The Japanese Ambassadors

First Contact with New York

Year: 1860


This newspaper article features the "Japanese Embassy,” as the samurai delegation to the U.S. in 1860 was called.) Included are portraits of “Sim’mi Boojsen no-Kami” and “Mooragaki Awajsi no-Kami,” who are considered the "chiefs" of the delegation and whose rank is compared to that of Princes in Europe. Citing a Tribune correspondent, it also gives a short description of a Washington, DC ball where 10 Samurai (“three Princes, and the five officers next in rank, and the two interpreters”) were in attendance. The correspondent discusses at length the attire of the Japanese guests. The article then describes a conversation between President Buchanan and a “letter-writer,” in which the President discusses the peculiarity of his guests – how they write notes about every detail of what takes place, how they follow preordained instructions regarding almost every action, and how they expressed genuine shock when the President descended from his elevated seat during a concert to speak with friends. They are, President Buchanan claims, the most curious people he has ever seen.


Source: This newspaper article was graciously provided by Ms. Tomoko Rosenfeld.

Added Date 03/15/2021