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A modern political and industrial state was taking shape, characteristically Japanese in many features of its composition, but modeled on similar institutions in the West.

If I added 'being' in front of 'characteristically Japanese' as:

A modern political and industrial state was taking shape, being characteristically Japanese in many features of its composition, but modeled on similar institutions in the West.

would it still sound natural and make the same sense?
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Comments  
It would sound wrong.

You may use
which was
but it isn't so elegant as the original.
Marius HancuIt would sound wrong.

You may use
which was
but it isn't so elegant as the original.

But that 'which' doesn't refer to 'shape', does it? 
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It's about state:
A modern political and industrial state was taking shape, which was characteristically Japanese
No. You don't want to make it a being clause. That suggests: since it was characteristically Japanese ... or because (of the fact that) it was characteristically Japanese ... which are inappropriate in this context, and change the meaning. And besides, a being clause typically occurs nearer the beginning of a sentence, not at the end.

The passengers, being ready, climbed onto the tour bus.
Being very hungry, the children rushed to the table when called to dinner.
Being short on cash, Susan decided not to buy the coat.
CJ
CalifJimNo.  You don't want to make it a being clause.  That suggests:  since it was characteristically Japanese ... or because (of the fact that) it was characteristically Japanese ... which are inappropriate in this context, and change the meaning.   And besides, a being clause typically occurs nearer the beginning of a sentence, not at the end.

The passengers, being ready, climbed onto the tour bus.
Being very hungry, the children rushed to the table when called to dinner. 
Being short on cash, Susan decided not to buy the coat.
CJ 

OK. I understand.
But let me ask this, to make things clear, Jim
'Being...., SV' doesn't always mean 'Because/Since..., SV', does it?
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Never say 'never'. Never say 'always'. Emotion: smile
Probably not 'always', no.
I imagine you have some counterexamples up your sleeve. What are they? Emotion: smile
CJ
I would agree with MH and CJ here; though in e.g. C17 English, you might find a "being" clause of this kind.

MrP
MrPedanticI would agree with MH and CJ here; though in e.g. C17 English, you might find a "being" clause of this kind.

MrP

Right you are. I agree with you all. Participles are used in a myriad ways in English, and who's to say what is right and what isn't. English isn't the most exact of languages, which makes it all the more fascinating!
CB
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