How did the Japanese react to European exploration?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major Japanese response to European exploration was one of isolation.  Between the years 1633 and 1853, Japan was a "locked country" which did not allow Japanese to leave or foreigners to enter.  Japan acted in this way largely because of a fear that an influx of foreigners would destabilize the Shogunate that was then ruling the country.

Japan did not completely close itself during this time.  The Japanese knew there were things that the Westerners could sell them that they wanted.  So they allowed very limited amounts of trade to be conducted through the port of Nagasaki in Southern Japan.

Thus, Japan tried to have the best of both worlds -- the tried to shut out European influences (like Christianity) that they did not like while admitting things that they did like.