On February 26, 1876, representatives of Korea’s Choson and Japan’s Meiji governments signed the Treaty of Kanghwa. This treaty began what is generally known as the Open Port period in Korea, an era that saw significantly intensified contact and exchange with the outside world. Foreign trade played an important role in Choson Korea’s growing integration into regional and global markets. Through the conduits of designated treaty ports, the people of Korea produced, consumed, bought, and sold goods in unprecedented amounts and varieties. Choson Korea’s increasing involvement in foreign trade also facilitated the integration of the Korean peninsula itself into something that far more resembled a single national market in 1910 than it did in 1876. These twin processes of integration owe much to the designs and actions of competing imperialist powers as they vied for opportunity, advantage, and dominance in Korea. They also, however, were directly influenced by the aims and activities of individual merchants and firms who cooperated with their home governments when convenient but went their own way when necessary.