By George Feifer

On July 14, 1853, the 4 warships of America's East Asia Squadron made for Kurihama, 30 miles south of the japanese capital, then referred to as Edo. It had come to pry open Japan after her and a part centuries of isolation and approximately a decade of excessive making plans by means of Matthew Perry, the squadron commander. The spoils of the new Mexican Spanish–American struggle had whetted a robust American urge for food for utilizing her hovering wealth and tool for advertisement and political advantage.

Perry's cloaking of imperial impulse in humanitarian function was once totally matched through eastern self–deception. excessive one of the country's articles of religion used to be walk in the park of its defense by means of heavenly energy. A exclusive jap student argued in 1811 that "Japanese range thoroughly from and are improved to the peoples of...all different international locations of the world."

So all started one in all history's maximum political and cultural clashes.

In Breaking Open Japan, George Feifer makes this drama new and suitable for this present day. At its center have been bold males: Perry and Lord Masahiro Abe, the political mastermind and actual authority in the back of the Emperor and the Shogun. Feifer provides us a desirable account of "sealed off" Japan and indicates that Perry's competitive dealing with of his challenge had a ways achieving effects for Japan – and the USA – good into the 20 th if now not twenty–first century.

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Extra info for Breaking Open Japan: Commodore Perry, Lord Abe, and American Imperialism in 1853

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The faint white lines in the center of the photograph are footprints of the concrete seawalls being built to the configuration of the harbor. ) 31 A few oil wells are still standing on Pacific Avenue in 1960. The roadway is connecting to the Ballona Creek Bridge, and more of the entrance channel has been dredged. Dirt roadways are intertwined throughout, as mud and sediment continue to be relocated. It is estimated that the volume of dirt relocated in the building of the marina would fill over eight Los Angeles Coliseums.

The future fuel dock is at the corner site of the upper landmass (center). A few oil wells remain on the peninsula. ) In order to maintain adequate tidal action and ocean flow into the Grand Canal, which will now open to the ocean through the harbor entrance channel instead of via Ballona Creek, two oil wells were removed and capped. In this 1959 photograph, the two coffer dams (circle area) are adjacent to the Lighthouse Bridge (center bottom) connecting the peninsula with the marina development.

48 As seen in the above photograph, taken in 1963, the “washing machine” wave action undermined the walkway along the seawall at Pieces of Eight restaurant (right). The damage was especially intense in the area next door, where the Harbor Administration Center is located on Fiji Way (below). The severity of the surge intensified the urgency for the US Army Corps of Engineers to speed up its short-term solution for immediate prevention of more damage as well as to develop a permanent safe-harbor plan.

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