The Meiji Restoration (明治維新 Meiji Ishin), also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. The goals of the restored government were expressed by the new emperor in the Charter Oath. The Restoration led to enormous changes in Japan's political and social structure, and spanned both the late Edo period (often called Late Tokugawa shogunate) and the beginning of the Meiji period. The period spanned from 1868 to 1912 and was responsible for the emergence of Japan as a modernized nation in the early twentieth century.
The formation in 1866 of the Satsuma-Chōshū Alliance between Saigō Takamori, the leader of the Satsuma domain, and Kido Takayoshi, the leader of the Chōshū domain, built the foundation of the Meiji restoration. These two leaders supported the Emperor Kōmei (Emperor Meiji's father) and were brought together by Sakamoto Ryōma for the purpose of challenging the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate (bakufu) and restoring the Emperor to power. On February 3, 1867, Emperor Meiji ascended the throne after Emperor Kōmei's death on January 30, 1867. This period also saw Japan change from being a feudal society to having a market economy and left the Japanese with a lingering Western influence.
The Tokugawa Shogunate came to its official end on November 9, 1867, when Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the 15th Tokugawa Shogun, "put his prerogatives at the Emperor's disposal" and resigned 10 days later. This was effectively the "restoration" (Taisei Hōkan) of imperial rule – although Yoshinobu still had significant influence and it was not until January 3, the following year, with the young emperor's edict that the restoration fully occurred.