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13000 BCE - 2023

History of Japan



The history of Japan dates back to the Paleolithic period, around 38-39,000 years ago,[1] with the first human inhabitants being the Jōmon people, who were hunter-gatherers.[2] The Yayoi people migrated to Japan around the 3rd century BCE,[3] introducing iron technology and agriculture, leading to rapid population growth and ultimately overpowering the Jōmon. The first written reference to Japan was in the Chinese Book of Han in the first century CE. Between the fourth and ninth centuries, Japan transitioned from being a land of many tribes and kingdoms to a unified state, nominally controlled by the Emperor, a dynasty that persists to this day in a ceremonial role.


The Heian period (794-1185) marked a high point in classical Japanese culture and saw a blend of native Shinto practices and Buddhism in religious life. Subsequent periods saw the diminishing power of the imperial house and the rise of aristocratic clans like the Fujiwara and military clans of samurai. The Minamoto clan emerged victorious in the Genpei War (1180–85), leading to the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate. This period was characterized by the military rule of the shōgun, with the Muromachi period following the Kamakura shogunate's downfall in 1333. Regional warlords, or daimyō, grew more powerful, eventually causing Japan to enter a period of civil war.


By the late 16th century, Japan was reunified under Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The Tokugawa shogunate took over in 1600, ushering in the Edo period, a time of internal peace, strict social hierarchy, and isolation from the outside world. European contact began with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1543, who introduced firearms, followed by the American Perry Expedition in 1853-54 that ended Japan’s isolation. The Edo period came to an end in 1868, leading to the Meiji period where Japan modernized along Western lines, becoming a great power.


Japan’s militarization increased in the early 20th century, with invasions into Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 led to war with the United States and its allies. Despite severe setbacks from Allied bombings and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered only after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on August 15, 1945. Japan was occupied by Allied forces until 1952, during which time a new constitution was enacted, converting the nation into a constitutional monarchy.


Post-occupation, Japan experienced rapid economic growth, especially after 1955 under the governance of the Liberal Democratic Party, becoming a global economic powerhouse. However, since the economic stagnation known as the "Lost Decade" of the 1990s, growth has slowed. Japan remains a significant player on the global stage, balancing its rich cultural history with its modern achievements.

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30000 BCE Jan 1

Prehistory of Japan

Yamashita First Cave Site Park

Hunter-gatherers first arrived in Japan during the Paleolithic period, around 38-40,000 years ago.[1] Due to Japan's acidic soils, which are not conducive to fossilization, little physical evidence of their presence remains. However, unique edge-ground axes dated to over 30,000 years ago suggest the arrival of the first Homo sapiens in the archipelago.[4] Early humans are believed to have reached Japan by sea, using watercraft.[5] Evidence of human habitation has been dated to specific sites such as 32,000 years ago in Okinawa's Yamashita Cave[6] and 20,000 years ago in Ishigaki Island's Shiraho Saonetabaru Cave.[7]

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14000 BCE Jan 1 - 300 BCE

Jōmon Period

Japan

The Jomon Period in Japan is a significant era that spanned from around 14,000 to 300 BCE.[8] It was a time characterized by a hunter-gatherer and early agriculturalist population, marking the development of a notably complex and sedentary culture. One of the standout features of the Jomon Period is its "cord-marked" pottery, which is considered among the world's oldest. This discovery was made by Edward S. Morse, an American zoologist and orientalist, in 1877.[9]


The Jomon Period is segmented into several phases, including:


  • Incipient Jomon (13,750-8,500 BCE)
  • Initial Jomon (8,500–5,000 BCE)
  • Early Jomon (5,000–3,520 BCE)
  • Middle Jomon (3,520–2,470 BCE)
  • Late Jomon (2,470–1,250 BCE)
  • Final Jomon (1,250–500 BCE)


Each phase, while falling under the umbrella of the Jomon Period, showcases significant regional and temporal diversity.[10] Geographically, the Japanese archipelago, during the early Jomon Period, was connected to continental Asia. However, rising sea levels around 12,000 BCE led to its isolation. The Jomon population was mainly concentrated in Honshu and Kyushu, areas rich in seafood and forest resources. The Early Jomon saw a dramatic rise in population, coinciding with the warm and humid Holocene climatic optimum. But by 1500 BCE, as the climate began to cool, there was a notable decline in the population. Throughout the Jomon Period, various forms of horticulture and small-scale agriculture flourished, though the extent of these activities remains a topic of discussion.


The Final Jomon phase marked a pivotal transition in the Jomon Period. Around 900 BCE, there was increased contact with the Korean Peninsula, eventually giving rise to new farming cultures like the Yayoi period between 500 and 300 BCE. In Hokkaido, the traditional Jomon culture evolved into the Okhotsk and Epi-Jomon cultures by the 7th century. These changes signified a gradual assimilation of new technologies and cultures, such as wet rice farming and metallurgy, into the prevailing Jomon framework.

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900 BCE Jan 1 - 300

Yayoi Period

Japan

The Yayoi people, arriving from the Asian mainland between 1,000 and 800 BCE,[11] brought significant changes to the Japanese archipelago. They introduced new technologies like rice cultivation[12] and metallurgy, initially imported from China and the Korean peninsula. Originating from northern Kyūshū, the Yayoi culture gradually supplanted the indigenous Jōmon people,[13] also resulting in a small genetic admixture between the two. This period witnessed the introduction of other technologies such as weaving, silk production,[14] new woodworking methods,[11] glassmaking,[11] and new architectural styles.[15]


There is ongoing debate among scholars about whether these changes were primarily due to migration or cultural diffusion, although genetic and linguistic evidence tends to support the migration theory. Historian Hanihara Kazurō estimates that the annual immigrant influx ranged from 350 to 3,000 people.[16] As a result of these developments, Japan's population surged, possibly increasing tenfold compared to the Jōmon period. By the end of the Yayoi period, the population is estimated to have been between 1 and 4 million.[17] The skeletal remains from the late Jōmon period indicate deteriorating health standards, while Yayoi sites suggest improved nutrition and societal structures, including grain storehouses and military fortifications.[11]


During the Yayoi era, tribes coalesced into various kingdoms. The Book of Han, published in 111 CE, mentions that Japan, referred to as Wa, was composed of one hundred kingdoms. By 240 CE, according to the Book of Wei,[18] the kingdom of Yamatai, led by the female monarch Himiko, had gained prominence over the others. The exact location of Yamatai and other details about it are still a subject of debate among modern historians.

