Talk:Matthew C. Perry

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"Modern Classic"[edit]

Some japanophile decided to declair some random manga a "modern classic" on this page. This is clearly just one person's POV. I changed it to simply state it was a manga. The "Rozen Maiden" page makes no reference to it being especially modern or classic... neither word appears in the entire article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Imperial representatives[edit]

departed, mistakenly believing the agreement had been made with imperial representatives.
Who were they then? Jinian 10:28, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think they meant that they assumed they were imperial representatives because they assumed the Emperor had power. Perhaps the people Perry met with were actually Shogunal representatives? 4:02, 14 Dec 2006

Good Question[edit]

I would also like to know who they were.. I was also curious, who was more important for US/Japan relations, Matthew Perry or Townsend Harris ( )?

Einosuke Moriyama[edit]

I wonder if some mention could be made to this man, a sort of language prodigy, and one of the chief interpreters who met with Perry and helped work out the details of the treaty. I am making a stub about him at present, and writing a preliminary article on his teacher, Ranald MacDonald, a very important man in the history of America-Japanese relations, whose story has somewhat fallen through the cracks.

Sources I've seen indicate that Moriyama and the other interpreters trained by MacDonald played both sides to an extent, obvioiusly fascinated by foreign culture (considering they were samurai who had trained in Dutch and then English), they were able to subtly skew both sides' "offers" and threats to ensure the opening of Japan. Supposedly at least.--Lord Shitzu 21:52, Apr 18, 2005 (UTC)

Perry's final resting place?[edit]

Under it is said that Perry's grave is in Japan. Either this page or the "Foreign Cemeteries" must have an error?

See section 5, Hakodate

Please check the following sentence again:

The Hakodate cemetery includes the grave of "a mariner" from the fleet of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, August 26, 2007 (UTC)

"different ships"[edit]

Perry's early career saw him assigned to several different ships

Were these ships different, i.e. different types and sizes? otherwise, say "to several ships", because the word "several" can stand for itself on its own and does not need a crutch to lean on. Three ships made to the same plan are not three different ships, but merely three ships. To a man on one of those ships, another of the ships is another ship, not a different ship. Anthony Appleyard 06:18, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

"Various" might be better. How can a man be on several ships? Only one place at a time. Or, that he was assigned to a succession of various (or different) ships. Also, in those days, ships were a lot more "custom" than they are now i.e. different. They were not built to a blueprint but more to what the shipwrights knew by experience. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

move to Matthew Calbraith Perry[edit]

I want to move the article to "Matthew Calbraith Perry" and have the disambiguation link as a redirect. Anyone disagree? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 18:05, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Not a bad idea. Perhaps "Matthew C. Perry" works also. IronDuke 00:00, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I performed the move since no one objected and its in line with the naming conventions. In the future please request a move using {{moveto}} and list the request at WP:RM. Savidan 04:14, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I think this move was incorrect. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people) says that middle names should not be added just for disambiguation unless that is how the subject is commonly known. Using a "qualifier", such as "(naval officer)", is preferred. However "Matthew C. Perry" is commonly used so that would be sufficient. The full name "Matthew Calbraith Perry" appears to be rarely used. -Will Beback · · 00:08, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Unless there's an object I'll move it to "Matthew C. Perry". ·:·Will Beback ·:· 20:27, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I hate to go to the bother of moving the article and fixing the redirects but I dislike "Matthew Calbraith Perry" as an article title even more so here it goes. ·:·Will Beback ·:· 09:53, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Please help repair this article against vandalism[edit]

Some obscene remarks need removal. I couldn't find the same in the editing section of the article.

Japanese Chin breed[edit]

From this article: "Among other mementos, Perry presented Queen Victoria with a breeding pair of Japanese Chin dogs, previously owned only by Japanese nobility."

From Japanese Chin: "Portuguese sailors introduced the breed to Europe in the 1600s by presenting some to Catherine of Braganza, Queen Consort to King Charles II of England."

One of these cannot be correct. I would assume that Perry should not get credit for the first Chin dogs outside Japan. --JohnRDaily 17:15, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Can't conceive that he'd even want it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:02, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Perry's flag[edit]

User:Kungtzu's recent edit caused me to change "The original flag ..." to read "An original flag ...." In this context, a related article becomes relevant -- see Hayashi Akira:

  • Kaei 7 (1854): Commodore Perry returned to Edo Bay to force Japanese agreement to the Treaty of Kanagawa; and the chief Japanese negotiator was Daigaku-no kami Hayashi Akira, who was known to the Americans as "Prince Commissioner Hayashi."<:ref>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.<:/ref>
"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 ...."
-- from American eyewitness account of the event<:ref>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.<:/ref>

In my view, this relatively trivial point would be enhanced with an in-line citation from a source other than Sewall. --Tenmei (talk) 15:38, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

A personal entry, moved here[edit]

This rather odd paragraph appeared in the "A Diplomatic Note" section. I moved it here, knowing that it's somewhat inappropriate for the "Talk" section, but far more so for the entry itself. Don't blame me for its inclusion. I only saved it here, rather than simply deleting it, because it might have some minor historical significance. "I am the great-great-great-granddaughter of Commodore Matthew C. Perry. I am Andrea P Anderson, AKA Amitzahandreanias, daughter of Barbara Ann Perry; my mother is Yancy Perry's daughter. My grand father was Yancy Perry and his father was Edgar Virgil Perry; he married Uba Myrtle Dolittle. Edgar had 3 girls and my grandfather, Yancy Perry. Lilian, one of the daughters, never married and Betty Joe moved to California, and the other daughter married a man named Piper. I am trying to find the generation in between Edgar and the last Perry mentioned in Wikipedia. Can someone help me? I have an Uncle in West Virginia. His name is James Yancy Perry and he helped with this much info, only he is the last that would know here that I can contact and his sons do not know anything. Maybe one of the daughters of Edgar would have an idea or someone else that is mentioned here in Wikipedia." No contact information was given, but if someone was interested in contacting the poster, they could respond here or perhaps find the OP through WP's history of this entry. Bricology (talk) 07:44, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

You should be proud coming from such an important, historic lineage.

Very Americanized, Fair and Balanced Policy?[edit]

There is a lot more controversy to this topic than this article lets on. Most Japanese scholars will have you know that Perry isn't exactly loved in Japan; much rather he's seen as a bullying military man doing a diplomat's job. In any case, this argument needs to be presented in order for this article to really have a neutral POV. Some good English literature that goes into this would be George Feifer's Breaking Open Japan or Peter Booth Wiley's Yankees in the Land of the Gods. -- (talk) 20:07, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

"bullying military man" Hmm, neutral POV - don't think so. Besides, he was a naval man.
Threatening retaliation by force if you don't get your way is intimidation, a form of bullying. And the navy is certainly a branch of the US military. This was a case of "might makes right", and pointing that out does not violate NPOV. Omitting it does. Stian (talk) 20:23, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Did he open fire?[edit]

It is not clear from the article whether he actually started shooting or whether the threat was enough. How did he demonstrate the power of the guns? Lot 49atalk 15:32, 23 February 2010 (UTC)


Why did we move the article from Matthew Calbraith Perry to Matthew Calbraith Perry? The subject is virtually never referred to by his full name, and I beleive the standard is to prefer using an disambiguation phrase ("Matthew C. Perry (admiral)") instead of an unusual name.   Will Beback  talk  05:55, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Replica Flag Location[edit]

As a tour supervisor aboard historic battleship Missouri I couldn't help to notice that the author mistakenly pointed out that a replica flag is displayed on the port side of the ship it is actually on the Starboard as this is where the surrender was signed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:46, 6 October 2010 (UTC) 
Details, details - this is Wiki, we don't need no stinking details.

Cause of death[edit]

I have been extremely puzzled to find that in this article, Perry's death has been ascribed to cirrhosis due to alcoholism. This is an unsourced assertion that appears in no valid historical or biographical text, so far as I can determine. Not only do biographers concur that his death was a due to a combination of rheumatism and gout, but the official Congressional findings reached the same conclusion. Considering that alcoholism is not discussed as one of his failings in any contemporary accounts--and that other deaths of American public figures during the 19th century (such as President Polk) were in fact attributed to cirrhosis and alcoholism--I find this statement unsupportable. It is possible that there was a massive cover-up to hide his true cause of death, but as no such assertions have been made I can only consider this a case of misinformation.

I have changed the paragraph, and added citations.

