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It was in Shimoda that a fleet of American warships led by Commander Perry forced Japan, under threat of cannon fire, to open up to the West in 1854. The feudal regime of the shoguns did not survive the change and for three years the Zen Gyokusen Temple served as the first American consulate in Japan. A small museum commemorates this tumultuous period in history by displaying personal items of Consul General Harris as well as touching daguerrotypes.


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