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Meiji 12 (明治十二年)
Timeline of 1879
Visit of Ulysses S. Grant to Japan
- 1879/1/18 Foreign Minister Terajima Munenori suggests to Sanjô Sanetomi that Grant should be received as though he were a royal prince. The suggestion gets immediate approval.
- 1879/4/18 Renovation efforts under the direction of Inoue Kaoru, Minister of Public Works, transforming the Enryôkan into a suitable Western-style accommodation for Grant and his party are completed.
- 1879/5/27-31 Ulysses S. Grant meets with Li Hongzhang in Tianjin.
- 1879/5/30 Prince Henry of Prussia stops at Tokyo while on a world tour, arriving coincidentally on the occasion of a ball organized by Sir Harry Parkes in honor of the birthday of the Prince's grandmother, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
- 1879/6/5-8 Grant meets with Prince Kung and agrees to mediate in the dispute over the Ryukyus.
- 1879/6/15 Grant boards the USS Richmond and departs China from Tianjin.
- 1879/6/21 Grant arrives in Nagasaki harbor aboard the USS Richmond, accompanied by his wife and son, and John Russell Young, a New York Herald reporter who is represented to the Japanese as Grant's secretary.
- 1879/6/26 Grant's party departs Nagasaki for Yokohama, aboard the Richmond.
- 1879/7/3 Grant's party arrives in Yokohama, and is welcomed by a number of officials including Iwakura Tomomi. They travel to Tokyo by train.
- 1879/7/4 Grant is granted an audience with Emperor Meiji, and celebrates Independence Day with Americans resident in Japan.
- 1879/7/8 Grant views a performance of Noh; he and his wife are the first Westerners to be the guests of honor at a "popular reception ... by the Japanese populace."
- 1879/7/16 Grant is treated to a performance of the kabuki play Gosannen Ôshû Gunki at the Shintomi-za, relating events in the life of Minamoto no Yoshiie, as a metaphorical reference to events in the life of Grant himself.
- 1879/7/17 Grant's party arrives in Nikkô.
- 1879/7/22 A conference is held in Nikkô to discuss the matter of sovereignty over Ryûkyû.
- 1879/7/31 Grant's party returns to Tokyo from Nikkô.
- 1879/8/10 Grant meets with Emperor Meiji and discusses the Ryûkyû issue.
- 1879/8/13 Grant composes a formal letter to Iwakura Tomomi and Prince Kung, suggesting that the two countries appoint representatives to enter into negotiations, and that no foreign power be invited into the discussions.
- 1879/8/25 A grand festival is organized at Ueno Park in Grant's honor.
- 1879/8/30 Grant delivers a formal farewell address, the only speech he gave in Japan which was prepared ahead of time.
- 1879/9/3 Grant and his party depart Japan aboard the American ship City of Tokio.
- 1879/1/8 Matsuda Michiyuki leaves Tokyo for Naha.
- 1879/1/25 Matsuda arrives in Naha.
- 1879/1/26 Matsuda presents to Prince Nakijin a missive from the Prime Minister reproaching Ryûkyû for breaking the prohibition imposed by Japan on sending diplomatic missions to China, and for obstructing the implementation of Japanese law enforcement and criminal administration in the islands.
- 1879/2 Peking urges Tokyo to not annex Ryûkyû as a prefecture.
- 1879/3/date unclear Shô Tai vacates Shuri castle, taking up residence at Nakagusuku udun.
- 1879/3/3 Kinashi Seiichirô is named Acting Governor of the not yet established Okinawa Prefecture.
- 1879/3/8 Matsuda Michiyuki receives an official appointment to return once again to Ryûkyû.
- 1879/3/11 Matsuda receives his official orders from the Prime Minister.
- 1879/3/12 Matsuda leaves for Ryûkyû aboard a steamship from Yokohama, accompanied by 32 Interior Ministry officers and 160 military police.
- 1879/3/25 Matsuda arrives at Naha, having picked up 400 Kumamoto Garrison soldiers at Kagoshima.
- 1879/3/27 Matsuda Michiyuki presents to Prince Nakijin the official order from Tokyo dissolving the Kingdom of Ryûkyû, and annexing its territory into Japan as Okinawa Prefecture. King Shô Tai is to be granted the title of Marquis, assimilated into the new Japanese peerage, and removed to Tokyo. Shô Tai is given until March 31 to vacate the castle.
- 1879/3/30 Shuri castle is occupied by members of the Kumamoto Garrison.
- 1879/4 Shishido Tamaki takes up his post as Japanese ambassador to China.
