'Tozenji, Yedo. (Residence of Sir R. Alcock)' [Tokyo, Japan]
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. The temple became famous for an incident on 5 July 1861 in which the legation suffered an attack by a group of anti-western samurai connected with the Mito fiefdom. This was repulsed by Alcock's staff but sword nicks, and bullet holes from the British defence, are still visible on the former legation building. This drawing appears to show the temple's 'sanmon', or ceremonially most significant gate, usually lying within the outer perimeter. It no longer exists but the Museum has yet to confirm whether it was destroyed by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, Second World War air raids of spring 1945, or another cause.
Lt. James Henry Butt
Original size: 170 mm x 247 mm
- Image reference: PT2060
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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