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A century and a half ago, when Japan shifted its course toward modernization, Japanese students who went abroad and returned with knowledge and skills of Western civilization played crucial roles in the country’s transformation, as new ideas and technologies took root.

Hundreds of them were studying in the United States in the early Meiji Era (1868-1912) thanks to the practice of sending students overseas that began in the final years of the Edo Period (1603-1868), according to Satoshi Shiozaki, a professor with Takushoku University’s Faculty of Foreign Languages.

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