The Residence of the First British Consul General in Japan – Tozen-ji Temple

During Edo-era between 17th – 19th century, Shogun who governed Japan at that time prohibited to interact with most of the Western countries.  That policy was altered at the end of this era in mid 19th century.  The first British Consul General arrived in Japan in 1859 and Tozen-ji Temple in Takanawa in Tokyo was assigned as his residence.

Tozen-ji Temple in Takanawa

It says that this temple provided the property for the residence of the first minister of British Embassy in Japan.

Sir Rutherford Alcock was the first Consul General of Britain in Japan.  During that time, this temple was attacked twice in 1861 and in 1862 by those who were opposed against the policy to open the country to the Western nations.

Here is the photo of Tozen-ji Temple at the time when Sir Alcock opened the legation.

By Beato – 1860s photograph. Reproduction in “写真で見る幕末・明治”(Bakumatsu and Meiji through photographs”) Ozawa, Public Domain, Link

Here is the illustration of the attack on the British legation in Tozen-ji in 1861.

By Charles Wirgman – 1861 drawing by Charles Wirgman. Reproduction in “異国人の見たジャパン”ISBN 4404032528, Public Domain, Link

By Unknown – The Illustrated London News, 1861., Public Domain, Link

Interestingly, according to the Wikipedia, Sir Alcock was the first non-Japanese who climbed Mt. Fuji.

He wrote a book “Capital of the Tycoon” where he described Japan at that time.

The temple is in a quiet corner of Takanawa and is surronded by the deep green.

For More Information on Tozen-ji Temple

Address: 16-16 Takanawa 3-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo



One thought on “The Residence of the First British Consul General in Japan – Tozen-ji Temple

  1. Pingback: The Temple for 47 Samurai – Sengaku-ji Temple | walkingbikingjapan

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