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Introduction

The modernizing of Japan and Japanese culture began in 1853 when Commodore Perry and his fleet of Black Ships arrived in Kyoto harbour. Previously, Japan had a feudal culture ruled by shoguns, samurai and daimyo in the Tokugawa era. Imperial Japan was reborn in the aftermath of Perry’s visit with the installation of the Emperor Meiji in 1868. Meiji’s reforms were modeled on western industrialization and made Japan one of the leading industrial nations of the 20th century.

Before planned development in the Meiji period, the Ginza had been a humble road on the outskirts of Edo. With an increased interest in Western goods and fashions, the newly developed Ginza gradually overtook Nihonbashi as the main shopping district.

This Learning Collection examines Ginza district in light of the Meiji restoration. It is based on the virtual exhibit, Meiji: Tradition in Transition.

Other related Learning Collections include:
  • History of the Meiji Restoration of Japan
  • Cultural Life During the Meiji Restoration, Japan
  • Interior Design and Decorative Arts, Meiji Restoration, Japan

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