While the entrance of the West is mentioned in many accounts of this historic occurrence, it is not the main reason for the fall of the shogunate. As a matter of fact, it was only one of the many factors that led to the ultimate fall of the shogunate. The entrance of the West into Japan may have not been a strong reason for the downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate, but this incident played a great role in hastening the revolution that came to be known as the Meiji restoration. During this period, the emperor was reinstated on the throne and the shogunate was done away with forever. Japan opening up to the western and the rest of the world could not by itself be held responsible for the developments that happened in Japan a short while after.
The entrance of the West into Japanese affairs only served to heighten the people’s displeasure with how they lived and how they were ruled. The west helped to open up Japanese’s eyes into the numerous opportunities that awaited them if they embraced modernity. The West therefore were not the sole reason for the fall of the Tokugawa dynasty, this was an inevitable event that could have happened even had the Whites not set foot in Japan.
Maybe it would have taken longer for Japan to take that step towards modernity. Maybe the other underlying factors may have led to a lot of fighting and bloodshed. The role the West played in the fall of the Tokugawa, the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent development of Japan as a powerhouse to reckon with cannot go