Manifestation of the transition
It was illustrated in the movie that by the year, 1876, a part of the period of Meiji Restoration, Japan was beset by numerous changes. From a feudalistic type of society, the emperor Meiji dreamed to have a unified Japan, a country that is strong, independent, and modern. He wanted to be of equal to other modern countries in the west by adopting American culture and technology.
In politics, there was a formalized political structure which gave many responsibilities and powers to the emperor, few of which was seen in the movie such as the control over the country's army and navy. Besides, for 2,000 years, no commoners were able to see the emperor, and it was through this time that foreigners or ambassadors were allowed to have a glimpse of him.
During that era, Japan signed a treaty with the America, granting U.S. exclusive rights to supply arms in exchange of hiring military experts and gunpowder weapons. Japan got in mind to have a civilized army. Indeed then, it can be seen that there was a desire for a military might in preparation for it's colonization of other countries due to lack of raw materials. They even sent abroad its cadets to study in European and United States military and naval schools.
While in its economy, one of the major developments was the creation of the railroad. It basically helped the transportation of products in a more efficient and fast way. Other than that,...