For his visit on shore Perry departed from his vessel at 9 am and landed at a small village called Tumai which was about 2 miles from the palace of Shuri. Before Perry's arrival, some US marine already had been waiting near the shore under arms and in line. There was the band of the Mississippi and a company of marines. These two formation accompanied Perry who was sitting in a sedan chair.1 Following Perry were six coolies bearing the presents designated for the prince and queen dowager. Next followed was the band of the Susquehanna, with another company of marines. The whole possession consisted of some 200 men. The natives gathered on the road sides to watch this novelty. En route Perry was suggested to visit only the regent's house instead of the palace but the suggestion was rejected. Finally, after passing through the outer court of the palace, Perry was conducted into the hall of audience. He was offered a seat at the head of the room, his officers were also seated on a single line on the right hand side, next to Perry according to rank. On the left hand side, there was the regent sitting, with his three principal councillors. The interpreters stood at the the head of the room, near Perry.2 Both the queen dowager and the boy prince did not made their appearance. Cups of weak tea were presented to the guests and smoking boxes were distributed. In view of the simple reception offered here, it was evident that no formal ceremony was intended to take place here. On the spot, Perry invited the regent and his three colleagues to visit him on board the Susquehanna. After staying in the palace for about an hour, Perry was invited to visit the regent's house. It was obvious that the most hospitable preparation had been arranged for the US visitors there. (to be continued)
1. Perry, Matthew Calbraith ed. by Sidney Wallach. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. NY: Coward-McCann, 1952, page 26.
2. Ibid., page 29.