The History of Japanese - Western Relations from 1400 to 1700
This is a 5 page paper discussing Japanese foreign relations with the West between the years 1400 and 1700. The years from 1400 to 1700 in Japan covered three Japanese historical periods: the Muromachi Period (1333-1573); the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573-1603); and, the Edo Period (1603-1867) which also included the great eras of the Shogun. While these centuries are generally not known for their great developments in international trade for Japan, there were certain instances in which Chinese and Western trade and influences and relations were introduced into Japan. During the mid 16th century, the Japanese greatly valued Portuguese weaponry which played a large factor in the ongoing warlord conflicts. By the late 16th century, foreign relations and trade had also been established with Britain, Spain and the Dutch who were as interested in the Japanese artisan goods as were the Japanese interested in goods imported from the Americas such as tobacco and sweet potatoes among other goods. Through the relations established with the English, Western shipbuilding and navigation tools were also of great value. During the mid-17th century however, shogun Iemitsu wanted to strengthen Japan by eliminating foreign influence which included further restrictions on Christianity, which had been introduced by the missionaries in the 1500s, a ban on travel outside of Japan, expulsion of foreign trade merchants and a ban on European literature among other restrictions thereby decreasing foreign trade and relations with the West.
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