National Archives of JAPAN

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Rezanov's Visiting to Nagasaki [Illustration of Sailing Route]

Mikikigusa (total 176 volumes) containing information and records written or filed by direct retainer Miyazaki Narichika during closing days of Edo period abounds with many interesting illustrations and beautiful color diagrams. Some of them are shown here.

Miyazaki Narichika also took part in compiling "Tsuko Ichiran" (Records of foreign affairs), a collection of diplomatic information of Tokugawa Shogunate. "Mikikigusa" naturally contains detailed descriptions and illustrations of "foreign ships arriving in Japan."Russia was the first country to demand to the Tokugawa Shogunate the opening of Japan to commerce. Russia was seeking expansion in trade and acquisition of territory under "Go South policy." Tokugawa Shogunate had taken national isolation policy and closed Japan to Western countries except the Netherlands. In 4th year of Kansei (1792), Adam K. Laksman (Russia's first envoy to Japan) arrived in Nemuro, Hokkaido, carrying with him a diplomatic message urging Japan to do commerce with Russia. Tokugawa Shogunate only granted a permit (credentials) to enter Nagasaki Port on the ground sailings of foreign ships other than to Nagasaki were not allowed and refused to receive the diplomatic message.Twelve years later, in September, 1st year of Bunka (1804), Nikolai P. Rezanov (Russia's second envoy to Japan) arrived in Nagasaki carrying with him copy of credentials granted Laksman and a personal letter of Russian Emperor Aleksandr I. Rezanof stayed in Nagasaki till March of next year seeking to start negotiations. However, Tokugawa Shogunate ordered the Russian ship to leave and did not receive the personal letter.