miura Peninsula Chronicles"), and in other words, Yokosuka became the site of Japan's industrial revolution. Therefore, we can say that this is a commemorative photo that captures the opportunity to bring modern engineering to Japan. (Reference: Reading the "Detailed Drawing of Yokosuka")







Enthusiasm of the delegation

After the visit to the Washington Naval Shipyard, the delegation made a positive request to the Americans to visit a shipyard in New York. According to the record of Kiyoyuki Morita, the head of the accounting department, they requested the Americans as follows:

"We would like to stay at the Sandy Hook shipyard in New York if we have to go to New York to board the Niagara on our way home. Since the first and most urgent task of our country is to have a navy, we would like to see the facilities of the shipyard and the mechanics and operation of the plant machinery at leisure, so that we can help in the establishment of a navy. In addition, since our bodies are worn out from traveling by ship for so long, we would like to soften our bodies by walking slowly in a quiet place rather than in a crowded city." (The first volume of the "Historical Records of the Delegation to the U.S. in 1860")

In addition, they expressed their enthusiasm, saying that if the shipyard did not have accommodations for a large number of people, they would prefer to stay on the Niagara or a riverboat and tour the shipyard every day.







 The brainwashing since the Meiji era
that "Shogunate politics was ignorant and behind the times" continues to this day.     
Low evaluation of the achievements of the Japanese Mission to the U.S.

 NHK's historical drama "Idaten," which mistakenly featured Kaishu Katsu in Washington, D.C.

In the scene of the 6th episode aired on February 10, 2019, with the above image of the "Washington Naval Shipyard Tour" at the back, Jigoro Kano said the following to Shizo Kanakuri as an example of a laughingstock:

Kaishu Katsu went to the United States to sign the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Amity and Commerce, the Japanese envoys wore topknots and haori hakamas with swords at their waists. They were probably laughed at as mountain monkeyd. It was only 50 years ago...."

1. NHK is still fooled by the myth of Kaishu Katsu, and is still showing the story as it is, with the illusion that Kaishu Katsu was an envoy to the U.S. This scene must have increased the number of Japanese who think that Kaishu Katsu went to Washington D.C.
2. NHK disparaged this commemorative photo as an example of "Japanese mountain monkeys," without knowing that this visit to the Naval Yard led to the Yokosuka Shipyard, which Kozukenosuke Oguri proposed to build after returning to Japan, and Yokosuka became the site of Japan's industrial revolution.

Ryotaro Shiba praised the samurais in this commemorative photo for their dignified elegance, while he dismissed the photograph of the Iwakura Mission to the United States and Europe in 1872 with a single word, "low class," meaning they are upstarts and have no style."


◇ 明治以後の歴史書・教科書はこの大事な写真を無視するか、せいぜい「ワシントン上陸後の記念写真」ていどの扱いですませてきた。それは明治以来150年間の学校教育において、幕府政治は遅れた封建政治―日本を近代化したのは明治政府、とする幕府政治否定教育を基本としてきたからであろう。その風潮は今も続いていて、たとえば次のように「ただの観光旅行」と評する歴史家がいたりする。

 「川路(聖謨)、岩瀬(忠震))、永井(玄蕃)が行っていれば、もう少し新しい何かを収穫して帰ったであろうのに、新見(正興)、村垣(範正)、小栗では、ただの観光旅行になってしまった」(勝部真長著『勝海舟』PHP出版・平成4年) *勝部氏はお茶の水女子大学名誉教授 

 There are scholars who trivialize the achievements of the mission to the United States.

◇ History books and textbooks since the Meiji era have either ignored this important photo or treated it as a "commemorative photo of the landing in Washington D.C." at best. This is probably due to the fact that for the past 150 years since the Meiji era, school education has been based on the denial of shogunate politics, believing that shogunate politics were feudalistic and that it was the Meiji government that modernized Japan. This trend continues to this day, with some historians describing it as "just a sightseeing trip."

◇ A historian calls it "just a sightseeing trip."  
"If Toshiakira Kawaji, Tadanari Iwase, and Gemba Nagai had visited the U.S., they would have returned with something new, but with Masaoki Shinmi, Norimasa Muragaki, and 
Tadamasa Oguri, it was just a sightseeing trip.
("Kaishu Katsu," by Mitake Katsube, PHP Publishing, 1992) *Mr. Katsube is a professor emeritus at Ochanomizu University.)



