The era of globalisation first dawned upon Japan early in the Edo Period (1603 - 1867). Tokugawa Leyasu became ruler of Japan in 1600 and brought Japan under tight control. He promoted foreign trade and established relations with the English and the Dutch. This embrace of foreign cultures changed in 1633 when the new ruler, Leyasu, forbade traveling abroad. Then in 1639 Japan was almost completely isolated when Leyasu narrowed its only contacts with the world down to limited trade relations with China and the Netherlands. However Japan continued to prosper as domestic trade and agricultural production improved.
By the end of the 18th century external pressures to form trade links began coming from Russia, who had no success. Other European nations and the Americans followed this in the 19th century. After numerous efforts from countries across the world Commodore Matthew Perry from America succeeded in getting the Tokugawa government to open international trade ports.
Many Japanese people soon began to realise the advantages that could be gained from the Western cultures in science and military, and favoured a complete opening to the world.
The Tokugawa government fell in 1867 due to heavy political pressure, which brought about the beginning of the Meiji Period (1868 - 1912). During this period Western powers forced Japan to sign unequal treaties, which benefited the West economically. It was this that spurred on Meiji Japan to become a respected nation of the world by becoming level with, or even superior to, economically and militarily the Western powers. Japan's agrarian economy underwent intensive westernisation as it sought to turn itself into a developed industrial economy. The large associated expenditures led to a financial crisis in the mid 1880's, which subsequently led to a reform of the currency system and the establishment of the Bank of...