By Kevin C. Murphy
American retailers verified buying and selling companies within the ports of Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki which operated from 1859-1899 until eventually the repeal of the Unequal Treaties. participants of a privileged, semi-colonial group, the retailers shaped the most important team of american citizens in nineteenth century Japan. during this first book-length remedy of this workforce, Kevin Murphy explores their interactions with the japanese within the treaty port approach, how the japanese management manipulated them to its personal ends, and the way the retailers themselves outlined the constraints of yankee company in Japan via their ambiguous yet deep predicament with order and chance, restraint and dominance, and conservatism and dominance.
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Extra info for American Merchant Experience in 19th Century Japan
2 Bund. 38 A broader pattern than even Harris feared was being set, though it was to be of preferred, as much as enforced, Western merchant segregation. III In spite of the dangers that Japan held for foreigners, some Americans were attracted there by a “gold rush” every bit as exciting as the one that drew the forty-niners west to California. A decade later, on July 4, 1859, the first Americans landed on shore at Yokohama, took up residence and “formally opened the port to trade”. S. S. Mississippi ran the stars and stripes up at precisely noon.
41 Francis Hall described the place in the customshouse where the exchanges occurred as “a long room one half of which is occupied by a platform raised a couple of feet from the dirt floor of the remaining half”, where a half dozen officials are squatted on the mats. Beside them is a block for counting money upon, a pair of scales for weighing, ink box and pens, and a few boxes of coin…. Standing in a group on the earth floor and confronting them are the merchants and merchant clerks, princes and officers on leave from the men of war, sea-captains and adventurers like myself waiting their turn for receiving ichibus for dollars weight for weight.
S. S. Mississippi ran the stars and stripes up at precisely noon. Joseph Heco, a participant in a prescient ceremony, related that “we opened champagne, sang the Star Spangled Banner, and drank ‘To our prosperity, Long FROM FRENZY TO INSECURITY 25 may the Stars and Stripes wave’”. 39 The prosperity to which they drank came to some in the form of the initial product traded in the treaty ports—money. Because of the treaty provision requiring weight-for-weight currency exchange, Japan proved for a lucky few to be the dreamed-of El Dorado.
American Merchant Experience in 19th Century Japan by Kevin C. Murphy