The Treaty of Kanagawa

The United States of America and the empire of Japan, desiring to establish firm, lasting and sincere friendship between the two nations, have resolved to fix, in a manner clear and positive by means of a treaty or general convention of peace and amity, the rules which shall in future be mutually observed in the intercourse of their respective countries; for which most desirable object the President of the United States has conferred full powers on his commissioner, Matthew Calbraith Perry, special ambassador of the United States to Japan and the august sovereign of Japan has given similar full powers to his commissioners, Hayashi-Daigaku-no-kami, Ido, Prince of Tsus-Sima; Izawa, Prince of Mmimasaki; and Udono, member of the Board of Revenue.

And the said commissioners after having exchanged their said full powers and duly considered the premises, have agreed to the following articles:

Article I

There shall be a perfect, permanent and universal peace, and a sincere and cordial amity, between the United States of American on the one part and the empire of Japan on the other part, between their people, respectfully, without exception of persons or places.

Article II

The port of Simoda, in the principality of Idzu and the port of Hakodadi, in the pricipality of Matsmai are granted by the Japanese as ports for the reception for American ships, where they can be supplied with wood, water, provisions and coal, and other articles their necessities may require, as far as the Japanese have them. The time for opening the first named port is immediately on signing this treaty; the last named port is to be opened immediately after the same day in the ensuing Japanese year.

Note- A tariff of prices shall be given by the Japanese officers of the things which they can furnish, payment for which shall be made in gold, and silver coin.

Article III

Whenever ships of the United States are thrown or wrecked on the coast of Japan, the Japanese vessels will assist them, and carry their crews to Simoda or Hakodadi and hand them over to their countrymen appointed to receive them. Whatever articles the shipwrecked men may have preserved shall likewise be restored and the expenses incurred in the rescue and support of Americans and Japanese who may thus be thrown up on the shores of either nation are not to be refunded.

Article IV

Those shipwrecked persons and other citizens of the United States shall be free as in the other countries and not subjected to confinement but shall be amenable to just laws.


Article V

Shipwrecked men and other citizens of the United States, temporarily living at Simoda and Hakodadi, shall not be subject to such restrictions and confinement as the Dutch and Chinese are at Nagasakil but shall be free at Simoda to go where they please within the limits of seven Japanese miles from a small island in the harbor of Simoda, marked on the accompanying chart hereto appended; and shall in like manner be free to go where they please at Hakodadi, within limits to be defined after the visit of the United States squadron to that place.

Article VI

If there be any other sort of goods wanted or any business which shall require to be arranged, there shall be careful deliberation between the particles in order to settle such matters.

Article VII

It is agreed that ships of the United states resorting to the ports open to them, shall be permitted to exchange gold and silver coin and articles of goods for other articles of goods under such regulations as shall be temporarily established by the Japanese government for that purpose. It is stipulated, however that the ships of the United States shall be permitted to carry away whatever articles they are unwilling to exchange.

Article VIII

Wood, water provisions, coal and goods required shall only be procured through the agency of Japanese officers appointed for that purpose, and in no other manner.

Article IX

It is agreed, that if, at any future day, the government of Japan shall grant to any other nation or nations privileges and advantages which are not herein granted to the United states and the citizens thereof, that these same privileges and advantages shall be granted likewise to the United States and to the citizens thereof without any consultation or delay.

Article X

Ships of the United States shall be permitted to resort to no other ports in Japan but Simoda and Hakodadi, unless in distress or forced by stress of weather.

Article XI

There shall be appointed by the government of the United States consuls or agents to reside in Simoda at any time after the expiration of eighteen months from the date of the signing of this treaty; provided that either of the two governments deem such arrangement necessary.

Article XII

The present convention, having been concluded and duly signed, shall be obligatory, and faithfully observed by the United States of America, and Japan and by the citizens and subjects of each respective power; and it is to be ratified and approved by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by the august Sovereign of Japan, and the ratification shall be exchanged within eighteen months from the date of the signature therefore, or sooner if practicable.

In faith, whereof, we, the respective plenipotentiaries of the United States of America and the empire of Japan aforesaid have signed and sealed these presents.

Done at Kanagawa, this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four and of Kayei the seventh year, third month and third day.

The Americans in Japan (Yoshida Shoin)



Title: The Americans in Japan: an abridgement of the Government
narrative of the U. S. Expedition to Japan, under Commodore
Author: Tomes, Robert, 1817-1882.
Publisher: New York, Appletn, 1857.


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On their reaching the deck, the officer informed the Commodore of their presence, who sent his interpreter to confer with them and learn the purposes of their untimely visit. They frankly confessed that their object was to be taken to the United States, where they might gratify their desire of travelling, and seeing the world. They were now recognized as the two men who had met the officers on shore, and given one of them the letter. They seemed much fatigued by their boating excursion, and their clothes showed signs of being travel-worn, although they proved to be Japanese gentlemen of good position. They both were entitled to wear the two swords, and one still retained a single one, but they had left the other three in the boat which had gone adrift with them. They were educated men, and wrote the mandarin Chinese with fluency and apparent elegance, and their manners were courteous and highly refined.

The Commodore, on learning the purpose of their visit, sent word that he regretted that he was unable to receive them, as he would like very much to take some Japanese to America with him. He, however, was compelled to refuse them until they received permission from their government, for seeking which they would have ample opportunity, as the squadron would remain in the harbor of Simoda for some time longer. They were greatly disturbed by this answer of the Commodore, and declaring that if they returned to the land they would lose their heads, earnestly implored to be allowed to remain. The prayer was firmly but kindly refused. A long discussion ensued, in the course of which they urged every possible argument in their favor, and continued to appeal to the humanity of the Americans.

A boat was now lowered, and after some mild resistance on their part to being sent off, they descended the gangway piteously deploring their fate, and were landed at a spot near where it was supposed their boat might have drifted. On the afternoon of the next day, Tenoske, the chief interpreter, who had arrived from Tedo, came on board the Powhatan, and requested to see the flag lieutenant, to whom he stated, that ” last night a couple of demented Japanese had gone off to one of the American vessels,” and wished to know if it had been the flag-ship ; and if so, whether the men had been  guilty of any impropriety. The flag-lieutenant replied, that it was difficult to retain any very precise recollection of those who visited the ships, as so many were constantly coming from the shore in the watering boats and on business, but he assured the interpreter that no misdemeanor could have been co mitted, or he would have been aware of the fact. The interpreter was then asked, whether the Japanese he referred to had reached the shore in safety, to which the very satisfactory answer that ” they had ” was received.