Foreign Footsteps in Yokohama – When Japan’s dance with the rest of the world began

Education, General, Japan, People | 19 Aug 2012

My wife Tomoko Kamishima, writing for Japan Tourist (, has begun an intriguing series that she calls Foreign Footsteps in Yokohama.

The concept is to go back in history, to the time after Commodore Perry’s black ships nudged Japan into opening her doors to the rest of the world in 1854.

After the floodgates were open, people from all over the globe came to Japan to do business, spread the word of God, and to help Japan engineer a new and modern infrastructure.

The series introduces more than 20 key people that had a strong and lasting influence on Japan. And in fact, remnants of their influences still exist in one form or another today. It makes for a very good read. Here are a few of the interesting people she introduces.


Antonin Raymond – Czech/American


Antonin Raymond

Antonin Raymond

Saly Weil – Swiss


Saly Weil

Saly Weil


Engelbert Kaempfer – German


Engelbert Kaempfer

Engelbert Kaempfer


Samuel Cocking-Irish


Samuel Cocking

Samuel Cocking


Isabella Bird-British

Travel Writer & Adventurer

Isabella Bird

Isabella Bird



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One Comment

  • This is an interesting series! Thank you so much! I love researching and reading about Japan’s history :)
    Please also say thanks to your wife for writing this!

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About Me!

Born on Long Island, New York in 1958, Larry Knipfing has spent the last 30+ years of his life living in Japan, and loving every minute of it! Kamakura, and now Yokohama both in Kanagawa Prefecture, have been his home for almost twenty years, and are the perfect places to be: hilly, situated on the water, and with amazing histories.

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