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Restoration of Meiji in Japan - 1868
Event marking the birth of contemporary Japan, samurai and noble patriots unite to restore Emperor Meiji to the throne after 700 years. The coup was a consequence of the fear of many Japanese that the nation's feudal leaders were not prepared to resist the threat of foreign rule. After his return to the throne, the young Emperor Meiji and his ministers moved the royal court from Kyoto to Tokyo, overthrew feudalism and initiated social reforms (education system, religious freedom) in the country, following Western models. The new unified Japanese government thus began the path of industrialization and militarization, transforming the country into a world power in the early 20th century. XX. Emperor Meiji died in 1912.