The year 1868 was as dramatic and important in Japanese history as the year 1941. In 1868 the boy emperor, Meiji, guided by a small group of warlord-noblemen, or genro, established the Japanese capital in Tokyo and began the modernization of Japan. The motives that impelled the Japanese to begin industrialization are diverse. The traditional explanation on the American side of the Pacific has been that U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry’s three trips to Japan in the 1850s somehow forced an end to Japanese isolation. Doubtless Perry had some influence on the Japanese decision to terminate isolation. But the major force that motivated the Japanese was the arrival of the Russian empire on its Pacific seaboard and the subsequent founding of the port of Vladivostok—its name may be literally translated as “rule over the East”—on the Sea of Japan, which had heretofore been a virtual Japanese lake. Japan has always viewed Russia as its greatest enemy. Further, any influence America might have had was doubtless terminated by the U.S. Civil War, which seemed to Japan to demonstrate American weakness and incompetence.