HNLMS Steam Warship Medusa Forcing Passage through the Shimonoseki Strait, jonkheer Jacob Eduard van Heemskerck van Beest, 1864
Around 1860 violent disagreement erupted in Japan over whether the country should open itself up to the West. In 1863 insurgents – champions of the centuries-old policy of isolationism – opened fire on Western ships in the Shimoneseki Strait, including the Dutch steam warship Medusa. Western countries then joined forces to end the blockade of the strait. The Netherlands redeployed the Medusa for this mission.