The First Foreigner to Scale Mt. Fuji 富士山 に 最初 に 登った外国人

At the Great London Exposition world’s fair held in 1862, items such as Japanese lacquerware, cloisonné enamel, swords and brocade pictures were on display.


Many visitors went away with the impression that Japan was a country of exceptional beauty.

Though it was a good opportunity for Japan to strengthen its international reputation, these objects had not been sent over by the Japanese government.
日本の国際的評価を高める絶好の機会となりました が、これらの美術品は日本から出品されたものではありませんでした。

They were provided by Sir Rutherford Alcock, who was then the British consul general to Japan, because Japan’s political system was in an unstable state at the time.
それらを提供したのは、イギリス日本総領事のラザフォード・オ ールコックでした。当時は日本の政情が不安定だったからです。

Alcock came to Japan in 1859.
オールコックは1859年に日本へ やってきました。

Soon after arriving, he was troubled by the sharp looks given to him by samurai.
すぐに、自分に向けられる武士の鋭いまなざし に困惑します。

Their gaze seemed to reveal an open hostility.

He also found government officials arrogant and uncooperative.
役人は横柄で、 協力的でないことにも気づきます。

He viewed the Japanese as barbarians who didn’t know the first thing about good manners.

Under the Japan-Britain Trade Treaty, British were allowed to travel around Japan freely.

It was Alcock’s duty to ensure the treaty was upheld.

He decided to test its bounds by climbing Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji.

The shogunite, however, was reluctant to grant permission, saying that Mt. Fuji was a sacred spot.

The authorities had good reason to act this way.

At that time strong Western nations were competing to secure colonies in Asia.

This was just after Britain had snatched Hong Kong from China in the Opium Wars.
Japan had recently opened its doors to the world after a long period of isolation.

The country was on the alert for foreign invasion.

But Alcock at last obtained a permit in 1860 and started towards Mt. Fuji accompanied by British attaches, government officials and his beloved dog, Toby.

On the way, he noticed that the way people looked at him was different from the way he’d been regarded by samurai.

Their eyes were full of friendly curiosity.

After a tough climb, Alcock finally reached the summit of Mt. Fuji.

He was extremely moved by the beauty of the view which stretched all the way to the sea.

Later, he wrote a book titled “The Capital of the Tycoon,” in which he devoted many pages to describing the dignity of Mt. Fuji.

According to records, he was the first foreigner to climb Mt. Fuji.

On the way back, Alcock was shocked by the sudden death of Toby.
帰り道 、トビーの突然の死でオールコックはシしョックを受 けます。

The villagers gathered for a funeral, even going so far as to make a tomb for the dog.

He was very impressed by the kindness of the Japanese.

Unfortunately, the following year a group of samurai stormed the British Embassy.
運悪く、翌年に武士の一団がイギリス公使館を襲いました 。

Though the British government criticized Japan for this act, Alcock defended the country saying, “Japan is only a boat that has just
sailed out to the ocean.”

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