On the 8th of February, 1904, Japan crossed swords with a European people. And from the destruction of the Variag on that day until the fall of Port Arthur on the ist of January, 1905, nothing but failure has been Russia's fate, nothing but success Japan's fortune. For the first time in history has an Asiatic people successfully faced a white foe. The Russo-Japanese war marks an era, therefore, in the history of the Far East, and of the world, for now begins a readjustment of the balance of power among the nations, a readjustment which promises to halt the territorial expansion of white races and to check their racial pride.
ough the Tokugawa Shogunate promptly recognized the dangerous situation of the nation vis-a-vis with the nations of Europe, and in due time ratified one treaty after another with those dreaded peoples, admitting them to live and trade in a few specified "treaty ports," the nation itself did not apparently appreciate the situation nor accept the solution. This, with other causes, led at last to the civil war and the overthrow of the Shogunate, known in Japan as "Go-ishin" (1867), and resulted in the abolishment of the dual system of government and the establishment of the Emperor upon the throne with actual as well as nominal authority.
When, however, the Emperor assumed direct control of atfairs, and studied the problems of international relations, he, too, with his councillors, discovered that Japan could not by any possible means resist the white man and hold herself aloof as formerly from the western world. The white man, with power which seemed supernatural, was already established in the treaty