The New York Tribune

Image: Front page of the New York “Tribune” on the day the delegation visited
Date:July 31, 1872 
Source: Work is Public Domain, image is from Library of Congress

On the last day in July, 1872, the delegates visited the office of the New York Tribune. Newspapers were massively popular with Americans, and Kunitake Kume remarked that in other countries he had never seen papers be so habitual. By Kume’s calculations, at least half of all American citizens read one or more newspaper editions regularly. The daily editions were a powerful force for dispensing cultural news, educating the populace, and encouraging moral behavior. They seemed to reach every corner of the country. After the delegation returned to Japan, newspapers took on a similar fashion, becoming increasingly influential in the sphere of politics and culture. In the 1880s, three of Japan’s longest-running newspapers were born, including the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun (predecessor of the Mainichi Shinbun) in 1872, the Yomiuri shinbun in 1874, and the Asahi Shinbun in 1879.

Image: The press room of the New York “Tribune”
Source: Work is Public Domain, image is from Library of Congress

Kume, Kunitake. “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” Japan Rising: The Iwakura Embassy to the USA and Europe, edited by Chushichi Tsuzuki and R. Jules Young, 99-100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511721144.