The first known game of shogi in America took place in June of 1860 at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Japan had recently ended its 250 years of isolation, and sent a mission to the USA to ratify the Treaty of Friendship.
As part of the diplomatic mission’s visit to Philadelphia, members of the delegation visited the Athenaeum. The Athenaeum (located at 219 South 6th Street between St. James Place and Locust Street) was a 15-year-old library that housed the largest chess club in Philadelphia. The delegation explained the rules of shogi to the chess club members and held an exhibition match during the same visit.