Arrival of the "Black Ships"

In 1853, Perry's squadron arrived at Uraga with a message from the U.S. President demanding the opening of Japan. The news of the arrival of the "black ship" spread throughout the country, and government officials as well as crowds of people gathered to see the fleet. The shogunate accepted the letter, but requested that they wait for their response until the following year. During the year, the shogunate sought opinions from the daimyo and hatamoto as to how they should respond when Perry returned. In the meantime, they carried out political reforms and appointed new persons of talent such as Kawaji Toshiakira and Katsu Kaishu. The shogunate also built a battery on the Edo Bay in order to strengthen coastal defense.
Perry returned to Uraga on 1854 to receive the response to the president's letter, this time with seven battle ships. He firmly demanded that Japan sign the treaty with the United States. The shogunate gave up on seeking any more extensions, and after meeting with Perry and his men who landed in Yokohama, signed the Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States and Japan. In this way, the shogunate shifted its policy from seclusion to open doors.