Silver Medal Commemorating Commodore Perry’s Opening of Japan at Stack’s Bowers Hong Kong Auction

 Silver Medal Commemorating Opening of Japan at Stack's Bowers Hong Kong Auction

By Jeremy BostwickSenior Numismatist & Cataloger, Stack’s Bowers ……
The rapid industrialization of the western world in the 19th century led to an ongoing need to open new markets, with the Far East providing a prime opportunity for both selling and buying. To this end, the United States under President Millard Fillmore sent Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy to Japan in 1853. In July of that year, Perry arrived in Tokyo harbor with the intent of engaging in “battleship diplomacy”, a type of negotiation that actually involved no real negotiating but instead entailed an ultimatum through threats of hostile aggression.

Japan at the time was ruled by the Tokugawa shogun (great general), as the Tokugawa family had seized power by defeating other feudal families around the empire two centuries prior. Though still technically governed by the emperor, Japan was under the de facto control of

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