The Meiji Restoration of Japan before I go on is the not as much the restoration of the the country but the coming of age for the isolationist culture in which they in essence became jaded. First of the important thing is all ways location, location, location in this case their home was made on an archipelago. Some of you might say why is this substantial and what does this mean; well it means that they lived on a chain of islands, this helped in security and their need for isloation as well as the fact that they lived in clans that constanly wared so the islands also helped as natural bounderies. After location history is as important and the rich history of Japan is no different. One must know that Japan at one point wasn't just microchips and videogames, to tell you the truth they were all castles, swords, and myth much like the Greeks but Asian. They lived like middle ages lords with peasents under them whose professions like rice farming were stationary, And their knights were samuri who doned laquered leather armor with ornamental masked helmets weilding varieties of weapons. But this noble aristocracy not only fought but were amazing poets and scholars. The warlords and leaders of these clans were called shoguns which only obeyed the most powerful shoguns. He could only be elected head of the Shogunate by the Emperor who was established by divine rite. So basically its the Asian Great Britian.
Now that you know what Japan was you need to know the in between point from then to now. To start that process off Japan was never actually secluded in truth they were in constant contact with Korea and China. When Europe came in contact with Japan's neighbors, Japan knew the two nations would clash. Finally when Japan met represenatitives the Japanenes pulled a fast one with a little something I like to call selective borrowing by taking only the things they deamed important like rifling then they take something they will never use like a Christian monk and kick them out for a long time. But but the transition happened all at once when the American Commander Matthew Perry sailed into tokyo on steam ships which positively amazed the Japanense. This stunning feat was a wake up call to the Japanense disproving their statis in their "Social Darwinism". The waring shoguns also realized that with this new tech the Americans were way to powerful so they were forced to sign the treaty Perry proposed. Not everyone was happy about this peasents rebeled for taxation called a blood-tax. The lifestyles also changed by dismantling the samuria and shoguns, enforcing elementry education, estaiblishing a national, taxes were no longer accpeated as rice. Also trying the gain a standing in the new world rankings they annexed a lot of land like part of korea, china, and other islands. Unfortunately they didn't do this in moderation and they took on Russia. The Japanense won but held their hand from taking much more then what little they got as to not anger the world powers. But because the were weak in the begining the other world powers took advantage and imposed high trade tariffs on Japan for along time. This went on to WWII and then it so changed to the nation it is today.