Fast as an Arrow: Western-Style Sailing and Ezochi Colonization in the Bakumatsu Era

Event time: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Henry R. Luce Hall LUCE, 203 See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Maren Ehlers - Visiting Associate Professor in East Asian Studies, Yale University
Event description: 

After the arrival of the “Black Ships” in 1853/54, the Tokugawa shogunate lifted its longstanding ban on the construction of ocean-going vessels and encouraged the domestic construction of western-style sailing and steam ships. Modern ships were needed not just for defense and the assertion of prestige, but also to improve trade and communications. This talk looks at the implications of Ezochi colonization for Japanese shipbuilding and navigation through the lens of the domain-operated schooner Ōnomaru and other similar ships. It discusses how the Ōnomaru became a “flagship” of reform, a commercial trading vessel, a training ground for samurai, and a site where foreign technical knowledge met local sailing expertise.

Maren Ehlers is Associate Professor of History at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Visiting Associate Professor of East Asian Studies at Yale University.