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300 Jan 1 - 538

Kofun Period

Japan

The Kofun period, ranging from approximately 300 to 538 CE, marks a critical stage in Japan's historical and cultural development. This era is characterized by the emergence of keyhole-shaped burial mounds, known as "kofun," and is considered the earliest period of recorded history in Japan. The Yamato clan rose to power during this time, particularly in southwestern Japan, where they centralized political authority and began developing a structured administration influenced by Chinese models. The period was also marked by the autonomy of various local powers like Kibi and Izumo, but by the 6th century, the Yamato clans began to assert dominance over southern Japan.[19]


During this time, society was led by powerful clans (gōzoku), each headed by a patriarch who performed sacred rituals for the welfare of the clan. The royal line that controlled the Yamato court was at its peak, and clan leaders were awarded "kabane," hereditary titles that indicated rank and political standing. The Yamato polity was not a singular rule; other regional chieftainships, such as Kibi, were in close contention for power during the first half of the Kofun period.


Cultural influences flowed between Japan, China, and the Korean Peninsula,[20] with evidence like wall decorations and Japanese-style armor found in Korean burial mounds. Buddhism and the Chinese writing system were introduced to Japan from Baekje near the end of the Kofun period. Despite the centralizing efforts of the Yamato, other powerful clans like the Soga, Katsuragi, Heguri, and Koze played pivotal roles in governance and military activities.


Territorially, the Yamato expanded their influence, and several frontiers were recognized during this period. Legends such as that of Prince Yamato Takeru suggest the existence of rival entities and battlegrounds in regions like Kyūshū and Izumo. The period also saw an influx of immigrants from China and Korea, with significant contributions to culture, governance, and the economy. Clans like the Hata and Yamato-Aya, comprised of Chinese immigrants, had considerable influence, including in financial and administrative roles.

538 - 1183
Classical Japanornament
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538 Jan 1 - 710

Asuka Period

Nara, Japan

The Asuka period in Japan began around 538 CE with the introduction of Buddhism from the Korean kingdom of Baekje.[21] This period was named after its de facto imperial capital, Asuka.[23] Buddhism coexisted with the native Shinto religion in a fusion known as Shinbutsu-shūgō.[22] The Soga clan, proponents of Buddhism, assumed control of the government in the 580s and ruled indirectly for about sixty years.[24] Prince Shōtoku, serving as regent from 594 to 622, was instrumental in the period’s development. He authored the Seventeen-article constitution, inspired by Confucian principles, and attempted to introduce a merit-based civil service system called the Cap and Rank System.[25]


In 645, the Soga clan was overthrown in a coup by Prince Naka no Ōe and Fujiwara no Kamatari, the founder of the Fujiwara clan.[28] leading to significant administrative changes known as the Taika Reforms. Initiated with land reform based on Confucian ideologies from China, the reforms aimed to nationalize all land for equitable distribution among cultivators. The reforms also called for the compilation of a household registry for taxation.[29] The overarching goal was to centralize power and bolster the imperial court, drawing heavily from China’s governmental structures. Envoys and students were sent to China to study various aspects including writing, politics, and art.


The period after the Taika Reforms saw the Jinshin War of 672, a conflict between Prince Ōama and his nephew Prince Ōtomo, both contenders for the throne. This war led to further administrative changes, culminating in the Taihō Code.[28] This code consolidated existing laws and outlined the structure of the central and local governments, leading to the establishment of the Ritsuryō State, a system of centralized government modeled after China that persisted for approximately five centuries.[28]

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710 Jan 1 - 794

Nara Period

Nara, Japan

The Nara period in Japan, spanning from 710 to 794 CE,[30] was a transformative era in the country's history. The capital was initially established in Heijō-kyō (present-day Nara) by Empress Genmei, and it remained the center of Japanese civilization until it was moved to Nagaoka-kyō in 784 and then to Heian-kyō (modern-day Kyoto) in 794. The period saw the centralization of governance and the bureaucratization of government, inspired by China's Tang dynasty.[31] Influences from China were evident in various aspects, including writing systems, art, and religion, primarily Buddhism. Japanese society during this time was mostly agrarian, centered around village life, and largely followed Shintō.


This period saw developments in government bureaucracy, economic systems, and culture, including the compilation of seminal works like the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki. Despite efforts to strengthen central governance, the period experienced factional strife within the imperial court, and by its end, there was a notable decentralization of power. Additionally, external relations during this era included complex interactions with the Chinese Tang dynasty, a strained relationship with the Korean kingdom of Silla, and the subjugation of the Hayato people in southern Kyushu. The Nara period laid the foundation for Japanese civilization but concluded with a shift of the capital to Heian-kyō (modern-day Kyoto) in 794 CE, leading to the Heian period.


One of the key features of this period was the establishment of the Taihō Code, a legal code that led to significant reforms and the establishment of a permanent imperial capital at Nara. However, the capital was moved several times due to various factors, including rebellions and political instability, before finally settling back in Nara. The city flourished as Japan's first true urban center, with a population of 200,000 and significant economic and administrative activities.


Culturally, the Nara period was rich and formative. It saw the production of Japan's first significant literary works, such as the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, which served political purposes by justifying and establishing the supremacy of the emperors.[32] Poetry also began to flourish, most notably with the compilation of the Man'yōshū, the largest and longest-lasting collection of Japanese poetry.[33]


The era also saw the establishment of Buddhism as a significant religious and cultural force. Emperor Shōmu and his consort were fervent Buddhists who actively promoted the religion, which had been previously introduced but not fully embraced. Temples were built across the provinces, and Buddhism began to wield considerable influence at court, especially under the reigns of Empress Kōken and later, Empress Shōtoku.


