Rose Tinted and Blood Flecked? An Examination of the Private and Public Accounts of the British Garrison of Yokohama (1864-1875) | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online


This paper presents first-hand accounts produced by members of the British garrison of Yokohama (1864-1875) as valuable sources for examining the history of early treaty port era Japan. As the garrison itself, despite its notable influence and size, remains largely unexplored in the English language scholarship, these accounts arguably take on even greater significance than they otherwise might. Through looking at two aspects of the content of these accounts: the leisure activities of the garrison, and the views they contain of the Japanese, the value of the sources is revealed. The initial analysis of some of the leisure activities of the garrison serves as an example of the value of the accounts in providing additional detail of their life in the treaty port. The second area of value that the accounts offer is that of revealing the views of the authors of the population of Japan. Although these views are Victorian and militarised, due to the historical context and profession of the authors, in their framing and assumptions they are indicative of emerging Western views of Japan in the era and deserve greater attention as one potential influence on the process of image formation of Japan, both internationally and domestically.


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