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Yevfimy Putyatin

Putyatin in Nagasaki, 1853.

Yevfimy Vasilyevich Putyatin (Russian: Евфи́мий Васи́льевич Путя́тин) (November 8, 1803 – October 16, 1883) was a Russian admiral noted for his diplomatic missions to Japan and China which resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Shimoda in 1855.

Early life

Yevfimy Putyatin was amongst the crew that sailed around the world with Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev (1822–1825). and participated in the Caucasian War (1838–1839). In 1842 he led an armed diplomatic mission to Iran, which secured diplomatic relations, trade relations and steamer communication between the two countries.

Japan expedition (1853)

Pallada in Nagasaki, 1854 Japanese painting.

Japan's first steam engine, manufactured in 1853 by Hisashige Tanaka

He led a Russian expedition to open Japan to trade, which went to England, Africa and Japan and back to Russia from 1852 to 1855, on board the frigate Pallada, commanded by Admiral Ivan Unkovsky. These efforts culminated in the signing of a commercial treaty between Russia and Japan in 1855.

He arrived in Nagasaki on August 12, 1853, just one month after the first visit of Commodore Perry. Putyatin made a demonstration of a steam engine on his ship the Pallada, which led to Japan's first manufacture of a steam engine the same year under the direction of Hisashige Tanaka.

In his expedition, Putyatin was accompanied by Alexander Mozhaysky and a secretary, the writer Ivan Goncharov, who wrote a travelogue, The Frigate Pallada (The Frigate Pallas), published in 1858 ("Pallada" is the Russian spelling of "Pallas").

Siege of Petropavlovsk

Following his participation in the 1854 Siege of Petropavlovsk, he returned to Russia where he changed the Pallada for its newly built sister ship the Diana.

Japan expedition (1854)

The sinking of Diana, Illustrated London News, 1856.

Putyatin negotiated the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and Russia ("Treaty of Shimoda"), 7 February 1855.

He returned to Japan in October 1854 to continue the negotiations, landing at Shimoda. Negotiations were under way when the Diana was hit by the tsunami associated with the 1854 Ansei-Tōkai earthquake. Despite this the negotiations were successfully concluded on January 26, 1855, with the signing of the Shimoda Treaty.[1] Putyatin's flagship Diana, which had been badly damaged, was on its way to Heda to carry out repairs, when it was sunk in a storm. Putyatin and the survivors continued to Heda, where they began to construct a new ship, christened Heda, with the help of the local people.[2] The Heda, a 25 m schooner, was launched on May 10, 1855 and carried Putyatin back to Russia, where he was made a count in recognition of his successful trip.


After the end of the Crimean War, he was sent to London as a naval attaché.

In February 1857 he was appointed plenipotentiary to China and set out from St Petersburg in March of that year, and had a role in the Amur Annexation.

See also

  • Relations between the Empire of Japan and the Russian Empire


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