CASEMBROOT, François de (1817-1895)
De Medusa in de wateren van Japan, in 1863 en 1864.
s’Gravenhage : de gebroeders van Cleef, 1865. First edition. Octavo, later half cloth over marbled papered boards (rubbed), new endpapers, pp xii, , 150, with 5 folding tinted lithographed maps at rear; lacking the original wrappers; clean throughout, the maps with occasional short edge tears and browning; a good copy, housed in a morocco and cloth slipcase with gilt lettered morocco title label.
Rare first edition account by the commander of the Dutch corvette Medusa, of the battle in the Strait of Shimonoseki between the Medusa and the ships and naval batteries of the daimyo of Chôshû.
On July 11 1863, en route to Yokohama, the Medusa was passing through the Strait of Shimonoseki at the entrance to the Inland Sea when she was attacked by the Japanese forces of Mori Takachika, daimyo of Chôshû. During this action four members of the Dutch crew were killed. This act of aggression on the part of the Chôshû was the culmination of a number of circumstances which had arisen in the wake of the end of isolationism; specifically it was sparked by the signing of the various Ansei Treaties – trade agreements with European powers which were deemed unequal in many quarters in Japan – and by the new official policy of welcoming foreigners.
The following year Dutch, French, British and American vessels would wage a military campaign against the Chôshû in retaliation for their hostility towards Western interests, with the Medusa taking part in the bombardment of Shimonoseki in September 1864.
Cordier, Japonica, 579