--Jason Roberts (talk) 18:52, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

I have no idea which position is correct but, based upon the above comments, I will remove the related 'Deaths from Cirrhosis' category as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Perry's first visit, force or intimidation?[edit]

The book by <Mark Ravina>, written in Japan and supervised by Japanese scholars entitled <"The last samurai, The life and battles of Saigo Takamori"> has a fast paced account of Perry's first intrusion into Japanese life. The account does not state Perry fired on the shoreline installations or supplied white flags to be hoisted when the Japanese wanted the american naval bombardment to stop.Chap 2, p55 details how shogunate officials were astonised by the speed of Perry's command ship Susquehanna, its size and its weaponary.It reports the Susquehanna and Perry's second steamship the Mississippi steaming into Edo bay at 9 knots leaving the Shogunal navy scrambling in the wake. A shore-based counting of Perry's guns estimated 70 large calibre cannons <(appendix references. #24 notes to chap.2 "A man of exceptional fidelity">indicate there were 66 large calibre guns) compared to the Shogunates 100. However only 11 shogunate cannon were of equivalent calibre. Perry had 4 ships although not all as large as the susquehanna but in practise his supremacy in fire-power meant that he had outgunned Japan's supreme warlord and in effect the shogunate council were forced, by the mere intimated threat from Perry's ships, to receive President Millard Fillmore's treaty request. Contrary to the impression given Perry appears to have breached Japanese isolation without firing a shot.-- (talk) 12:10, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Deja Vu[edit]

This article states: "A replica of Perry's US flag is on display on board the USS Missouri (BB-63) memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It is attached to the bulkhead just inboard of the Japanese surrender signing site on the port side of the ship." Then in the next paragraph, this article states: "A replica of this historic flag can be seen today on the Surrender Deck of the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor. This replica is also placed in the same location on the bulkhead of the veranda deck where it had been initially mounted on the morning of September 2, 1945." Perhaps some wiki-ite can consolidate this vital information in one place.


Under memorials, this article states: "The U.S. Navy's Perry-class frigates (purchased in the 1970s and 1980s) were named after Perry's brother, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry." Wouldn't these be a memorial to his brother, Oliver Hazard, instead of Matthew Calbraith? Kind of like saying the Kennedy half dollar is a memorial to Bobbie.

Admiral Perry on "Homeward Bound" by Harry Turtledove[edit]

The ship in "Homeward Bound" by Harry Turtledove was the Admiral Peary not Perry. Admiral Robert Peary was the person who claimed to be first person at the geographic north pole. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Miyashita (talkcontribs) 01:49, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

WP:Japan Assessment Commentary[edit]

The article as assessed C-class for both WP: Japan & WP: Military History, for lack of sufficient in-line citations. Boneyard90 (talk) 06:58, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

How about the 'why'?[edit]

The article talks about what Perry did. However, I don't see a succinct paragraph explaining why, or on whose authority Perry took this action with naval forces of the Commander-in-Chief. I'd like some explanation in the article. Was Japan or some of its people menacing passing ships going to China, Korea, Hong Kong, eastern Russia, etc.? Was there Japanese piracy? If not... if Japan was simply minding its own business, why did Perry or his superiors feel it necessary to poke their noses in and say, "C'mon you guys, open up here and let us in."? GBC (talk) 22:53, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

This is an excellent point. We Americans are given a version of this story that implies what Perry did was good and noble. I have read elsewhere that the motives of the US in doing this were perhaps not quite so noble. Can't remember where I read it; in fact I came here to see what I could find out about it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Open Door Policy?[edit]

The lead paragraph states: "He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 and is often associated with the Open Door Policy." I can't find anything in the article that supports his association with the Open Door Policy, and, after a bit of digging, it seems very dubious. The Open Door Policy article refers to issues and events related to China starting in about 1985; Perry is most closely associated with events in Japan in the 1850. Perhaps Perry's actions in Japan somehow got connected to the Open Door Policy four decades later, but neither this article, nor the Open Door Policy article, nor a quick Google search, provides any support for that. Rks13 (talk) 19:04, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Wrong Perry[edit]

Matthew Perry was not at the Battle of Lake Erie. His brother Oliver H Perry commanded and his younger brother Alexander was a midshipman on the Lawrence. (talk) 12:36, 10 September 2015 (UTC) William KoehleCite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). A Signal Victory by David Skaggs pg. 141.