Checkpoint Asia

1854-1896: How Western Bullying Taught Peaceful Japan Imperialism (VIDEO)

40 years of humiliations led previously inward-looking Japan to set on a drive of militarization, modernization and expansion of its own

Japanese depiction of a US warship, 1854

Japan was a peaceful nation until Commodore Perry arrived and threatened war unless Japan bowed to Western commercial interests. Japan modernized and militarized to survive and quickly devolved into an imperial power itself.