Menu from Banquet at the Revere House Hotel

On August 2, 1872, the Japanese embassy arrived at the Revere House Hotel in Bowdoin Square, Boston. The group was greeted with a banquet dinner, hosted by members of the Boston Board of Trade. Menus for the affair were printed stylishly in both Japanese and English. The following day, local newspapers commented on the tasteful […]

World’s Peace Jubilee

On June 18, 1872, the delegation arrived in Boston and visited the World’s Peace Jubilee and International Music Festival. The momentous summer event was organized to celebrate world peace, following the end of both the American Civil War in 1865 and the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. The music festival included concerts by thousands of musicians […]

Social Customs

On August 6, 1872, the delegation sailed out of Boston harbor amid cheers and applause from gathered crowds on the shore. The farewell was not the first time the group had been warmly received by the public, and as the boat moved further out to sea Kunitake Kume reflected on the kindness he had experienced […]

Marble Architecture

On June 17, 1872, the delegation boarded a train in Saratoga, New York headed towards Boston, Massachusetts. As the landscape passed through the train windows, the delegation could see marble and stone quarries in the near distance. At the time, hydraulic powered mining was a booming industry in Massachusetts, and marble and slate were popular […]

Cotton and Wool Mills

On August 3, 1872 the embassy delegation headed just north of Boston to visit the cotton-milling town of Lawrence, Massachusetts. With three large mills, all powered by the Merrimack River, Lawrence was a small but bustling center for cotton textile production. The mills relied on the popular Jacquard machine, invented by French textile artisan Joseph […]


On August 5, 1872, the delegation left the city of Boston to visit factories in nearby towns. From the time of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan had sought to emulate the advancing technology of Western nations. Hoping to get a better understanding of American manufacturing, the delegates divided into two groups in order to […]

Federal Arsenal

On June 20, 1872, the delegation stopped in Springfield, Massachusetts to visit the Federal Arsenal. Only a few years earlier in Japan, wide-scale domestic conflict and political upheaval had made Western firearms a priority item for import. The delegation was interested in seeing the manufacturing process for small firearms in detail, in hopes of producing […]

Independence Hall

On July 30, 1872, the delegation visited Independence Hall. The building was the site of the first national Congress, and where the Declaration of Independence had been signed nearly one hundred years earlier in 1776. While the Declaration was stored in the building at the time of their visit, the delegates were not allowed to […]

Philadelphia Libraries

In Philadelphia the delegation was most impressed by the size and variety of libraries spread throughout the city. Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, the public library was a democratic and quintessentially American institution. Kunitake Kume noted that the Philadelphia library, coupled with the Loganian Library, housed 180,000 volumes! The group also learned about the […]


On July 30, 1872, the delegation visited a Philadelphia prison. At the entrance gate houses overlooked large iron doors, and imposing stone walls created the perimeter. The main holding cells were located in a two-story stone building at the center of the prison yard. The delegates saw that the facility was not overly crowded, and […]