The Vienna World’s Fair also marked a particularly important moment in the history of Japan. After being forced by external pressure to open up, and after an interior restructuring of the country, Japan found itself in turmoil at the time of the World’s Fair. Following the abolition of the old feudal system in the course of the Meiji Restoration, Japan endeavoured to present itself in Europe as a modern state. A commission, to which also foreigners such as the brothers Alexander and Heinrich von Siebold belonged, was formed in Japan. According to the officially published catalogue, this group compiled over 6,000 objects to be presented in Vienna.
As one of the key themes of the exhibition in Vienna was architecture, Japan sent several architecture models to Europe. One of the largest items exhibited in the Japanese pavilion and today the central object in the Japan gallery of the Weltmuseum Wien is the model of a Daimyo residence of the Edo period (1600–1868).
The Vienna World’s Fair was the first and only universal exhibition in the German-speaking region until the Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany. It ushered in the period of Viennese Modernism.