Meiji Restoration

Another key character in the drive towards modernizing Japan was the young emperor Meiji who reigned from 1868 until 1912, a time period called the Meiji Period or the Meiji Restoration. Meiji was able to convert the entire country of Japan from a feudal state into and industrialized world power in less than half a century. Policies such as the formation of a centralized beaurocracy replacing the balance of power between autonomous domains and the Tokugawa, and the military authority of the Samurai being replaced with a conscripted modern army were both assumed under Meijiís reign. Restrictions on residence and employment were abolished and a constitution was put into effect as a gift from the emperor to the people. Under it a constitutional monarchy was created with a bicameral legislature consisting of a house of peers and an elected lower house. Important and lasting policies were instated concerning Japanís national policy and attitudes towards such dealings. Meiji was able to accomplish what would have otherwise been thought of as impossible, he constructed a Modern state, overhauled the social systems, forged an overseas empire, and created a new economic structure in which industrialism and the world community as a whole assumed a key role. For the most part these actions were looked upon as intimidating and aggressive by the rest of the world.

Matthew Perry
World War I and inter war years
World War II
Allied Occupation
60s and 70s
80s and varied treaties
Currently and US trade deficit