The following February Perry returned. With his ships close inshore where the Japanese could clearly see them, he again went ashore amid much pomp and circumstance. Having effectively played the show-of-force card, Perry understood the importance of allowing the Japanese to save face and now settled into a lengthy process of negotiations. As part of that process it was customary to exchange gifts, and the differences in the respective cultures were evident in what was exchanged. For their part, the Japanese gave the Americans gold-lacquered furniture and boxes, bronze ornaments, delicate porcelain goblets, and a collection of seashells. In turn, the Americans gave firearms, 100 gallons of whiskey, farm implements, clocks, stoves, a telegraph, and a one-fourth scale train, complete with track, locomotive, coal tender, and coach. The track was laid down, and soon Japanese dignitaries were rolling around the oval at 20 miles per hour, their ceremonial robes trailing in the wind.
As the negotiations progressed, the Japanese agreed to properly assist castaways and offered two sites as coaling stations. Still reluctant to agree to trade with the outside world, they compromised by accepting an American consul, which Perry correctly surmised would serve as a catalyst to further negotiations, eventually opening the door to trade.
Perry’s ability to blend implied power with diplomatic skills bore fruit on 31 March 1854, when the Japanese signed the Treaty of Kanagawa. Japan entered the modern world, creating new trade opportunities while opening a Pandora’s Box that would lead to cataclysm in less than a century, when Japanese planes arrived shortly after the rising sun at Pearl Harbor.