The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Japanese ambassadors

Japanese ambassadors

The 1862 Japanese mission to London consisted of ‘36 persons in all – namely, the three Ambassadors, a Vice-Governor, a confidential adviser, 18 officers, and 14 servants… The principal minister is a man of 52, and the two others are some 20 years younger’ [The Times, 3 May 1862].

While they were in London, the ambassadors stayed at Claridge’s hotel on Brook Street, and visited the Houses of Parliament (which ‘amazed and delighted them’ with its magnificence), the Zoological Gardens (where they displayed ‘extraordinary interest and pleasure’), and the opening of the International Exhibition. They also visited the Arsenal at Woolwich, the Mint, the Bank of England, the Tower of London, the London Docks, Greenwich, the Thames Tunnel, Hampton Court, Kew Gardens and the Crystal Palace. In addition, they attended many lunches, dinners and assemblies, and they even found time to travel as far afield as Newcastle, in order to see a coal mine in full operation, and Liverpool, where they were entertained at a banquet by the Mayor and corporation.

Photographed by Vernon Heath of 43, Piccadilly, London. Advertisements which Heath placed in the British press make it clear that the ambassadors sat for their portrait on 11 June 1862, shortly before they left England.


Code: 122059
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© Paul Frecker 2019