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There were momentous events in Japan between 1853 and 1868. In just fifteen years, a repressive feudal règime was transformed into an embryonic democracy under the broadly benevolent eye of the young Emperor Meiji. Over 260 years of rigid rule by hereditary Tokugawa shōguns was swept aside, with trade as a mainspring of revolution. But the transition was punctuated with dissent and deceit, murder and mayhem. A young British businessman is murdered by samurai in 1862, and with the massive power of the Royal Navy, the British government demands reparations. The bombardment that ensues has far-reaching consequences, culminating in the defeat of the shogun's forces and the restoration of the Emperor to power. Why? How? Who? What happened - in detail? This book tells the whole astonishing sequence of events, with comprehensive notes on the history, culture, politics and mindset of the Japanese at that time, and discussion of British governmental and naval records and policies.