It was under the later Tokugawa Shogun - during the period immediately preceding the modern regime - that Japanese civilization reached the limit of its development. No further evolution was possible, except through social reconstruction. The conditions of this integration chiefly represented the reinforcement and definition of conditions preexisting, - scarcely anything in the way of fundamental change. More than ever before the old compulsory systems of cooperation were strengthened; more than ever before all details of ceremonial convention were insisted upon with merciless exactitude. In preceding ages there had been more harshness; but at no previous period had there been less liberty. Nevertheless, the results of this increased restriction were not without ethical value: the time was yet far off at which personal liberty could prove a personal advantage; and the paternal coercion of the Tokugawa rule helped to develop and to accentuate much of what is most attractive in the national character. Centuries of warfare had previously allowed small opportunity for the cultivation of the more delicate qualities of that character: the refinements, the ingenuous kindliness, the joy in life that afterward lent so rare a charm to Japanese existence. But during two hundred years of peace, prosperity, and national isolation, the graceful and winning side of this human nature found chance to bloom; and the multiform restraints of law and custom then quickened and curiously shaped the blossoming, - as the gardener's untiring art evolves the flowers of the chrysanthemum into a hundred forms of fantastic beauty.... Though the general social tendency under pressure was toward rigidity, constraint left room, in special directions, for moral and aesthetic cultivation.