Despite its achievements, the Nara period was not without challenges. Factional fighting and power struggles were rampant, leading to periods of instability. Financial burdens began to weigh on the state, prompting decentralization measures. In 784, the capital was moved to Nagaoka-kyō as part of an effort to regain imperial control, and in 794, it was moved again to Heian-kyō. These moves marked the end of the Nara period and the beginning of a new chapter in Japanese history.

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794 Jan 1 - 1185

Heian Period

Kyoto, Japan

The Heian period in Japan, from 794 to 1185 CE, began with the relocation of the capital to Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto). Political power initially shifted to the Fujiwara clan through strategic intermarriage with the imperial family. A smallpox epidemic between 812 and 814 CE severely impacted the population, killing nearly half of the Japanese people. By the late 9th century, the Fujiwara clan had solidified their control. Fujiwara no Yoshifusa became sesshō ("regent") to an underage emperor in 858, and his son Fujiwara no Mototsune later created the office of kampaku, effectively ruling on behalf of adult emperors. This period saw the height of Fujiwara power, especially under Fujiwara no Michinaga, who became kampaku in 996 and married his daughters into the imperial family. This dominance lasted until 1086, when the practice of cloistered rule was established by Emperor Shirakawa.


As the Heian period progressed, the imperial court's power waned. Engrossed in internal power struggles and artistic pursuits, the court neglected governance beyond the capital. This led to the decay of the ritsuryō state and the rise of tax-exempt shōen manors owned by noble families and religious orders. By the 11th century, these manors controlled more land than the central government, depriving it of revenue and leading to the creation of private armies of samurai warriors.


The early Heian period also saw efforts to consolidate control over the Emishi people in northern Honshu. The title of seii tai-shōgun was granted to military commanders who successfully subjugated these indigenous groups. This control was challenged in the mid-11th century by the Abe clan, leading to wars and eventual reassertion of central authority in the north, albeit temporarily.


In the late Heian period, around 1156, a succession dispute led to military involvement by the Taira and Minamoto clans. This culminated in the Genpei War (1180–1185), ending with the defeat of the Taira clan and the establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate under Minamoto no Yoritomo, effectively shifting the center of power away from the imperial court.

1185 - 1600
Feudal Japanornament
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1185 Jan 1 - 1333

Kamakura period

Kamakura, Japan

After the Genpei War and the consolidation of power by Minamoto no Yoritomo, the Kamakura shogunate was established in 1192 when Yoritomo was declared seii tai-shōgun by the Imperial Court in Kyoto.[34] This government was termed the bakufu, and it legally held power authorized by the Imperial court, which retained its bureaucratic and religious functions. The shogunate ruled as the de facto government of Japan but kept Kyoto as the official capital. This collaborative arrangement of power was different from the "simple warrior rule" that would be characteristic of the later Muromachi period.[35]


Family dynamics played an important role in the governance of the shogunate. Yoritomo was suspicious of his brother Yoshitsune, who sought refuge in northern Honshu and was under the protection of Fujiwara no Hidehira. After Hidehira's death in 1189, his successor Yasuhira attacked Yoshitsune in a bid to win Yoritomo's favor. Yoshitsune was killed, and Yoritomo subsequently conquered the territories controlled by the Northern Fujiwara clan.[35] Yoritomo's death in 1199 led to a decline in the office of the shogun and the rise in power of his wife Hōjō Masako and her father Hōjō Tokimasa. By 1203, the Minamoto shoguns had effectively become puppets under the Hōjō regents.[36]


The Kamakura regime was feudalistic and decentralized, contrasting with the earlier centralized ritsuryō state. Yoritomo selected provincial governors, known as shugo or jitō,[37] from his close vassals, the gokenin. These vassals were allowed to maintain their own armies and administer their provinces autonomously.[38] However, in 1221, a failed rebellion known as the Jōkyū War led by the retired Emperor Go-Toba attempted to restore power to the imperial court but resulted in the shogunate consolidating even more power relative to the Kyoto aristocracy.


The Kamakura shogunate faced invasions from the Mongol Empire in 1274 and 1281.[39] Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the shogunate's samurai armies were able to resist the Mongol invasions, aided by typhoons that destroyed the Mongol fleets. However, the financial strain of these defenses significantly weakened the shogunate's relationship with the samurai class, who felt they were not adequately rewarded for their role in the victories.[40] This discontent among the samurai was a critical factor in the overthrow of the Kamakura shogunate. In 1333, Emperor Go-Daigo launched a rebellion in the hope of restoring full power to the imperial court. The shogunate sent General Ashikaga Takauji to quell the revolt, but Takauji and his men instead joined forces with Emperor Go-Daigo and overthrew the Kamakura shogunate.[41]


Amidst these military and political events, Japan experienced social and cultural growth starting around 1250.[42] Advances in agriculture, improved irrigation techniques, and double-cropping led to population growth and the development of rural villages. Cities grew and commerce boomed due to fewer famines and epidemics.[43] Buddhism became more accessible to the common people, with the establishment of Pure Land Buddhism by Hōnen and Nichiren Buddhism by Nichiren. Zen Buddhism also became popular among the samurai class.[44] Overall, despite the turbulent politics and military challenges, the period was one of significant growth and transformation for Japan.

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1333 Jan 1 - 1573

Muromachi Period

Kyoto, Japan

In 1333, Emperor Go-Daigo initiated a revolt to reclaim authority for the imperial court. He initially had the support of General Ashikaga Takauji, but their alliance fell apart when Go-Daigo refused to appoint Takauji shōgun. Takauji turned against the Emperor in 1338, seizing Kyoto and installing a rival, Emperor Kōmyō, who appointed him shogun.[45] Go-Daigo escaped to Yoshino, setting up a rival Southern Court and starting a long conflict with the Northern Court established by Takauji in Kyoto.[46] The shogunate faced ongoing challenges from regional lords, called daimyōs, who grew increasingly autonomous.


Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, Takauji's grandson, took power in 1368 and was the most successful in consolidating shogunate power. He ended the civil war between the Northern and Southern Courts in 1392. However, by 1467, Japan entered another tumultuous period with the Ōnin War, which originated from a succession dispute. The country fragmented into hundreds of independent states ruled by daimyōs, effectively diminishing the shogun's power.[47] Daimyōs battled each other to seize control over different parts of Japan.[48] Two of the most formidable daimyōs of this time were Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen.[49] Not just the daimyōs, but also insurrectionist peasants and "warrior monks" linked to Buddhist temples took up arms, forming their own military forces.[50]


During this Warring States period, the first Europeans, Portuguese traders, arrived in Japan in 1543,[51] introducing firearms and Christianity.[52] By 1556, daimyōs were using about 300,000 muskets,[53] and Christianity gained a significant following. Portuguese trade was initially welcomed, and cities like Nagasaki became bustling trade hubs under the protection of daimyōs who had converted to Christianity. The warlord Oda Nobunaga capitalized on European technology to gain power, initiating the Azuchi–Momoyama period in 1573.


Despite the internal conflicts, Japan experienced economic prosperity that started during the Kamakura period. By 1450, Japan's population reached ten million,[41] and commerce flourished, including significant trade with China and Korea.[54] The era also saw the development of iconic Japanese art forms like ink wash painting, ikebana, bonsai, Noh theather, and the tea ceremony.[55] Although plagued by ineffective leadership, the period was culturally rich, with landmarks like Kyoto's Kinkaku-ji, the "Temple of the Golden Pavilion," being built in 1397.[56]

Azuchi–Momoyama Period
Azuchi–Momoyama period is the final phase of the Sengoku Period. ©David Benzal
1568 Jan 1 - 1600

Azuchi–Momoyama Period

Kyoto, Japan

In the latter half of the 16th century, Japan underwent a significant transformation, moving towards reunification under the leadership of two influential warlords, Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This era is known as the Azuchi–Momoyama period, named after their respective headquarters.[57] The Azuchi–Momoyama period was the final phase of the Sengoku Period in Japanese history from 1568 to 1600. Nobunaga, who hailed from the small province of Owari, first gained prominence in 1560 by defeating the powerful daimyō Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama. He was a strategic and ruthless leader who utilized modern weaponry and promoted men based on talent rather than social standing.[58] His adoption of Christianity served a dual purpose: to antagonize his Buddhist enemies and to form alliances with European arms dealers.


Nobunaga's efforts towards unification received a sudden setback in 1582 when he was betrayed and killed by one of his officers, Akechi Mitsuhide. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a former servant turned general under Nobunaga, avenged his master's death and took over as the new unifying force.[59] He achieved complete reunification by defeating the remaining opposition in regions like Shikoku, Kyushu, and eastern Japan.[60] Hideyoshi enacted comprehensive changes, such as confiscating swords from peasants, imposing restrictions on daimyōs, and conducting a detailed land survey. His reforms largely set the societal structure, designating cultivators as "commoners" and freeing most of Japan's slaves.[61]


Hideyoshi had grand ambitions beyond Japan; he aspired to conquer China and initiated two large-scale invasions of Korea starting in 1592. These campaigns, however, ended in failure as he couldn't overpower Korean and Chinese forces. Diplomatic talks between Japan, China, and Korea also reached an impasse as Hideyoshi's demands, including the division of Korea and a Chinese princess for the Japanese emperor, were rejected. The second invasion in 1597 similarly failed, and the war ended with Hideyoshi's death in 1598.[62]


After Hideyoshi's death, internal politics in Japan became increasingly volatile. He had appointed a Council of Five Elders to govern until his son, Toyotomi Hideyori, was of age. However, almost immediately after his death, factions loyal to Hideyori clashed with those supporting Tokugawa Ieyasu, a daimyō and former ally of Hideyoshi. In 1600, Ieyasu won a decisive victory at the Battle of Sekigahara, effectively ending the Toyotomi dynasty and establishing Tokugawa rule, which would last until 1868.[63]


This pivotal period also witnessed several administrative reforms aimed at promoting commerce and stabilizing society. Hideyoshi took measures to simplify transportation by eliminating most toll booths and checkpoints and conducted what are known as the "Taikō surveys" to assess rice production. Moreover, various laws were enacted that essentially solidified social classes and segregated them in living areas. Hideyoshi also conducted a massive "sword hunt" to disarm the populace. His reign, although short-lived, laid the foundation for the Edo Period under the Tokugawa shogunate, initiating nearly 270 years of stable rule.

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1603 Jan 1 - 1867

Edo Period

Tokyo, Japan

The Edo Period, which spanned from 1603 to 1868, was a time of relative stability, peace and cultural flourishing in Japan under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate.[64] The period began when Emperor Go-Yōzei officially declared Tokugawa Ieyasu as shōgun.[65] Over time, the Tokugawa government centralized its rule from Edo (now Tokyo), introducing policies like the Laws for the Military Houses and the alternate attendance system to keep the regional lords, or daimyōs, under control. Despite these efforts, daimyōs retained considerable autonomy in their domains. The Tokugawa shogunate also established a rigid social structure, where samurai, who served as bureaucrats and advisors, occupied the top echelons, while the emperor in Kyoto remained a symbolic figure with no political power.


The shogunate went to great lengths to suppress social unrest, implementing draconian penalties for even minor offenses. Christians were particularly targeted, culminating in the complete outlawing of Christianity after the Shimabara Rebellion in 1638.[66] In a policy known as sakoku, Japan closed itself off from most of the world, limiting foreign trade to the Dutch, Chinese, and Koreans, and forbidding Japanese citizens from traveling abroad.[67] This isolationism helped the Tokugawa maintain their grip on power, although it also cut off Japan from most external influences for over two centuries.


Despite the isolationist policies, the Edo period was marked by substantial growth in agriculture and commerce, leading to a population boom. Japan’s population doubled to thirty million in the first century of Tokugawa rule.[68] The government's infrastructure projects and standardization of coinage facilitated commercial expansion, benefiting both rural and urban populations.[69] Literacy and numeracy rates rose significantly, setting the stage for Japan's later economic successes. Almost 90% of the population lived in rural areas, but the cities, particularly Edo, saw a surge in their populations.


