1850s – 1860s


1853-4 US Commodore Matthew Perry visits Japan with his Black Ships, resulting in the Treaty of Kanagawa

1854 Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty

1858 Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce – British diplomatic corps dispatched to Japan

1859 January – Kenneth Ross Mackenzie of Jardine Matheson moves to Nagasaki

1859 April – Frederik Blekman arrives in Nagasaki from Batavia

1859 July – Ansei treaties officially in effect

1859 William Keswick (b 1834 Dumfriesshire) opens Jardine Matheson office in Yokohama.

1859 September – Thomas Blake Glover (b 1838 Aberdeenshire) posted to Nagasaki by Jardine Matheson from China.

1860 Foreigners allowed to settle in Yokohama

Foreigners’ Wine Party, Utagawa Yoshikazu 1860 (private collection of Pernille Rudlin)

1861-2 Thomas Glover becomes independent, launches Glover & Co

Party of foreigners 1861 – Utagawa Yoshitomi active 1840s-1860s – features Nankin (dancing), British (looking down), France (with drum), America (with stringed instrument), Dutch (with pipes), Russia (with horn) (private collection of Pernille Rudlin)
Hollander on Horse 1861, Utagawa Yoshifuji 1828-1887 (private collection of Pernille Rudlin)
American in Shinobazu, 1861 – Taguchi Yoshimori (Kuniharu) (private collection of Pernille Rudlin)

1862 Bakufu government send 38 Japanese men including Fukuzawa Yukichi and Terashima Munenori to Europe, including England

1862 Tokugawa shogunate decreed that a child born between a Japanese woman and a non-Japanese man would be allowed to leave Japan with its father, as a non-Japanese, with the permission of its mother.

1862 May – November International Exhibition in London, at which Sir Rutherford Alcock, British Consul-General in Japan, displays Japanese items.

1862 September – British born merchant Charles Richardson killed in the Namamugi Incident

1862 October – Great Original Chinese and Japanese Entertainment from Drury Lane Theatre perform at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton – jugglery, gun trick, swordsmanship, swinging bowls of water, knife throwing

1863 Rutherford Alcock’s book The Capital of the Tycoon is published, including descriptions of Japanese top spinners and jugglers.

1863 Robert Sparrow Smythe, British born theatrical manager, arrives in Nagasaki with Dr H.S. Lynn (John Wesley Hugh Simmons Lynn, aka Washington Simmons) a Dublin born magician and Amelia Bailey, an English born soprano.

1863 August – Anglo-Satsuma war

1863 August – October – Four Japanese acrobats perform in London and Portsmouth.

1863 Five Chōshu clan students (including Ito Hirobumi and Inoue Kaoru) sent secretly to Britain to study

Americans – Japanese translations of barbaric languages. 1863. Utagawa Yoshitora (private collection of Pernille Rudlin)

1864 March – American entertainer “Professor” Richard Risley arrives in Yokohama with an equestrian troupe of ten performers and eight horses, introducing Western style circus to Japan. Starts to incorporate Japanese performers in his act by the end of 1864

1864 February – May – Frederick Blekman in France and Britain with the Ikeda mission.

1864 John Reddie Black, Scottish singer and later journalist arrives in Yokohama and puts on performances with James Marquis Chisholm, including butterfly trick performer Yanagawa Asakichi and juggler Sumidagawa Namigorō.

1864 Four British banks opened in Yokohama

1864 Japan’s first Masonic Lodge founded – Sphinx Lodge number 263, under the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Becomes Yokohama Lodge in 1866

1864 – Dr HS Lynn/Simmons leaves Japan and returns to Europe

1865 Norwich born tea merchant Frederick Ringer arrives in Japan

1865 Satsuma clan send students to Britain to study (including Terashima Munenori)

1865 Blekman is arrested in Yokohama

1865 Risley goes to Edo/Tokyo to recruit more Japanese performers

1865 summer – Japanese bakufu government shuts down many theatres and shows in Edo

1866 ban on overseas travel by Japanese lifted

1866 Shogunate send 14 students to study in Britain

1866 Blekman deported to the Netherlands and imprisoned there for a year

1866 Tetsuwari family troupe, managed by Thomas F Smith and GW Burgess leave Yokohama for San Francisco

1866 December – Matsui Gensui troupe depart Yokohama for Shanghai, Hong Kong and Southampton, managed by British man William Grant.

