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What I can infer from the passage is, about about taking the possession by military force. Is it right? The above writing seems arduous to me to comprehend. I want to paraphrase it clearly but failed to understand the gist. Can you show me the easy path to get the passage explicitly?

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Amongst other factors, unequal treaties between Western powers and Japan led to a rebellion in the mid-19th century, followed by the fall of the weakened Shogunate and radical social reforms towards greater equality. –  Cerberus Sep 23 '13 at 19:11
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closed as unclear what you're asking by FumbleFingers, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, choster, Brian Hooper, Bradd Szonye Sep 24 '13 at 0:43

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2 Answers

Sometimes, writing is dense and complex simply because the subject is dense and complex. That passage doesn't have many excess words.

I think your best bet would be to read the surrounding pages - or chapters - to get a sense for what was going on in Japan during the 19th century, and what the effect of Perry's "visit" was on Japanese society.

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The unequal treaties with Western powers provoked the provinces of Satsumo and Choshu to rebel against the Shogunate, which capitulated. The leaders of the rebellion then reinstated the Emperor as supreme power, and also instituted reforms that increased class mobility.

I don't know what the last sentence (about renouncing samurai status) is trying to say.

Edit:

This kind of writing is an attempt to keep a dry tale lively, but it also seems to assume the reader is already fairly with the context, which is why it's hard to summarize.

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Downvotes without alternative suggestions? Sheesh, tough crowd. –  egrunin Sep 24 '13 at 7:29
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