* wikipedia: On July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy with four warships--the Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, and Susquehanna--steamed into the bay in Yokohama and displayed the threatening power of his ships' cannons during a Christian burial which the Japanese observed. He requested that Japan open to trade with the West. These ships became known as the kurofune, the Black Ships.
**wikipedia: The era of State Shinto came to an abrupt close with the end of World War II, when Americans decided to bring separation of church and state to Japanese shores in the wake of the Japanese surrender.
Most Japanese had come to believe that the hubris of Empire had led to their downfall. The Shinto system included the belief that the emperor, in this case Hirohito, was divine. Soon after the war, the Emperor issued a statement renouncing his claims to the status of "living god" (arahitogami).