 The words of Soho Tokutomi is the beginning of the diminutive evaluation of the Mission
The Americans insisted that the delegation visit other cities, such as Boston, because they were expecting their visit, and that they would be sent by ship even to London and Parisl. However, the envoys refused and returned home. In condemnation of this, Soho Tokutomi wrote as follows:

"You are welcome to visit the city of Washington, or any city in the United States. We'll let you know when you're ready. We would be happy to show you around."
The Americans told the above to the delegation. This must have been a sheer goodwill from them. Of course, in many places, they were welcomed only as rare guests, driven by their curiosity, but they should have been more than able to complete the tour. Why, then, did they turn down such a kind offer in such a troublesome manner? If Iwase and others had come instead of Shinmi and Muragaki, they probably would have been more willing to take full advantage of the visit.

(“The Mission to the U.S. and the Russo-British Confrontation” by Soho Tokutomi)

◇ 帰国を急ぐのは武士だから 





◇ 徳富は上記の前段で小栗上野介に対しては






 They were in a hurry to return home because they were samurais.  

Speaking on behalf of the envoys, I would like to point out that their sentiments at the time were that this was the first official dispatch of foreign envoys since the beginning of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
"After fulfilling our responsibilities as envoys, we wanted to return home as soon as possible to make a report, and since this was the first voyage after the country was opened to the outside world, we wanted to hasten our return because our lord and the people in Japan would not be at ease. But..."
("Diary of an Envoy to the United States" by Norimasa Muragaki)

As Muragaki wrote, we can say the following:

1As long as the mission of exchanging ratifications was completed, it was basic for them, the samurais, to return home and report as soon as possible.

2. It was the first time for Japan to send a delegation to a foreign country, so they wanted to reassure the shogunate and their families, who were probably worried about their safe return. Since the end of the Edo period (1603-1867), when ordinary people began to travel overseas, everyone saw them off at Yokohama Port as if they were going on a deadly journey and held paper tape to say goodbye to each other. Even after the WWII, it was common for family members, friends and acquaintances to go to Haneda Airport to see them off, and this trend continued for a while even after the liberalization of overseas travel in the 1960s. Then, the scene at Haneda Airport finally disappeared when "agricultural cooperative tourism" started going overseas.

3. They would be returning to Japan, where the expulsion of foreigners was in full swing. So, if they were to be perceived as having taken a quick sightseeing trip here and there after their mission was over, they would face any obstacle from the expulsionists in their future negotiations with foreign countries.

This must have been the sentiment of the samurai at the time. In fact, when the envoys returned to Japan, they were reportedly accused by some of having "gone sight-seeing," even as they made their way through Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.
◇ Meanwhile, Tokutomi said of Kozukenosuke Oguri in the first part of the article above, as follows:

"If Iwase had been in this group, I wonder how much of a catch he would have brought back with him, but I don't think that Shinmi and Muragaki brought much of a catch with them. However, Tadamasa Oguri, who accompanied them as a censor, was a real asset, and he must have gained a great deal from what he saw and heard during his ten-month trip." (“The Mission to the U.S. and the Russo-British Confrontation” by Soho Tokutomi)

In other words, Tokutomi praised Tadanari Iwase and, at the same time, he acknowledged Oguri's superiority.

◇ Here, let us again see the text of the above-mentioned Mitake Katsube, who seems to have used Tokutomi's text as a basis for his own.

"... with Masaoki Shinmi, Norimasa Muragaki, and 
Tadamasa Oguri, it was just a sightseeing trip." (Mitake Katsube, "Kaishu Katsu", PHP Publishing, 1992)

As you can see, he added Oguri to diminish him in order to lift up Kaishu Katsu.




Kozukenosuke Oguri fighting alone

At the time the delegation returned to Japan, the aftermath of the Sakuradamon Incident had brought out the clamor for national isolation and expulsion of foreigners, and most people were reluctant to talk about the advanced civilization of the United States. Oguri, however, was not shy about sharing his insights into the advanced civilization of the United States, and his unreserved advocacy of the need to follow the example of foreign countries in politics, armaments, commerce, and industry was enough to make the people of the shogunate tremble. (“The Political Figures at the End of the Edo Period” by Gen’ichiro Fukuchi)

 The construction of the Yokosuka Shipyard, which Kozukenosuke Oguri continued to insist on, was approved in 1864, the first year of the Genji era, and construction of the Yokosuka Ironworks (later called "Shipyard") began in 1865.

