1. Japan was closed or had limited contact with the outside world for centuries until Perry’s arrival. When Japan did open up there was a rapid sharing of culture, technology and philosophy between Japan and the world. Imagine if Japan had remained closed to the world. What influences has Japan and its culture had on our culture? What kind of things might we not have if the sakoku policy was still in place?
  2. The Bakumatsu and Meiji Resoration are popular themes in many Japanese comic books and TV shows. Why do you think this is? Events of major national significance are often used in popular media. What events of national significance feature frequently in Australian popular media?
  3. Ask students to examine the hexaptych (six-part image) Tōkyō Tsukiji Teppōzu kei below (or use this link). Ask them to choose a character from the scene and write a short creative piece exploring how their life has changed since Japan has opened up to the world. How has their life improved or got worse? What new skills or information have they learnt? Do they want to stay in Japan or explore the world? What new opportunities do they have?