Late Tokugawa Japan tightly regulated its cultural interaction with other societies. Christianity was banned and Westerners were allowed limited trading opportunities with the nation. Some Japanese independently carried out trade with China, but nothing on the national scale.
Make Way for Mutsuhito
In the 1850s American Commodore Matthew Perry sailed a fleet into Tokyo Bay with intentions of being granted trading privileges. Intimidated by such naval power, Japan allowed America (and following European countries) to become a trading connection.
Money for Meiji
SKILLS Farming (specialty in silk and tea), weapon-making, reading, railroad construction...
The result was a Japan increasingly interacting with the West and adopting some of their technologies.
This...is no longer fine.
As the Tokugawa Shogunate fell, officials were determined to reform Japanese society, basing it off of their Western trading partners. Throughout the transformations, they were sure to maintain their cultural identity.
Japan's industrialization was the greatest factor in the nation's modernization. The Meiji government funded citizens' vocational education, increasing production of exports as well a internal necessities.
And that is why this zaibatsu should buy my family farm!
With the newfound power in the emperor and the strength of the bureaucracy came a strong sense of nationalism. Industries had an increasing demand for raw materials and a growing population needed more food supply, both of which the small island could not supply.