. Meiji Restoration was the political revolution in 1868 that brought about the final demise of the Tokugawa shogunate (military government)—thus ending the Edo (Tokugawa) period (1603–1867)—and, at least nominally, returned control of the country to direct imperial rule under Mutsuhito (the emperor Meiji). In a wider context, however, the Meiji Restoration of 1868 came to be identified with the subsequent era of major political, economic, and social change—the Meiji period (1868–1912)—that brought about the modernization and Westernization of the country.
By the early 20th century, the goals of the Meiji Restoration had been largely accomplished. Japan was well on its way to becoming a modern industrialized country. The unequal treaties that had granted foreign powers judicial and economic privileges through extraterritoriality were revised in 1894, and with the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 and its victory in two wars (over China in 1894–95 and Russia in 1904–05), Japan gained respect in the eyes of the Western world, appearing for the first time on the international scene as a major world power. The death of the emperor Meiji in 1912 marked the end of the period, although several of the important Meiji leaders carried on as elder statesmen (genro) in the new regime (1912–26) of the Taish? emperor.