Odaiba (Gun Battery)
“Odaiba” meaning gun battery was built in 1853 by Tokugawa Shogunate off shore of Shinagawa, for arrival of Black Ships known by Commodore Matthew Perry. In 1852, Perry was assigned a mission by American President Millard Fillmore to force the opening of Japanese ports to American trade, through the use of gunboat diplomacy if necessary. On
November 24, 1852, Perry embarked from Norfolk, Virginia for Japan. By taking route of Atlantic Ocean, Indian Sea, and Eastern China Sea, Perry finally reached Uraga at the entrance to Edo Bay (now Tokyo Bay) in Japan on July 8, 1853. This time, Perry demonstrated the enoumous power of Black Ships by firing blank shots from his 73 cannons. By his astonished pressure, Tokugawa Shogunate accepted the letter from Americans and the second visit of Perry in 1853 for the Japanese reply. Tokugawa Shogunate immediately started project to reclaim six areas and make fortifications in Edo Bay for putting gun batteries to protect Edo Town from attack by the black ships. On his second visit to Japan in March 1854, the first gun battery at Shinagawa was already completed, so that the 10 black ships with 1,600 men were anchored near Kanagawa, far from the gun batteries. Although the six “Odaiba” were built for 8 months, the guns installed were never used because Japan opened the country peacefully along with agreement titled “Treaty of Friendship Commerce and Navigation between Japan and the United States of America”.