Monday, April 20, 2009
250 years of Japanese isolation from the West
In 1639, the shogunate began the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period. The Tokugawa shoganate, which lasted from 1603-1868, brought an unprecedented period of peace and prospertiy to Japan.
On March 31, 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa.