Japan's opening up in the mid-1850s and the ensuing spread of Western influence caused a fundamental dislocation in the country's socio-cultural life. Values and habits were rocked to their core after centuries of isolation, and people were quite helpless for how to come to terms with this rapid influx of foreign things. Faced with abrupt and severe changes, they felt deeply disoriented and their self-awareness was considerably shaken. This soon led to differentiation in attitudes toward the Western challenge. Some insisted that people should reconstruct their identity just by adjusting to Western standards. Modernisation was the only choice in their eyes and they believed that Japan should make efforts to adopt Western ways into every aspect of the nation's life. Customs and manners had to be reexamined based on this new criteria and reformed accordingly or, if this was ever impossible, abolished. Others, however, saw in it nothing more than shameful mimicry. They believed that the nation's self-confidence would be lost if people were absorbed in Westernisation. Instead they thought that Japan's cultural backbone should build on the country's long-standing rich traditions, rather than being dazzled by the superficial affluence of Western civilisation.