I have one of the original 75 (?) large medals that President Buchanan handed out to each member of the J govt delegation in commemoration of their trip.
They were not the first Japanese arrivals of course. The article does not mention the earlier arrival of the young 'Joseph' Hiko/Heco and the other members of the crew who were picked up after a storm off Japan 10 years earlier and brought to San Francisco. He shook hands with three presidents: Pierce, Buchanan and Lincoln I believe. He was also the first Japanese naturalized US citizen.
That's quite an artifact to own, one of those medals. I won't ask how you got it; it's none of my business. But, just, a very cool thing to own. I'm impressed and envious. _________________ My blog on Japanese art & history: http://chaari.wordpress.com
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