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What were the pros and cons of isolationism for Japan in the Edo Period?

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The Edo Period in Japan lasted almost three centuries, from 1603 to 1868. During this period the isolationist practice of Japan led to a flourishing of internal Japanese culture. The Edo Period was marked by a growth and focus on art, culture, and peaceful social relations. Internally, trade increased as agrarian areas and artisanal areas of towns cities were connected through innovations and improved networks of transportation. The Edo Period was certainly one of a renewed sense of Japanese indigenous cultural identities. However, the Edo Period was also one of strict class segregation. The Tokugawa family ruled during the Edo Period, and established a strict class society of four distinct classes. The Shoguns, or ruling elite, were the highest class in Japan. The next class of people were made up of military lords and samurai. They served the interests of the Shogun. Below the military were the rural, agrarian class of farmers. Finally, below the farmers were the craftsmen and...

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