First audience of a British minister with the Tycoon of Japan at Jeddo [ie Eddo] - from a sketch by S. J. Gower, 1860. 'Mr. Alcock as her Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary...[made] a short speech conveying the desire of his Sovereign to cultivate relations of friendship with the Ruler of Japan. On one side, with his head to the ground, is one of the Governors of Foreign Affairs, Ikimaseng, acting as Master of the Ceremonies...on the right are members of the High Council of State...while opposite are three of the Ministers of State...The audience took place in the Palace of the Heir Apparent...Like all Japanese houses, it is devoid of furniture of any kind...The suite of rooms and corridors being unincumbered with furniture...are filled with officers and attendants in their costume of ceremony, all kneeling, five or six deep - mute and motionless...the British Minister, followed by Mr. Ensden, his acting secretary and Dutch interpreter...made his third reverence, and...Mr. Ensden advancing with the Queen's letter, the British Minister delivered it to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who rose to receive it...The Tycoon's appearance was that of a stout, full-grown youth of sixteen, wrapped in an ample robe of silk'. From "Illustrated London News", 1860.
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