- 1879/4/13 Tominokôji Takanao arrives in Naha on orders from the emperor, accompanied by thirty police officers. Tominokôji meets with the king in his sickbed, inquiring as to his health and urging the king to leave for Tokyo; the ship Meiji-maru is to be provided for this purpose.
- 1879/4/14 Matsuda urges court officials to persuade the king to agree to leave for Tokyo. Matsuda refuses any postponement or delay.
- 1879/4/15 The king's younger brother Shô Hitsu, along with more than 20 court officials, beg that the king's journey to Tokyo be postponed for four or five months on account of his illness, and offer that a royal prince might go in his place, as a hostage. Matsuda refuses.
- 1879/4/16 Roughly 150 court officials ask that the king's departure for Tokyo be postponed by ninety days. Matsuda refuses, and indicates the king's departure is to be scheduled for the 18th.
- 1879/4/17 Court officials convince Matsuda to delay the king's departure so that the king has an opportunity to speak to the people of the former kingdom, to reassure them and to admonish them to continue orderly life despite the political changes.
- 1879/4/19 Crown Prince Shô Ten leaves for Tokyo aboard the Meiji-maru alongside imperial envoy Tominokôji Takanao.
- 1879/5/1 The Meiji-maru reaches port at Yokohama.
- 1879/5/5 The Meiji Emperor grants an audience to Crown Prince Shô Ten and five members of his entourage. The prince presents gifts to the emperor and empress and requests that his father's journey to Tokyo be postponed. The emperor rejects the request.
- 1879/5/5 Sagara Nagaoki and physician Takashina Tsunenori depart for Okinawa.
- 1879/5/10 Prince Kung of the Qing Empire sends a letter to Tokyo formally protesting against the imposition of Japanese administration in the Ryûkyû Kingdom, an independent and sovereign country with which the Qing Empire has signed treaties and maintains formal diplomatic relations.
- 1879/5/18 Sagara and Takashina arrive in Shuri. Takashina examines King Shô Tai and diagnoses his illness.
- 1879/5/18 Nabeshima Naoyoshi arrives in Okinawa and becomes the first Governor of the prefecture.
- 1879/5/27 Shô Tai departs Ryûkyû for Tokyo along with Prince Shô In and 96 courtiers.
- 1879/6/8 Shô Tai and his party make port in Yokohama.
- 1879/6/9 Shô Tai and his party journey to Tokyo and enter the residence provided to him by the Imperial Household Ministry.
- 1879/6/11 Shô Tai is given an audience with the Meiji Emperor.
- 1879/6/17 Shô Tai and Shô Ten are given an audience with the Meiji Emperor. Shô Tai is named to the Junior Third Rank and Shô Ten to the Junior Fifth Rank.
- 1879/6 Shô Tai informs the Chinese authorities in Tientsin of the abolition of the kingdom and creation of Okinawa Prefecture, and requests Chinese intervention.
- 1879/7/8 US Secretary of State William M. Evarts offers that the US will agree to China's request for official US mediation in the Ryûkyû dispute should a similar request be made by Japan; the latter never occurred.
- 1879/9/20 China proposes that representatives be appointed in order to enter into negotiations over the issue of sovereignty over Ryûkyû.
- 1879/12/1 US President Rutherford B. Hayes mentions the Ryûkyû dispute in Congress.
Other Events of 1879
- William Anderson presents at the Asiatic Society of Japan a paper on "The History of Japanese Art," inspiring Ernest Fenollosa, who is in attendance.
- The Music Study Committee (Ongaku torishirabe-gakari), the first school of music to be sponsored by the Meiji government, is founded. It is later renamed Tokyo Music School (Tôkyô ongaku gakkô).
- A memorial erected at the Mii-dera to commemorate those from the Ninth Regiment who died in the suppression of the Satsuma Rebellion is the first modern-style "memorial stele" (kinen hi) erected in the country.
- Edward Sylvester Morse ends his tenure at the Tokyo Imperial University and returns to the US.
- The Ryûchi-kai art association is founded; the first Exhibition of Old Art (Kanko bijutsukai) is held.
Births and Deaths of 1879
- 31 August - Emperor Taishô is born. (d. 1926)
- 2 September - An Jung-geun, future assassin of Itô Hirobumi is born (d. 1910).
- Kimono dealer Kawashima Jinbei I dies (b. 1819).
- Artist Kikuchi Yôsai dies (b. 1788).
- Nagai Kafû is born (d. 1959).
- Torii Shinjirô, founder of Suntory, is born (d. 1962).