|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: Count de Montblanc and the 1865 Satsuma Mission to Europe
Author(s): VANDE WALLE, W.
Journal: Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica
Volume: 27 Date: 1997
Le Comte des Cantons Charles de Montblanc (1833-1894) has come down in history as a controversial figure, to say the least. Some have considered him a far-sighted man, others have branded him a charlatan, others yet have described him as an “aristocratic adventurer”. To his credit, one may point out the role he played as an intermediary at the negotiations in Paris of the Bakufu Embassy headed by Ikeda Nagaoki (Bunkyû 03/12/29 – Genji 01/07/18, 1864), the second mission the Bakufu sent to Europe, as well as his contributions to the world of learning. He stayed in Japan twice, styled himself Shiroyama-haku and, according to popular tradition, had a concubine named Furansu Omasa, a juicy detail that adds to the colourful image tradition has made of him. In his days he was counted among the Japan buffs, a rare breed in Europe, and at one point maintained close contacts with the center of power, the Bakufu.