The Complete Journal of Townsend Harris: First American Consul and Minister to Japan

The Complete Journal of Townsend Harris: First American Consul and Minister to Japan

Read FREE!

The Complete Journal of Townsend Harris: First American Consul and Minister to Japan

The Complete Journal of Townsend Harris: First American Consul and Minister to Japan

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The history of embassies and consulates, like that of all international relations, is inseparable from the stories of individual men. Nowhere is one reminded of this more forcibly than in observing the short and very active century of intercourse between the United States and Japan.

While there have been many personalities of high distinction charged with the weight of representing each of these countries, none, perhaps, has had more demanded of him in courage, ingenuity, discipline, and solitary decision than Townsend Harris, the first consular officer accredited from the United States Government to that of Japan.

It is a source of much satisfaction that the journal of this pioneer, which has been long out of print, has been made available again to the public through the enterprise of the Charles E. Tuttle Company, with the support of the Japan Society of New York and the American Club of Tokyo.

Any important figure in history gathers about him some elements of legend. Stories, whether true or apocryphal, attach themselves to the names of heroes. This is inevitable, and by no means is it always to be deplored. But the sober truth is sometimes more heroic than fiction, and for those who wish to understand, the unvarnished items of fact are indispensable.

It is for this reason that, in a time when the meaning of Japan and the United States to one another, and of their, mutual relationship to the world are of such absorbing concern, we are grateful for the initiative, among others, of Mr.

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