the reason why Japan was able to modernize its industry, military and government to the point where they were able to compete with the west, while the rest of Asia lagged behind was due to the fact that they were flexible. They realized that in order to become more powerful than the west they needed to modernize and get their technology, industry, military and government up to date so they could improve and become more advanced than the other world powers. They knew that if they continued living as they were (under their strict and ancient ways of life and traditions) they were not going to become anything significant, but instead end up defeated and ruled by the west (who they despised).
Japan had an emperor and they had the same values as the Chinese, they too believed in Confucianism. It became evident to the Japanese that if they had the same beliefs, values and way of life as the Chinese, they would end up in the same boat as them and never be a world power.
This recognition of what they had to change led to new developments. They changed the system of government from the Tokugawa Bakafu having complete political power to a small group of Nobles and former samurai.
In 1853 Japan was a feudal country. The stage of development they were at was that of the renaissance period in Europe, which meant they were approximately 600 years behind the west. Japan's determination to succeed and become superior and powerful was so strong that in only 40 years, they were on the same level as the west.
Japan decided to negotiate with the west. They knew that if they did not negotiate they would not be able to rise and meet their goals of becoming a world...