'Tozenji (Scene of the attack by Yaconins on Legation)' [Tokyo, Japan]

No. 11 of 51 (PAJ2051 - PAJ2101): inscribed by the artist on the album page, as title, and in the lower left corner of the drawing 'Tozenji' with the monogram signature 'JHB' and date '1/68'.

The Tozen-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple at Tokyo (fomerly Edo). The first British legation to Japan, headed by (Sir) Rutherford Alcock from 1858 to 1864, was housed in a residence in its grounds from 1859 - which is presumably what Butt's view shows. On 5 July 1861 samurai of the Mito Han (fiefdom) attacked the legation, but were driven off by Alcock's staff. Sword nicks, and bullet holes from the British defence, are still visible on the building. Butt's term, 'yaconin' is an anglicization of the Japanese word for 'official', which technically the attackers were in terms of allegiance to the Mito Han, though other references call them 'ronin' - leaderless. PAJ2060 shows another view of the temple.

Object Details

ID: PAJ2061
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Butt, James Henry
Date made: Jan 1868
People: Butt, James Henry
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 170 x 247 mm
Parts: Album of topographical views, mainly on the coasts of Japan, China and Formosa (Taiwan) (Album)

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