1866 December – Risley’s Imperial Troupe of Japanese depart Yokohama

Utagawa Yoshikazu 1866 Japanese street performers

1867 January, Emperor Komei dies

1867 January – Imperial Troupe arrive in San Francisco

1867 February- March – British gymnast Thomas Lenton obtains passports for the Great Dragon Troupe

1867 February – Matsui Gensui‘s troupe performs in London, under contract to Glasgow-born ship contractor William Grant.

1867 March – Lenton & Smith part of Great Dragon Troupe leave Japan, initially performing in Hong Kong and Philippines

1867 June – July – Baldwin & Gilbert and Lenton & Smith combined Great Dragon Troupe tour America

1867 July – Matsui Gensui Troupe left Liverpool for Exposition Universelle in Paris

1867 August – combined Great Dragon Troupe tour Britain

1867 Summer – Exposition Universelle in Paris, performances from Matusi Gensui and Risley’s Imperial Troupe. Thomas Jeckyll‘s Japonism style Vienna Gates exhibited

1867 September – Tannaker Buhicrosan‘s Royal Tycoon troupe in Calcutta

1867 October – Great Dragon Troupe leave Brtiain – part of Lenton & Smith Great Dragon Troupe in Asia – Malaysia. Another part of the troupe tour Germany

1867 November – Tannaker Buhicrosan‘s Royal Tycoon troupe arrived in Australia

1867 November – the shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigns

1867 December – Great Dragon Troupe in Australia

1867 December – Risley’s Imperial Troupe arrive in Britain

1868 January Meiji Restoration, followed by Boshin War in which Satsuma and Chōshu forces defeat ex-shōgun’s army

1868 January – Professor Risley’s Imperial Troupe begins tour of Britain

1868 June – Hamaikari Sadakichi’s wife Tō gives birth in London

1868 July – Omoto of the Great Dragon Troupe gives birth to a son on board the Penola en route to Adelaide

1868 September – Ohatsu of the Great Dragon Troupe gives birth while touring Australia

1868 September – Matsui Gensui tries to claim second year of pay from William Grant. Grant refuses to pay and flees in the middle of the night.

1868 October – Matsui Gensui signs a contract with a French impresario

1868 autumn, Glover dissolved his partnership, hands over tea export business to Frederick Ringer

1868 Meiji government charter oath, announcing that each daimyo should send officers to Britain

1868 December – Liverpool born Tannaker Buhicrosan brings his Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese to Britain

1869 Risley’s Imperial Troupe move from France to New York. Edward Banks tries to flee without paying bills. Seven of troupe return to Japan, remainder return to Europe and tour Britain through the summer of 1869.

1869 February – final part of Great Dragon Troupe tour of Australasia

1869 Otake gives birth to Otakesammer Buhicrosan in Bolton, Lancashire.

1869 May – Great Dragon Troupe reappear in Britain at the Crystal Palace

1869 August – Great Dragon Troupe in Paris

1869 September – Great Dragon Troupe return to Britain. Proprietor changes to Edward G. Bert.

1869 September – Professor Risley accused of inducing a girl to leave the care of her father and mother, assault and corrupt her morals. Found not guilty

1869 October – British man, Thomas King arranges passports for 14 Japanese performers “The Royal Tycoon’s Private Troupe”. They tour Hong Kong, India and Germany before arriving in Britian in 1870

1869 December – Professor Risley travels to Gibraltar