Uraga, Kanagawa

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The harbour of Uraga circa 1890

Uraga (浦賀?) is a subdivision of the city of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is located on the south eastern side of the Miura Peninsula, at the northern end of the Uraga Channel, at the entrance of Tokyo Bay.

History[edit]

With the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate based in Edo at the start of the 17th century, the small village of Uraga developed rapidly due to its sheltered harbor and strategic location at the entrance of Edo Bay. The area was tenryō territory under direct control of the shogunate, and the increase in maritime traffic led to the development of merchant and trading firms in the area. In 1720, the shogunate established the post of Uraga bugyō, whose responsibility was to police traffic and to organize coastal defenses, and the entrances to the harbor were fortified with cannon again possible incursions by foreign ships in violation of Japan’s national isolation policy.

In 1846, Captain James Biddle of the U.S. Navy anchored two warships, the U.S.S. Columbus and the U.S.S. Vincennes in Uraga Channel. This was a first step in what turned out to be an unsuccessful effort to an open trading relationship between Japan and the United States.[1]

On July 14, 1853,[2] the American Commodore Perry and his Black ships anchored in front of Uraga and subsequently surveyed within the borders of Edo Bay.[3] On the return of the squadron in 1854, the ships passed Uraga to anchor closer to Edo at Kanagawa, which is where the city of Yokohama now stands.[4]

In 1860, the Kanrin Maru (咸臨丸?) Japan's first sail and screw-driven steam corvette departed Uraga with the first Japanese Embassy to the United States.

In the Meiji period, the town of Uraga was administratively part of Miura District of Kanagawa Prefecture. It was merged into the city of Yokosuka in 1943. The Uraga Dock Company, a privately held shipyard, was the major industry in the area, and many destroyers of the Imperial Japanese Navy were built at its docks.

Uraga is now considered a bedroom community for commuters to Yokohama and Tokyo.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sewall, John. (1905). The Logbook of the Captain's Clerk: Adventures in the China Seas, pp. xxxiv-xxxv, xlix, lvi.
  2. ^ "Perry Ceremony Today; Japanese and U. S. Officials to Mark 100th Anniversary." New York Times. July 14, 1953,
  3. ^ Sewall, John S. (1905). The Logbook of the Captain's Clerk: Adventures in the China Seas, pp. 177; Cullen, L.M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds, p. 178.
  4. ^ Sewall, p. 243.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°14′N 139°43′E / 35.233°N 139.717°E / 35.233; 139.717