Cultural encounters, and it's effect on both sides..

So, my assignment is on Cultural Encounters in Japan, from 16th to 19th century.

So far, my research has revealed encounters with the Europeans on 16th century, with Europeans, but all my (Finnish) sources (…I really need to go to a library) just tell me about the Portugese landing on Japan, bringing firearms and Catholic religion there, thanks to Spanish Jesuites.

But it all came to a stop when Japan once more became isolated to pretty much everyone, except the Dutch and Chinese on 1638, and zingzingzing… On the 19th Centure, the American commodore Metthew Perry came and forced the Japanese to open ports for the americans, and soon afterwards, the europeans…

My main problem is that there’s really not much to tell about, everything I know is condensed in what I have written, (And the paper requires about 10-15 pages in total…) so should I try to stretch what little facts I have with random tidbits, or do the trick of having a little section on Japanese culture itself, kind of going around the subject, but still being somewhat on-topic?

Any new sources and materials would be helpful indeed…

Well, I’m probably not much help, but… is a good place to start. :wink:

Try here. This site’s got a lot of cultural tidbits.

I don’t know a whole lot, but I do know a little about Christianity coming over there during the first part of that time period.
The religion was accepted fairly well, until the Tokugawa govt decided to retreat into isolationism again (because they feared their cultural identity was falling apart, and soon, their national stability). They tried to expel Christianity from the country, and ended up having to heavily persecute missionaries who refused to leave and Japanese citizens who refused to renounce. They even crucified many of them, and thought it was amusingly appropriate.
At present time, Christianity has fad-level popularity in Japan. You’ll have to look up the inbetween time periods.