Each Power feared that China would be gobbled up by a rival, or that at least a partition of the vast Chinese Empire was at hand. Consequently, when China was beaten in her war with Japan, and made the unfavourable treaty of Shimonoseki, the European Powers were ready to appear as helpers in time of need.
Meanwhile, these two countries, and, more lately, Germany as well, have secured for themselves solid advantages. Japan, on her part, since she was compelled to submit to a revision of the Shimonoseki treaty, has been watching silently and preparing anxiously for eventualities.
It tried to effect by diplomacy what it could not accomplish by force; but while it was negotiating for the withdrawal of the foreign' settlers, matters were suddenly forced to a crisis by the Prince of Choshu, who fired upon various ships belonging to the foreign powers. This action provoked the bombardment of Shimonoseki, and the demand of an indemnity of three million dollars.
It was nine years before the bill of exchange issued at Shimonoseki was presented on that February night in the roads of Port Arthur; for nine years the Japanese had kept silence and thought about it, had drilled and armed their soldiers, built ships and instructed their crews.
I am very glad indeed to accept their hospitality for to-morrow, as well as to avail myself of an opportunity to get my proper bearings. Nothing in the way of a reliable map or itinerary of the road I have been traversing from Shimonoseki was to be obtained at Nagasaki, and I have travelled with but the vaguest idea of my whereabouts from day to day.
With the millions paid by China as war indemnity, Japan procured a new military armament, built an armored fleet and slowly but surely taught the nation to prepare for the hour of revenge. Remember Shimonoseki! That was the secret shibboleth, the free-mason's sign, which for nine long years kept the thoughts of the Japanese people continually centered on one object.
He halted for a time in the province of Suwo, and finally, in March, 1185, five months after moving out of Harima, he contrived to transfer the main part of his force across Shimonoseki Strait and to marshall them in Bungo in the north of Kyushu. Evidently, in such conditions, no advance into Kyushu could be made by Noriyori without inviting capital risks.
This injunction was issued in 1280, and already steps had been taken to construct defensive works at all places where the Mongols might effect a landing at Hakozaki Bay in Kyushu; at Nagato, on the northern side of the Shimonoseki Strait; at Harima, on the southern shore of the Inland Sea; and at Tsuruga, on the northwest of the main island.
However, not being an imperial Samaari but a home loving, family loving American, I shall miss not hearing very much, and not being able to tell you all how I love you. DALNY, July 27th, 1904. DEAR MOTHER: We left Shimonoseki three days ago and have had very pleasant going on the Heijo Maru a small but well run ship of 1,500 tons.
This political coup failed signally, and from that time the ardent advocates of the anti-foreign policy began to be regarded as rebels. Just at this time the Shimonoseki expedition gave an object lesson to the nation, and helped to deprive the barbarian-expelling agitation of any semblance of Imperial sanction.