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First Japanese diplomatic mission to the United States arrives in Panama enroute to Washington, D.C.

Japanese Mission to the United States, May 1860
The first diplomatic mission to the United States left Japan on February 22, 1860 with a seventy-four person staff aboard the USS Powhatan.  After an eight day stay in San Francisco, the group left aboard the same warship to continue its journey to Washington, D.C. via the Panama route. On the trip across the isthmus, the party rode on a railway train for the first time in their lives. The embassy arrived in Washington, D.C. on May 14, 1860 and concluded its four month visit the following month. (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Chitoshi Yanaga, "The First Japanese Embassy to the United States," in Ellis S. Krauss and Benjamin Nyblade (eds.), Japan and North America: First Contacts to the Pacific War (New York: Routledge, 2004), 43-44.