Culturally, the Edo period was a time of great innovation and creativity. The concept of "ukiyo," or the "floating world," captured the hedonistic lifestyles of the burgeoning merchant class. This was the era of ukiyo-e woodblock prints, kabuki and bunraku theater, and the poetry form haiku, most famously exemplified by Matsuo Bashō. A new class of entertainers known as geishas also emerged during this period. The period was also marked by the influence of Neo-Confucianism, which the Tokugawas adopted as a guiding philosophy, further stratifying the Japanese society into four classes based on occupations.


The decline of the Tokugawa shogunate began in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.[70] Economic difficulties, discontent among the lower classes and samurai, and the government's inability to deal with crises like the Tenpō famines weakened the regime.[70] The arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853 exposed Japan's vulnerability and led to unequal treaties with Western powers, fueling internal resentment and opposition. This sparked the nationalist sentiments, especially in the Chōshū and Satsuma domains, leading to the Boshin War and ultimately the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868, paving the way for the Meiji Restoration.

1868
Modern Japanornament
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1868 Oct 23 - 1912 Jul 30

Meiji Period

Tokyo, Japan

The Meiji Restoration, starting in 1868, marked a significant turning point in Japanese history, transforming it into a modern nation-state.[71] Led by Meiji oligarchs like Ōkubo Toshimichi and Saigō Takamori, the government aimed to catch up with Western imperialist powers.[72] Major reforms included abolishing the feudal Edo class structure, replacing it with prefectures, and introducing Western institutions and technologies such as railways, telegraph lines, and a universal education system.


The Meiji government undertook a comprehensive modernization program aimed at transforming Japan into a Western-style nation-state. Major reforms included the abolition of the feudal Edo class structure,[73] replacing it with a system of prefectures[74] and implementing extensive tax reforms. In its pursuit of Westernization, the government also lifted the ban on Christianity and adopted Western technologies and institutions, such as railways and telegraphs, as well as implementing a universal education system.[75] Advisors from Western countries were brought in to help modernize various sectors like education, banking, and military affairs.[76]


Prominent individuals like Fukuzawa Yukichi advocated for this Westernization, which led to widespread changes in Japanese society, including the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, Western clothing, and hairstyles. The period also saw significant advancements in science, especially medical science. Kitasato Shibasaburō founded the Institute for Infectious Diseases in 1893,[77] and Hideyo Noguchi proved the link between syphilis and paresis in 1913. Additionally, the era gave rise to new literary movements and authors such as Natsume Sōseki and Ichiyō Higuchi, who blended European literary styles with traditional Japanese forms.


The Meiji government faced internal political challenges, notably the Freedom and People's Rights Movement demanding greater public participation. In response, Itō Hirobumi wrote the Meiji Constitution, promulgated in 1889, which established an elected but limited-power House of Representatives. The constitution maintained the emperor's role as a central figure, to whom the military and cabinet directly reported. Nationalism also grew, with Shinto becoming the state religion and schools promoting loyalty to the emperor.


The Japanese military played a critical role in Japan’s foreign policy objectives. Incidents like the Mudan Incident in 1871 led to military expeditions, while the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion displayed the military’s domestic might.[78] By defeating China in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894,[79] Japan gained Taiwan and international prestige,[80] later allowing it to renegotiate "unequal treaties"[81] and even form a military alliance with Britain in 1902.[82]


Japan further established itself as a regional power by defeating Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05,[83] which led to Japan's annexation of Korea by 1910.[84] This victory represented a shift in the global order, marking Japan as Asia's primary power. During this period, Japan focused on territorial expansion, first by consolidating Hokkaido and annexing the Ryukyu Kingdom, then turning its eyes towards China and Korea.


The Meiji period also witnessed rapid industrialization and economic growth.[85] Zaibatsus like Mitsubishi and Sumitomo rose to prominence,[86] leading to a decline in the agrarian population and increased urbanization. The Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Asia’s oldest subway, opened in 1927. Although the era brought improved living conditions for many, it also led to labor unrest and the rise of socialist ideas, which were harshly suppressed by the government. By the end of the Meiji period, Japan had successfully transitioned from a feudal society to a modern, industrialized nation.

Taishō period
The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. ©Anonymous
1912 Jul 30 - 1926 Dec 25

Taishō period

Tokyo, Japan

The Taishō era in Japan (1912-1926) marked a significant period of political and social transformation, moving towards stronger democratic institutions. The era opened with the Taishō political crisis of 1912-13,[87] which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Katsura Tarō and increased the influence of political parties like the Seiyūkai and Minseitō. Universal male suffrage was introduced in 1925, although the Peace Preservation Law passed the same year, suppressing political dissidents.[88] Japan's participation in World War I as part of the Allies led to unprecedented economic growth and international recognition, including Japan becoming a permanent member of the Council of the League of Nations.[89]


Culturally, the Taishō period saw a flourishing of literature and the arts, with figures like Ryūnosuke Akutagawa and Jun'ichirō Tanizaki making significant contributions. However, the era was also marked by tragedies such as the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923, which killed over 100,000 people[90] and led to the Kantō Massacre, where thousands of Koreans were unjustly killed.[91] The period was marked by social unrest, including protests for universal suffrage and the assassination of Prime Minister Hara Takashi in 1921, giving way to unstable coalitions and nonparty governments.


Internationally, Japan was recognized as one of the "Big Five" at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. However, its aspirations in China, including territorial gains in Shandong, led to anti-Japanese sentiments. In 1921-22, Japan took part in the Washington Conference, producing a series of treaties that established a new order in the Pacific and terminated the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Despite initial aspirations for democratic governance and international cooperation, Japan faced domestic economic challenges, like the severe depression triggered in 1930, and foreign policy challenges, including growing anti-Japanese sentiment in China and rivalry with the United States.


Communism also made its mark during this period, with the Japanese Communist Party being founded in 1922. The Peace Preservation Law of 1925 and subsequent legislation in 1928 were aimed at suppressing communist and socialist activities, forcing the party underground by the late 1920s. Japan's right-wing politics, represented by groups like the Gen'yōsha and Kokuryūkai, also grew in prominence, focusing on domestic issues and promoting nationalism.


