At a time when most men were contemplating a leisurely well-earned retirement, American Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, accepted the most challenging assignment of his long and successful Naval career. Ordered to the Capitol by President Millard Fillmore, Perry was politely informed that a board of fellow Naval officers had nominated him to lead a provocative expedition to the barbarian land of Japan. Once there, Perry was to find a way to open trade with the mysteriously aloof Japanese. A younger brother of the famed hero of the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry, Matthew well knew that the Japanese had refused to allow any significant commerce with their island nation for well over 250-yrs. Foreigners were simply unwelcome in this land of Lotus blossoms and bombastic samurai warriors. Even accidentally shipwrecked sailors were met with unwanted cruelty and hatred that saw them tortured and imprisoned with absolutely no provocation.
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