In Japan, besides being the year my Baachan was born, 1889 was also the year Japan got a new constitution.
In 1867, the same year as Canada’s confederation, Japan reluctantly opened up to the West, after two hundred years of military rule.
Unlike a revolution, Japanese restored the position of the Emperor and this new era was called the Meiji Restoration, the title adopted by the Emperor. They began to actively adopted western ideas and looked abroad. In this drawing based on another picture, notice how even the Emperor is dressed like a European.
Years are designated according to the year of the reign, so 1889 was Meiji 22.