After the Pacific War, the bitter enemies Japan and the United States became fast friends and allies. Most observers in the West believe Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was unprovoked, but what had led Japan to take such action? The arrival of American “black ships” in Japan in 1853 was one cause of the fall of the shogunate and the restoration of imperial power little more than a decade later. That set Japan on the road to international expansion in imitation of Western imperial powers. This volume recounts this saga from the Russo-Japanese War and Japanese expansion in Manchuria to the brink of war with the United States.