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In this Japanese name, the family name is Hotta.
Hotta Masayoshi

Hotta Masayoshi

In office
1825 – 1859
Preceded by Hotta Masachika
Succeeded by Hotta Masamichi

Born August 30, 1810(1810-08-30)
Died April 26, 1864 (aged 53)
Sakura, Japan
Nationality Japanese

Hotta Masayoshi (堀田正睦 ?)(August 30, 1810- April 26, 1864) was the Shogun's advisor (rōjū) from 1837 to 1843, and again from 1855 to 1858.


Rōjū: 1837-1843

Rōjū: 1855-1858

Hotta succeeded Abe Masahiro, and in his short years at the post had to address the issue of the Harris Treaty.


Hotta formed an ad hoc committee of bakufu officials with special knowledge of foreign affairs, and he himself headed this working group. In November 1856, he appointed the members and charged them to come up with recommendations about the terms for opening Japanese ports. The results of their deliberations would become the basis for negotiations which ultimately resulted in the Harris Treaty of 1858 (the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Japan and the United States).[1]

Harris Treaty

Townsend Harris, a representative of the United States who demanded that Japan open up six ports to trade, allow Americans to travel freely in Japan, and grant extraterritoriality to them. Hotta then tried to convince the Emperor and the daimyō (feudal lords) to accept the Treaty. Based on his knowledge of the events of the Arrow War, Hotta believed he knew the violent response the United States would return with, if their request was refused. To this end, he even broke precedent and requested audience to speak to the Emperor directly; the Imperial Court refused to sign the treaty without the support of the daimyō.

Hotta attempted to ratify the treaty with the emperor and in a break with tradition it was rebuffed, the emperor was nothing more than a figurehead. Hotta resigned and was replaced by Ii Naosuke in 1858, and the treaty was signed shortly afterwords without the emperor's consent.

Life out of power

Gate at the ruins of Sakura Castle


  1. ^ Beasley, William G. (1955). Select Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy, 1853-1868, p. 322.
  • Beasley, William G. (1955). Select Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy, 1853-1868. London: Oxford University Press. [reprinted by RoutledgeCurzon, London, 2001. 10-ISBN 0-197-13508-0; 13-ISBN 978-0-197-13508-2 (cloth)]
  • Bolitho, Harold. (1974). Treasures Among Men; the Fudai Daimyo in Tokugawa Japan. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01655-7
  • Jansen, Marius B. (2000). "The Making of Modern Japan" Belknap, Harvard
  • McDougall, Walter (1993). "Let the Sea Make a Noise: Four Hundred Years of Cataclysm, Conquest, War and Folly in the North Pacific." New York: Avon Books.
Preceded by
Hotta Masachika
5th (Hotta) Lord of Sakura
Succeeded by
Hotta Masamichi

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