Teaching Materials
Ask a Master Teacher
Lesson Plan Gateway
Lesson Plan Reviews
State Standards
Teaching Guides
Digital Classroom
Ask a Digital Historian
Tech for Teachers
Beyond the Chalkboard
History Content
Ask a Historian
Beyond the Textbook
History Content Gateway
History in Multimedia
Museums and Historic Sites
National Resources
Website Reviews
Issues and Research
Report on the State of History Education
Research Briefs
Best Practices
Examples of Historical Thinking
Teaching in Action
Teaching with Textbooks
Using Primary Sources
TAH Projects
Lessons Learned
Project Directors Conference
Project Spotlight
TAH Projects
Technical Working Group
Research Advisors
Teacher Representatives
Quiz Rules
Teaching History.org logo and contact info

Perry Visits Japan

Woodcut, America Torai Okatame Ezu, 1853, Perry Visits Japan

This website brings together two unique historical holdings with the work of students to highlight the cultural interaction between Japan and the U.S. in the 19th century. The first holding is a 12-panel painted Japanese scroll by an anonymous artist that illustrates U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew Perry's 1854 landing in Japan, the first official contact between the two countries and the beginning of Japan's emergence as a world power. The second holding is a set of six lithographs by William Heine, the official artist of the Perry expedition, that depicts an American view of the events of Perry's landing.

In addition, there are images of three Japanese broadsides about the visit, often accompanied by student essays interpreting the images, and excerpts from the official narrative and essays by accompanying officers—including two from Commodore Perry's accounts and one from Heine's account. Also included are a bibliography with seven books, one journal article, and three links to related websites. For teachers, there is a sample lesson plan (10th grade) using the website. A useful resource for anyone interested in Perry's visit to Japan or for those researching Japanese-American relations or cultural contact.