Japanese Russian Trade Relations Reports
Manuscript report of Imperial Russian Navy Admiral Yevfimiy Putyatin’s diplomatic visit to Japan.
Russian Admiral Yevfimiy Vasilyevich Putyatin played an instrumental role in negotiating commercial relations between Japan and Russia. The Treaty of Shimoda, signed in 1855 between the two empires, opened Japan’s ports to Russian commerce.
In late 1854 Putyatin arrived with his squadron at Osaka Bay causing a great panic among the Shogunate, as related in this contemporary document. The Russians were shortly thereafter directed on to Shimoda for a more comfortable setting to hold diplomatic negotiations. On December 23, 1854, the day prior to a planned meeting with Shogunate officials, a massive earthquake hit the area causing a great tsunami which destroyed the Russian ships. Local Japanese tradesmen worked together with the Russians to build a new boat large enough to sail Putyatin and his crew back to their homeland. This was the first western-style ship built in Japan and an early instance of Japanese learning western technology. The vessel, dubbed “Heda”, was completed in a matter of months and after finalizing the trade treaty in spring 1855, the Russians dispatched for home.
Together with: Woodblock report of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Japan and Russia.