関連ページ Related Pages  

US cities the Japanese delegation visited in 1860: Philadelphia

US cities the Japanese delegation visited in 1860: Washington

Brochure "Three Ships That Carried the First Japanese Embassy to the United States Around the World"

Bridge of Hope (English) … 小栗上野介の業績を紹介するJEWL発行の書籍
JEWL(Japanese Executive Women's League) in Los Angeles introduces the achievements of Kozukenosuke Tadamasa Oguri in the book they published.








  Journey Around the World: The first Japanese to travel around the world purposefully
 Itinerary of the Japanese Mission to the United States: The Itinerary of the first Japanese to go around the world

 Visiting the course of the mission to the U.S. (Philadelphiai):

 Visiting the course of the mission to the U.S. (Washington DC): The main gate of the naval shipyard still existed.
 Visiting the course of the mission to the U.S. (New York): They bypassed the Broadway to continue the parade on the way to the hotel.

 Leaflet in Japanese and English, "Three ships that carried the mission to the U.S. and around the world": We have made the leaflet to advocate removing the Kanrin Maru from school textbooks.

 Bridge of Hope (English) ... JEWL (Japanese Executive Women's League) in Los Angeles praises the achievements of Kozukenosuke Tadamasa Oguri in the book they have published.

 President's medals: Gold, silver, and bronze medals were presented to the envoys and all the followers.
 Tadamasa Oguri's Currency Negotiations: The currency experiments that made Oguri say "No" in Philadelphia

 Toshichi Sato, a village master who traveled around the world: Gonda village master traveled around the world as a follower of Kozukenosuke Tadamasa Oguri
 Sadayu Tamamushi
: The world that a Sendai clan samurai saw was fresh.

 Oguri's Followers on the Mission to America: Nine Followers of Tadamasa Oguri
 Miyoshi Gonzo, a follower of Tadamasa Oguri in the mission to the U.S.: He was from Shimane prefecture.
 Achievements of the Japanese mission to the U.S.: Oguri brought back a screw nail.
 Reading the "Detailed Drawing of Yokosuka": Yokosuka with advanced facilities of modern industry was crowded with visitors. We can read from the drawing that Yokosuka was the place of the Industrial Revolution in Japan.

 Three ships for the Japanese mission to the U.S.: The USS Powhatan brought the mission to the U.S. by crossing the Pacific ocean and the Kanrin Maru was not used for the mission.

<Regarding Kanrin Maru>

■There have been false theories recently that "Settsunokami Yoshitake Kimura was a deputy envoy" and that "the ship on which the deputy envoy boarded was the Kanrin Maru." Where are the roots of them?
 Japanese people with the "Kanrin Maru disease": A syndrome that they feel uncomfortable unless they mention the Kanrin Maru and Kaishu Katsu in every occasion

 The Kanrin Maru myth created by Shushin textbooks: The "story" of the Kanrin Maru was taught in the national textbook "Shushin" from 1918 to 1945, and it still confuses Japanese people.

 Captain Brooke: The Kanrin Maru did not sink thanks to Brooke and John Manjiro.

 The Japanese envoys to the U.S. decided to use the Hinomaru as the national flag: They chose the Hinomaru as the national flag of Japan, which was originally a ship's seal.
 Tommy Polka: Music of Onojiro Tateishi, a boy interpreter who became very popular in the U.S.
 Mission to the U.S. and American Dairy Farming: The first Japanese to eat ice cream

 Izu Shimoda, the town of the USS Powhatan
 A letter of thanks to Mr. Hideyuki Okazaki, a model sailing ship artist: Thanks to him, we have three ships of the mission to the U.S.

遣米使節 世界一周の旅
本:遣米使節 「小栗忠順従者の記録」
  List of the Japanese Envoys to the United States in 1860 (Link)
 “Kobeiki (Report of visiting the U.S.)” by Tetsuta Kimura, a follower of Tadamasa Oguri
 Journey Around the World: The mission to the United States and the first Japanese to travel around the world, not taught in schools started by the Meiji government.
 Book titled “The Record of Tadamasa Oguri’s Follower” by Taiken Murakami regarding the delegation to the U.S. in 1860
 The Fastening Journal (Link)

 "A screw brought back from the U.S." (Link)