Presented By Hakodate City Museum

To British Consul Eusden, from Kamajiro Enomoto and Taro Matsudaira
To British Consul Eusden, from Nagai and Kamajiro Enomoto

These documents are correspondence sent from military leaders of the former shogunate forces to the British Consul Richard Eusden, who was stationed at Hakodate. The letters were written during the Battle of Hakodate (1868-1869), a conflict between forces of the new Meiji government, which sought to modernize Japan, and forces loyal to the former shogun. These precious historical materials provide insight into the state of affairs as Hakodate’s rule changed from the Edo shogunate to the former shogunate’s forces, then to the new Meiji government.

The British Consulate was established in Hakodate in 1859. This was the same year that Hakodate, together with Yokohama and Nagasaki, were opened as Japan’s first international trade ports. Eusden, the serving consul, experienced this turbulent period of Japan’s history from the inside.

The British Consulate building was rebuilt on the same site in 1913, and today this historical building serves as a museum about the opening of Hakodate Port, under the name “Former British Consulate of Hakodate”.

Words by Masaharu Taniguchi
Translation by Xene Inc.

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