In summary, the Taishō era was a complex period of transition for Japan, balancing between democratization and authoritarian tendencies, economic growth and challenges, and global recognition and international conflict. While it moved towards a democratic system and achieved international prominence, the nation also struggled with internal social and economic issues, setting the stage for the increasing militarization and authoritarianism of the 1930s.

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1926 Dec 25 - 1989 Jan 7

Shōwa Period

Tokyo, Japan

Japan underwent significant transformations under Emperor Hirohito's reign from 1926 to 1989.[92] The early part of his rule saw the rise of extreme nationalism and expansionist military endeavors, including the invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. The nation's aspirations culminated in World War II. Following its loss in World War II, Japan experienced foreign occupation for the first time in its history, before making a remarkable comeback as a leading global economic force.[93]


In late 1941, Japan, led by Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, attacked the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, pulling the United States into World War II and initiating a series of invasions across Asia. Japan initially saw a string of victories, but the tide began to turn after the Battle of Midway in 1942 and the Battle of Guadalcanal. Civilians in Japan suffered from rationing and repression, while American bombing raids devastated cities. The US dropped an atomic bomb over Hiroshima, killing over 70,000 people. This was the first nuclear attack in history. On 9 August Nagasaki was struck by a second atomic bomb, killing around 40,000 people. The surrender of Japan was communicated to the Allies on 14 August and broadcast by Emperor Hirohito on national radio the following day.


The Allied occupation of Japan from 1945–1952 aimed to transform the country politically and socially.[94] Key reforms included the decentralization of power through breaking up zaibatsu conglomerates, land reform, and the promotion of labor unions, as well as the demilitarization and democratization of the government. The Japanese military was disbanded, war criminals were tried, and a new constitution was enacted in 1947 that emphasized civil liberties and labor rights while renouncing Japan's right to wage war (Article 9). Relations between the U.S. and Japan were officially normalized with the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951, and Japan regained full sovereignty in 1952, although the U.S. continued to administer some of the Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, under the US-Japan Security Treaty.


Shigeru Yoshida, who served as Japan's prime minister during the late 1940s and early 1950s, was instrumental in steering Japan through its post-war reconstruction.[95] His Yoshida Doctrine emphasized a strong alliance with the United States and prioritized economic development over an active foreign policy.[96] This strategy led to the formation of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 1955, which dominated Japanese politics for decades.[97] To kickstart the economy, policies like an austerity program and the establishment of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) were implemented. MITI played a critical role in promoting manufacturing and exports, and the Korean War provided an unexpected boost to the Japanese economy. Factors such as Western technology, strong U.S. ties, and lifetime employment contributed to rapid economic growth, making Japan the second-largest capitalist economy in the world by 1968.


In the international arena, Japan joined the United Nations in 1956 and gained further prestige by hosting the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964.[98] The country maintained a close alliance with the U.S., but this relationship was often contentious domestically, as exemplified by the Anpo protests against the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty in 1960. Japan also navigated diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and South Korea, despite territorial disputes, and switched its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China in 1972. The existence of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), created in 1954, generated debate over its constitutionality, given Japan’s post-war pacifist stance as outlined in Article 9 of its constitution.


Culturally, the post-occupation period was a golden era for Japanese cinema, spurred by the abolition of government censorship and a large domestic audience. Additionally, Japan's first high-speed rail line, the Tokaido Shinkansen, was built in 1964, symbolizing both technological advancement and global influence. This period saw the Japanese population becoming affluent enough to afford a range of consumer goods, making the country a leading manufacturer of automobiles and electronics. Japan also experienced an economic bubble in the late 1980s, characterized by rapid growth in stock and real estate values.

Heisei period
Heisei saw a rise in popularity of Japanese Anime. ©Studio Ghibli
1989 Jan 8 - 2019 Apr 30

Heisei period

Tokyo, Japan

From the late 1980s through the 1990s, Japan experienced significant economic and political shifts. The 1989 economic boom marked the pinnacle of rapid economic growth, driven by low-interest rates and an investment frenzy. This bubble burst by the early '90s, leading to a period of economic stagnation known as the "Lost Decade."[99] During this time, the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was briefly ousted from power, although it returned quickly due to the coalition’s lack of a unified agenda. The early 2000s also marked a changing of the guard in Japanese politics, with the Democratic Party of Japan briefly taking power before scandals and challenges like the 2010 Senkaku boat collision incident led to their downfall.


Japan's relationship with China and Korea has been strained due to differing perspectives on its wartime legacy. Despite Japan making over 50 formal apologies since the 1950s, including the Emperor's apology in 1990 and the Murayama Statement of 1995, officials from China and Korea often find these gestures inadequate or insincere.[100] Nationalist politics in Japan, such as denial of the Nanjing Massacre and revisionist history textbooks, have further inflamed tensions.[101]


In the realm of popular culture, the 1990s saw a surge in the global popularity of Japanese anime, with franchises like Pokémon, Sailor Moon, and Dragon Ball gaining international fame. However, the period was also marred by disasters and incidents such as the 1995 Kobe earthquake and the sarin gas attacks in Tokyo. These events led to criticisms of the government's handling of crises and spurred the growth of non-governmental organizations in Japan.


Internationally, Japan took steps to reassert itself as a military power. While the nation's pacifist constitution restricted its involvement in conflicts, Japan did contribute financially and logistically to efforts like the Gulf War and later participated in Iraq's reconstruction. These moves were sometimes met with international criticism but indicated a shift in Japan's post-war stance on military engagement.


Natural disasters, notably the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, as well as the ensuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, had profound impacts on the country.[102] The tragedy triggered a national and global reevaluation of nuclear energy and exposed weaknesses in disaster preparedness and response. This period also saw Japan grappling with demographic challenges, economic competition from rising powers like China, and a host of internal and external challenges that continue to shape its trajectory into the current decade.

