HMS Steam-Powered Battleship Medusa Opening the Shimonoseki Straits, jonkheer Jacob Eduard van Heemskerck van Beest, 1864
Around 1860 Japan was in turmoil about whether or not the country should engage in trade with the West. In 1863 insurgents – advocates of an isolationist policy – fired on western vessels, including the Dutch warship Medusa, in the Shimonoseki Straits. In retaliation, the western allies mounted a military expedition to end the blockade. The Netherlands once again deployed HMS Medusa for this mission.