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Branched ("Edasen" 枝錢) Mon coins of Tokugawa coinage, of the Kaei period.

Kaei (嘉永 ?) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, ?, lit. "year name") after Kōka and before Ansei. This period spanned the years from 1848 through 1854. The reigning emperor was Kōmei-tennō (孝明天皇 ?).

Contents

Change of era

  • Kaei gannen (嘉永元年 ?); February 28, 1848: The era name of Kaei (meaning "eternal felicity")[1] was created to mark the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Kōmei.

The era name is derived from an aphorism in The Book of the Song Dynasty: "A wise Emperor receives much help, One who esteems comfort is on the outside" (思皇享多祐、嘉楽永無央).

Events of the Kaei Era

"Immediately, on signing and exchanging copies of the treaty, Commodore Perry presented the first commissioner, Prince Hayashi, with an American flag stating that this gift was the highest expression of national courtesy and friendship he could offer. The prince was deeply moved, and expressed his gratitude with evident feeling. The commodore next presented the other commissioners with gifts he had especially reserved for them. All business now having been concluded to the satisfaction of both delegations, the Japanese commissioners invited Perry and his officers to enjoy a feast and entertainment especially prepared for the celebration." -- from American eyewitness account of the event[5]
  • Kaei 7, the 6th day of the 4th month (May 2, 1854): Fire broke out in the Sentō, and the conflagration spread to the Imperial palace. Both were destroyed. The emperor took refuge at Shimokam and afterwards went to Shōgon-in.[6]
  • Kaei 7 (November 4-7, 1854): Great Nankaidō earthquakes and tsunamis kill 80,000 people. An earthquake and tsunami struck Shimoda on the Ize peninsula; and because the port had just been designated as the prospective location for a U.S. consulate, some construed the natural disasters as demonstration of the displeasure of the kami.[7]
  • Kaei 7, on the 27th day of the 11th month (1854): The era name was changed to Ansei (meaning "tranquil government"), which was meant to herald the beginning of a peaceful period. The impetus and explanation for this change of era names was said to have been the burning of the Palace in Kyoto in the preceding summer.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b Satow, Ernest Mason. (1905). Japan 1853-1864, Or, Genji Yume Monogatari, p. 11.
  2. ^ Whitney, Willis Norton. (1885). "Notes on the history of medical progress in Japan," Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, pp. 839-843.
  3. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, p. 323.
  4. ^ Sewall, John. (1905). The Logbook of the Captain's Clerk: Adventures in the China Seas, p. lxiv; Cullen, Louis. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds, p. 178 n11.
  5. ^ Sewall, p. lxxiii; Hawks, Francis. (1856). Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan Performed in the Years 1852, 1853 and 1854 under the Command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States Navy, Vol. I, pp. 377-380.
  6. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 323; Satow, pp. 9-10.
  7. ^ Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: the Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II, p.65.
  • Cullen, Louis M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-5218-2155-X (cloth), ISBN 0-521-52918-2 (paper)
  • Hawks, Francis. (1856). Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan Performed in the Years 1852, 1853 and 1854 under the Command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States Navy, Washington: A.O.P. Nicholson by order of Congress, 1856; originally published in Senate Executive Documents, No. 34 of 33rd Congress, 2nd Session. [reprinted by London: Trafalgar Square, 2005. ISBN 1-8458-8026-9 (paper)]
  • Ponsonby-Fane, Richard A. B. (1956). Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869. Kyoto: The Ponsonby Memorial Society.
  • Satow, Ernest Mason. (1905). Japan 1853-1864, Or, Genji Yume Monogatari. Tokyo: Naigwai Shuppan Kyokwai.
  • Sewall, John S. (1905). The Logbook of the Captain's Clerk: Adventures in the China Seas, Bangor, Maine: Chas H. Glass & Co. [reprint by Chicago: R.R. Donnelly & Sons, 1995] ISBN 0-5482-0912-X
  • Whitney, Willis Norton. (1885). "Notes on the history of medical progress in Japan," Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, [reprinted from Vol. 12, pp. 245-270.] Yokohama: R.J. Meiklejohn & Company....Link to digitized version of this lecture text

External links

Kaei 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
Gregorian 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854

Preceded by:
Kōka

Era or nengō:
Kaei

Succeeded by:
Ansei

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