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2019 May 1

Reiwa period

Tokyo, Japan

Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne on 1 May 2019, following his father Emperor Akihito's abdication.[103] In 2021, Japan successfully hosted the Summer Olympics, which had been postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic;[104] the country secured third place with 27 gold medals.[105] Amidst global events, Japan took a firm stance against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, swiftly imposing sanctions,[106] freezing Russian assets, and revoking Russia's favored nation trade status, a move praised by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as Japan establishing itself as a leading world power.[106]


In 2022, Japan faced internal upheaval with the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on 8 July, a rare act of gun violence that shocked the nation.[107] Additionally, Japan experienced increased regional tensions after China conducted "precision missile strikes" near Taiwan in August 2022.[108] For the first time, Chinese ballistic missiles landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), prompting Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi to declare them "serious threats to Japan's national security."


In December 2022, Japan announced a significant shift in its military policy, opting for counterstrike capabilities and increasing its defense budget to 2% of GDP by 2027.[109] Driven by growing security concerns related to China, North Korea, and Russia, this change is expected to make Japan the world's third-largest defense spender, following only the United States and China.[110]

A Quiz is available for this HistoryMap.

Appendices



APPENDIX 1

Ainu - History of the Indigenous people of Japan


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APPENDIX 2

The Shinkansen Story


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APPENDIX 3

How Japan Became a Great Power in Only 40 Years


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APPENDIX 4

Geopolitics of Japan


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APPENDIX 5

Why Japan's Geography Is Absolutely Terrible


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Characters



Minamoto no Yoshitsune

Minamoto no Yoshitsune

Military Commander of the Minamoto Clan

Fujiwara no Kamatari

Fujiwara no Kamatari

Founder of the Fujiwara Clan

Itagaki Taisuke

Itagaki Taisuke

Freedom and People's Rights Movement

Emperor Meiji

Emperor Meiji

Emperor of Japan

Kitasato Shibasaburō

Kitasato Shibasaburō

Physician and Bacteriologist

Emperor Nintoku

Emperor Nintoku

Emperor of Japan

Emperor Hirohito

Emperor Hirohito

Emperor of Japan

Oda Nobunaga

Oda Nobunaga

Great Unifier of Japan

Prince Shōtoku

Prince Shōtoku

Semi-Legendary Regent of Asuka Period

Yamagata Aritomo

Yamagata Aritomo

Prime Minister of Japan

Ōkubo Toshimichi

Ōkubo Toshimichi

Founder of Modern Japan

Fukuzawa Yukichi

Fukuzawa Yukichi

Founded Keio University

Taira no Kiyomori

Taira no Kiyomori

Military Leader

Tokugawa Ieyasu

Tokugawa Ieyasu

First Shōgun of the Tokugawa Shogunate

Ōkuma Shigenobu

Ōkuma Shigenobu

Prime Minister of the Empire of Japan

Saigō Takamori

Saigō Takamori

Samurai during Meiji Restoration

Itō Hirobumi

Itō Hirobumi

First Prime Minister of Japan

Emperor Taishō

Emperor Taishō

Emperor of Japan

Himiko

Himiko

Shamaness-Queen of Yamatai-koku

Minamoto no Yoritomo

Minamoto no Yoritomo

First Shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate

Shigeru Yoshida

Shigeru Yoshida

Prime Minister of Japan

Footnotes



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  2. "Jomon woman' helps solve Japan's genetic mystery". NHK World.
  3. Shinya Shōda (2007). "A Comment on the Yayoi Period Dating Controversy". Bulletin of the Society for East Asian Archaeology. 1.
  4. Ono, Akira (2014). "Modern hominids in the Japanese Islands and the early use of obsidian", pp. 157–159 in Sanz, Nuria (ed.). Human Origin Sites and the World Heritage Convention in Asia.
  5. Takashi, Tsutsumi (2012). "MIS3 edge-ground axes and the arrival of the first Homo sapiens in the Japanese archipelago". Quaternary International. 248: 70–78. Bibcode:2012QuInt.248...70T. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2011.01.030.
  6. Hudson, Mark (2009). "Japanese Beginnings", p. 15 In Tsutsui, William M. (ed.). A Companion to Japanese History. Malden MA: Blackwell. ISBN 9781405193399.
  7. Nakagawa, Ryohei; Doi, Naomi; Nishioka, Yuichiro; Nunami, Shin; Yamauchi, Heizaburo; Fujita, Masaki; Yamazaki, Shinji; Yamamoto, Masaaki; Katagiri, Chiaki; Mukai, Hitoshi; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki; Gakuhari, Takashi; Takigami, Mai; Yoneda, Minoru (2010). "Pleistocene human remains from Shiraho-Saonetabaru Cave on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Japan, and their radiocarbon dating". Anthropological Science. 118 (3): 173–183. doi:10.1537/ase.091214.
  8. Perri, Angela R. (2016). "Hunting dogs as environmental adaptations in Jōmon Japan" (PDF). Antiquity. 90 (353): 1166–1180. doi:10.15184/aqy.2016.115. S2CID 163956846.
  9. Mason, Penelope E., with Donald Dinwiddie, History of Japanese art, 2nd edn 2005, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-117602-1, 9780131176027.
  10. Sakaguchi, Takashi. (2009). Storage adaptations among hunter–gatherers: A quantitative approach to the Jomon period. Journal of anthropological archaeology, 28(3), 290–303. SAN DIEGO: Elsevier Inc.
  11. Schirokauer, Conrad; Miranda Brown; David Lurie; Suzanne Gay (2012). A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations. Cengage Learning. pp. 138–143. ISBN 978-0-495-91322-1.
  12. Kumar, Ann (2009) Globalizing the Prehistory of Japan: Language, Genes and Civilisation, Routledge. ISBN 978-0-710-31313-3 p. 1.
  13. Imamura, Keiji (1996) Prehistoric Japan: New Perspectives on Insular East Asia, University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-824-81852-4 pp. 165–178.
