Hachisuka Mochiaki’s Overseas Achievements
高須賀, 友里 徳島大学
松浦, 大樹 徳島大学
高木, 佳美 徳島大学
International Meter Convention
The Welcome Society
Hachisuka Mochiaki (1846-1918) was the last lord of the Awa (Tokushima) domain, and he became a successful businessman and a statesman after the Meiji Restoration. He went to the UK to study when he was 25 years old, and stayed there for seven years, during which he graduated from college at the Balliol College, University of Oxford. Three years after returning to Japan, he was appointed to an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Japan in France (also serving as a minister in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium) and he stayed in Paris three years. Despite ten years of foreign life, little has been known about his overseas activities. In this study, we investigated his overseas activities using digital archives of European libraries, and could find information from British Newspaper Archive, Welsh Newspaper Online, and Gallica.
He began to attend public events in the UK after graduating from the Oxford University. He received in an audience by Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales in 1877 and 1878, and attended to parties hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also participated in the launching ceremony of three Japanese warships Kongo, Fuso, and Hiei in 1877.
He worked variously as a diplomat in Paris during 1884-1886. He signed three treaties, the Geneva Convention, the treaty on remittance by postal money order, and the International Meter Convention. Conpared with signing the Geneva Convention remaining two have not received much attention so far. In this study we found that he encouraged the Japanese government to join the International Meter Convention and negotiated with the Comité International des Poids et Mesures many times.
He organized Japanese exhibition at a museum to introduce Japanese culture to Parisians, and he contributed to the academic exchange between France and Japan with the Geographical Society. And he and his wife Yoriko participated in many social events, and they held parties, concerts and theaters in Paris and Brussels. Several French newspapers mentioned elegant behavior of his wife Yoriko at those parties. And
He focused on politics and business after returning to Japan, but also worked to promote exchange with foreign countries. In particular, he established the Welcome Society, which was the first organization in Japan for attracting and accommodating foreign tourists, with other of founders, and became the chairman of the organization. His abundant overseas experience and wide-ranging personal connections helped to establish this association.
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