The Port of Uraga: Feudal Japan's Gateway to the World
The maritime cultural landscape of Japanese ports
Human interaction with birds of prey in prehistory and history
Underwater cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific region
Pacific island networks and maritime seascapes
The archaeology of Edo period domestic and international maritime trade
My research is aimed at elucidating the reasons for the development of the port of Uraga as well as understanding how it came into its own with respect to its later utilisation and even decline. The data suggests that maritime development in Uraga can be seen as early as the Jomon period, that the establishment of Uraga as a commercial and later diplomatic choke point with Spain was initiated and managed by William Adams in the early seventeenth century under the auspices of Tokugawa Ieyasu, and that subsequent utilisation of the port as a point of tightly regulated entry to Edo bay was the normal and most frequent form of use domestically as well until the end of the Edo period. Until American Matthew C. Perry implemented gunboat diplomacy to force Japan out of isolation in the 1850s, Uraga had been a port with both commercial and military significance on a domestic level arguably for the duration of the Edo period (1603-1868). It’s international importance, however, shows a considerable peak in the initial years of the period (1603-1638), with a flourishing trade with Spain. Both with trade and diplomacy, Uraga showed an inflow of foreign culture and trade as well becoming a springboard for Japanese culture throughout the Pacific Rim, integrating even an isolated Japan into world history.