Report on arrival of French Warships at Nagasaki
Japanese hand-written manuscript book. An official report on the arrival of French Admiral Jean-Baptiste Cecille’s warships at Nagasaki on July 24, 1846. Cecille had just come from Vietnam where he had rescued a Catholic missionary, Bishop Dominique Lefebvre. First he stopped at Okinawa, in June 1846, to try to establish relations with Japan, then, a month later, he entered Nagasaki where he was refused negotiations and a landing. He had picked up two priests in Okinawa who could speak Japanese, Father Forcade and Father Ko who were supposed to act as interpreters in the negotiations. After leaving Nagasaki, Admiral Cecille went on to Korea where he tried to release the priest Andrew Kim Taegon. He was too late to save Kim who had already been executed. Cecille returned to Vietnam in an attempt to free more Catholic priests. It’s interesting to note that at the same time Cecille was in Nagasaki, the American Commander James Biddle was in Edo Bay with 2 warships. Biddle was also refused official negotiations and a landing. Seven years later Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Japan and successfully negotiated the opening of Japan after nearly three centuries of isolation.