Japanese glass manufacturing has always had a strong Western influence. After 1550, Portuguese ships came to Japan with western cargo, and many missionaries from Europe came to Japan as well, bringing western products. Glass was treasured as an important object and souvenir at this time. During the Edo Period (1608-1868), Western influences waned as a result of Japan's isolation policies. However, by the end of the 18th century, the number of practicing glassmakers grew, especially in large cities such as Nagasaki, Osaka, Kyoto, and Edo (Tokyo). Cut glass began to be made in the early 19th century. While the western influence has been strong, the Japanese style in glass always retained its identity and spirit. See Yoshio Tsuchiya. "A Brief History of Japanese Glass". GAS: Glass Art Society. 1998. Retrieved 2014-10-05.