p. 141. Japan's encounter with the modern world
- Christopher Goto-Jones
‘Japan's encounter with the modern world’ tackles Japan's simultaneous encounter with the Western world, and with modern ideas and social forces. The arrival of Commodore Perry meant the opening of Japan to foreign trade, with unfavourable conditions. Japan had a fairly integrated national identity, and economic and social stagnation since the mid-18th century had led to questioning of traditional social values. Shogunate rule in combination with the religious authority of the emperor had long been a source of tension. After the catalyst of Perry's arrival, the shogunate lost control of the provinces and the emperor, leading to the restoration of the emperor and the fall of the shogunate.