The arts of Japan had a profound influence on British culture in the second half of the 19th century. For a long time only the Dutch had been allowed to trade with Japan, but in the 1850s the country opened her ports to other foreign powers, including Britain. Large numbers of Japanese objects were subsequently imported into Britain. Japanese art was very different from anything being produced in this country. It provided a major source of inspiration for many artists and designers in the period from 1850 to 1900.