  14. Kaner, Simon (2011) 'The Archeology of Religion and Ritual in the Prehistoric Japanese Archipelago,' in Timothy Insoll (ed.),The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-199-23244-4 pp. 457–468, p. 462.
  15. Mizoguchi, Koji (2013) The Archaeology of Japan: From the Earliest Rice Farming Villages to the Rise of the State, Archived 5 December 2022 at the Wayback Machine Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-88490-7 pp. 81–82, referring to the two sub-styles of houses introduced from the Korean peninsular: Songguk’ni (松菊里) and Teppyong’ni (大坪里).
  16. Maher, Kohn C. (1996). "North Kyushu Creole: A Language Contact Model for the Origins of Japanese", in Multicultural Japan: Palaeolithic to Postmodern. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 40.
  17. Farris, William Wayne (1995). Population, Disease, and Land in Early Japan, 645–900. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Asia Center. ISBN 978-0-674-69005-9, p. 25.
  18. Henshall, Kenneth (2012). A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-34662-8, pp. 14–15.
  19. Denoon, Donald et al. (2001). Multicultural Japan: Palaeolithic to Postmodern, p. 107.
  20. Kanta Takata. "An Analysis of the Background of Japanese-style Tombs Builtin the Southwestern Korean Peninsula in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries". Bulletin of the National Museum of Japanese History.
  21. Carter, William R. (1983). "Asuka period". In Reischauer, Edwin et al. (eds.). Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan Volume 1. Tokyo: Kodansha. p. 107. ISBN 9780870116216.
  22. Perez, Louis G. (1998). The History of Japan. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-30296-1., pp. 16, 18.
  23. Frederic, Louis (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap. p. 59. ISBN 9780674017535.
  24. Totman, Conrad (2005). A History of Japan. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-119-02235-0., pp. 54–55.
  25. Henshall, Kenneth (2012). A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-34662-8, pp. 18–19.
  26. Weston, Mark (2002). Giants of Japan: The Lives of Japan's Greatest Men and Women. New York: Kodansha. ISBN 978-0-9882259-4-7, p. 127.
  27. Rhee, Song Nai; Aikens, C. Melvin.; Chʻoe, Sŏng-nak.; No, Hyŏk-chin. (2007). "Korean Contributions to Agriculture, Technology, and State Formation in Japan: Archaeology and History of an Epochal Thousand Years, 400 B.C.–A.D. 600". Asian Perspectives. 46 (2): 404–459. doi:10.1353/asi.2007.0016. hdl:10125/17273. JSTOR 42928724. S2CID 56131755.
  28. Totman 2005, pp. 55–57.
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  32. Shuichi Kato; Don Sanderson (15 April 2013). A History of Japanese Literature: From the Manyoshu to Modern Times. Routledge. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-1-136-61368-5.
  33. Shuichi Kato, Don Sanderson (2013), p. 24.
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  61. Farris 2009, p. 193.
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  63. Hane, Mikiso (1991). Premodern Japan: A Historical Survey. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-4970-1, p. 133.
  64. Perez 1998, p. 72.
  65. Henshall 2012, pp. 54–55.
  66. Henshall 2012, p. 60.
  67. Chaiklin, Martha (2013). "Sakoku (1633–1854)". In Perez, Louis G. (ed.). Japan at War: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. pp. 356–357. ISBN 9781598847413.
  68. Totman 2005, pp. 237, 252–253.
  69. Jansen, Marius (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard U. ISBN 0674009916, pp. 116–117.
  70. Henshall 2012, pp. 68–69.
  71. Henshall 2012, pp. 75–76, 217.
  72. Henshall 2012, p. 75.
  73. Henshall 2012, pp. 79, 89.
  74. Henshall 2012, p. 78.
  75. Beasley, WG (1962). "Japan". In Hinsley, FH (ed.). The New Cambridge Modern History Volume 11: Material Progress and World-Wide Problems 1870–1898. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 472.
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  78. Henshall 2012, p. 80.
  79. Perez 1998, pp. 118–119.
  80. Perez 1998, p. 120.
  81. Perez 1998, pp. 115, 121.
  82. Perez 1998, p. 122.
  83. Connaughton, R. M. (1988). The War of the Rising Sun and the Tumbling Bear—A Military History of the Russo-Japanese War 1904–5. London. ISBN 0-415-00906-5., p. 86.
  84. Henshall 2012, pp. 96–97.
  85. Henshall 2012, pp. 101–102.
  86. Perez 1998, pp. 102–103.
  87. Henshall 2012, pp. 108–109.
  88. Perez 1998, p. 138.
  89. Henshall 2012, p. 111.
  90. Henshall 2012, p. 110.
  91. Kenji, Hasegawa (2020). "The Massacre of Koreans in Yokohama in the Aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923". Monumenta Nipponica. 75 (1): 91–122. doi:10.1353/mni.2020.0002. ISSN 1880-1390. S2CID 241681897.
  92. Totman 2005, p. 465.
  93. Large, Stephen S. (2007). "Oligarchy, Democracy, and Fascism". A Companion to Japanese History. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing., p. 1.
  94. Henshall 2012, pp. 142–143.
  95. Perez 1998, pp. 156–157, 162.
  96. Perez 1998, p. 159.
  97. Henshall 2012, p. 163.
  98. Henshall 2012, p. 167.
  99. Meyer, Milton W. (2009). Japan: A Concise History. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780742557932, p. 250.
  100. Henshall 2012, p. 199.
  101. Henshall 2012, pp. 199–201.
  102. Henshall 2012, pp. 187–188.
  103. McCurry, Justin (1 April 2019). "Reiwa: Japan Prepares to Enter New Era of Fortunate Harmony". The Guardian.
  104. "Tokyo Olympics to start in July 2021". BBC. 30 March 2020.
  105. "Tokyo 2021: Olympic Medal Count". Olympics.
  106. Martin Fritz (28 April 2022). "Japan edges from pacifism to more robust defense stance". Deutsche Welle.
  107. "Japan's former PM Abe Shinzo shot, confirmed dead | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News". NHK WORLD.
  108. "China's missle landed in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone". Asahi. 5 August 2022.
  109. Jesse Johnson, Gabriel Dominguez (16 December 2022). "Japan approves major defense overhaul in dramatic policy shift". The Japan Times.
  110. Jennifer Lind (23 December 2022). "Japan Steps Up". Foreign Affairs.

References



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