Japan's rise and fall as a major military power in East Asia coincided with Tibet's half-century attempt at independence. Throughout East and Southeast Asia, and even as far as South Asia, Japan used its reputation as the only Asian state which had achieved rapid modernization to present itself as the natural ally of progressive and modernizing forces in colonial and traditional societies. In making careful preparations, Kawaguchi studied the Tibetan language for almost two years with several different teachers. The Dalai Lama was very disappointed and displeased, it seems, with the way Japanese officials had handled the matter. Teramoto's influence on the Dalai Lama contributed to a lasting Tibetan interest in Japan's modernization and rise following the Meiji Revolution. Many Japanese officials, however, regarded these monasteries as decadent, mediaeval institutions with an unwholesome influence on the entire society and economy.