Japan-US Treaty of Amity
In 1854 US Commodore M.C.Perry and the representatives of Tokugawa Government of Japan signed the amity treaty which provided for the opening of the Shimoda port to American Ships. Japan abandoned the isolation policy which prohibited the contact with foreigners. Shimoda became the first town in Japan which allowed the foreigners to enter.
Negotiation was continued between Perry and Japanese officials at Ryosenji. Ryosenji was founded in 1635 by the Tokugawa government and used as a guesthouse of the government. When Perry came to Shimoda, the Tokugawa government used Ryosenji for negotiation with the American officials. Japan-US treaty was concluded, stipulating the details of the usage of the port by Americans. Americans were officially allowed to walk freely in Shimoda and communicate with the people. Grass-roots communication between Americans and Japanese were officially allowed in Shimoda for the first time in Japanese history. Ryosenji is now called “the Hall of Openning the Nation.”
Ryosenji is famous for its rich collection of Blackship artifacts. The theme of the collection is “Cross-cultural Communication for the Japanese: Image of Japan in foreign countries and the image of foreign people conceived by Japanese.” Picture scrolls, paintings, prints, maps and other original historical artifacts show the interesting encounters of Japanese and foreign people between the 16th century to the 19th century.
MoBS -The Museum of Black Ship-
Picture scrolls, paintings, prints, maps and other antique artifacts depicting Perry, Blackships and cross-cultural encounters of Japanese from 16th centuryto 19th century. Ryosenji Treasure Museum houses the largest collection of Perry and Blackship in Japan which consists of more than 3000 original artifacts.
Narrative of the Black Ship
Historical Narrative by the priest of Ryosenji
Using the photos of the artifacts of the Ryosenji Black Ship collection, the priest gives a narrative of Black Ship and inter-course between Japanese and foreigners from 16th century to 19th century. Incorrect shape of Japan in the maps painted by the Europian artists, terrifying figures of the foreigners painted by the Japanese artists, and intercourse between thecrews of the Perry squadron and Shimoda people show the difficulties and importance of the cross-cultural communication.
Admission: 1000 yen per person
Minimun number of application: 5 persons.
Application in advance is recommended.
Sermon “Living Buddhism”
Temple is a place of communication. Communication in daily lives requires from us to make a decision and start the action immediately. Ryosenji provides an opportunity for foreign people traveling or living in Japan who want to know religious traditions, community customs, communication manners and value structures in Japan.
Through the communication with the priest of Ryosenji, you will find a clue to what has been handed down from generation to generation and what is happening in Japan.
Appointment is recommended.
Donation is appreciated.
Event01Jasmin flower festival
from May 11 to May 31
In May the whole temple yard of Ryosenji is suffused with the intoxicating fragrance of Jasmin flowers.
Jasmin flower festival is held in Ryosenji from May 11 to May 31.
Event02Shimoda Blackship Festival
the third weekend in May
Travel back to the Samurai days when Perry came to Shimoda! Shimoda becomes an amusement park filled with Samurai warriors and merchants of the 19thcentury Japan.
You may participate in the festival wearing Japanese traditional costume.Drama “Encounter with Americans” is performed at Ryosenji.
For more information, please make contact with Ryosenji.
A 10-minute walk from Izukyu Shimoda Station.
3-12-12, Shichikencho, Shimoda-shi, Shizuoka 415-0023, Japan (GoogleMap)