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Gyokusen-ji

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  • Japanese: 玉泉寺 (gyokusen-ji)

Gyokusen-ji is a Buddhist temple in Shimoda, on the Izu peninsula. It is notable as the site of the graves of several members of Commodore Perry's crew, and as the first site to be used as an American consulate.

Robert Williams, a 24-year-old crewmember onboard the USS Mississippi, became on 1854/2/8 (March 6) the first member of the mission to die in mainland Japan. He was initially buried at Zôtoku-in in Yokohama, but his grave was moved to Gyokusen-ji three months later.[1] The cemetery at Gyokusen-ji includes the graves of five Americans (most of whom were also members of Perry's mission), and three Russians.

Townsend Harris raised the American flag over Gyokusen-ji and declared it his consulate on 1856/8/9.[2]

References

  1. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 553.
  2. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 2 (1937), 225.

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