In 1853, few Japanese people knew that a country called America even existed.
For centuries, Japan had isolated itself from the outside world by refusing to trade with other countries and even refusing to help shipwrecked sailors, foreign or Japanese. The country's people still lived under a feudal system like that of Europe in the Middle Ages. But everything began to change when American Commodore Matthew Perry and his troops sailed to the Land of the Rising Sun, bringing with them new science and technology, and a new way of life.
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