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Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2051-7084
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7092



In the late 1850s, western powers ‘imposed’ treaty ports on Japan, ending 200 years of Japanese near seclusion from international exchange. Western modernity and traditional Japanese society suddenly and sharply intermixed in the treaty ports. In 1860, a criminal court case was held in the Yokohama Treaty Port involving British and Japanese. The case provides a window on a Japanese early encounter with westerners and western culture. This article takes up the court case’s preliminary examination, addressing how Japanese prosecutors and witnesses engaged the culturally uncharted and potentially vexed circumstances they found themselves in.


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