1838 to Present
Emboldened by successes against China after the War of the Korean Succession, a Franco-Spanish navy sailed into Tokyo Harbor in 1838 to ask for the opening of relations with Japan and pay “tribute” with a display of firepower in respect to the Emperor. This led to the Treaty of Kanagawa which opened Japan to the world. However the treaty was very unpopular, especially with the Daimyo and by 1839 Japan was closed again. Later that year another naval force took Edo by force and Dutch assistance from their trading base at Dejima turned out to be a ruse, with many Dutch weapons sold to the Japanese breaking. When Edo was captured the emperor escaped by the Shogun was captured as well. The Shogun declared peace with the Europeans while the emperor decried the peace leading the Kibo War.
The Kibo did not last long but is remembered in Japan as a period of great heroism against long odds. The Battle of Nagoya in the summer of 1839 saw the capture of the Emperor by European forces leading the Treaty of Edo which reopened Japan and turned the emperor into a puppet of the European controlled Shogun while dividing Japan into three spheres of influence, the Dutch in the south, the French in the middle, and the Spanish in the north. But while the Europeans had exterior power and greater technology they were deeply despised by the Japanese as occupiers and the puppet Shogun Ieyoshi committed suicide in 1840, replaced by Shogun Iseada who attempted to find a peaceful middle path for Japan and the Europeans.