A lithograph in the Narrative depicting a Buddhist funeral procession in Shimoda...
...has a counterpart in a Japanese sketch of the American funeral
procession for marine private Robert Williams, who died of illness during Perry’s second visit. 
So great was the impression left by the death of Private Williams that the famous “Black Ship Scroll” painted in Shimoda in 1854 included a drawing of the inscription on his tombstone.
In all, four Americans with the Perry mission died and were buried in Japan.  One of Heine’s most
evocative illustrations depicts Americans and Japanese at a burial ceremony in a hillside cemetery in Shimoda.  The American fleet is visible at anchor in the harbor.
A rare 1855 daguerreotype captured the four American graves in Shimoda (still there today).  The photograph—evocative in its own way—highlights the romanticism of Heine’s vision.
Photographing a Courtesan
Death, as it happened, became an occasion for unanticipated expressions of mutual respect.  

When several of Perry’s crew died while in Japan, the Japanese not only agreed to allow the deceased to be buried on Japanese soil, but also had Buddhist priests participate in the funeral service.  The respect the Americans
  showed to the dead clearly helped weaken the Japanese stereotypes of Americans as “southern barbarians” and “foreign devils.”

At the same time, the American tolerance of Buddhist participation in the rites of interment offers a striking contrast to more invidious popular evocations of the Japanese as “heathen.”
William Heine: Japanese funeral in Shimoda and 1854 rendering of the harbor at Shimoda “from the American Grave Yard” (detail) from the official Narrative.
Funeral procession of Private Williams, by Tohohata (Osuke), 1854 Shiryo Hensanjo, University of Tokyo.
Inscription from Robert Williams’s gravestone in the 1854 “Black Ship Scroll,” Honolulu Academy of Art.
Four American gravestones in the cemetery of Gyokusenji temple in Shimoda, daguerreotype attributed to Edward Kern, ca. 1855, George Eastman House.

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Black Ships & Samurai © 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A project of professors John W. Dower & Shigeru Miyagawa
Design and production by Ellen Sebring, Scott Shunk, and Andrew Burstein
Black Ships & Samurai II Encounters: Facing East Encounters: Facing West Black Ships: Facing East Black Ships: Facing West Portraits: Facing East Portraits: Facing West Gravestone Courtesan The Black Ship Scroll