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History >> Geography >> Asia >> Japan

Japan

Timeline and History Overview

Japan Timeline

BCE

Mount Fuji

CE

Classical Japan

Classical Japan is a period when the Yamato clan rose to power and became Japan's first dynasty. It includes the Asuka, Nara, and Heian Periods. Medieval Japan

This period is sometimes referred to as the feudal period of Japan. The land was ruled by powerful warlords called "daimyo" and their leader, called "shogun." These warlords often battled each other.

Yoritomo Shogun

Edo Period

The Edo Period was a time of relative peace and prosperity with a centralized government under the Shogun. Merchants became more powerful as the economy improved. Empire of Japan

During this time Japan becomes a unified state ruled by the emperor. It also expands, colonizing and conquering nearby lands such as Taiwan and Korea. Democratic Japan Brief Overview of the History of Japan

Japan is an island nation that has well over 6000 islands. The four largest islands make up by far the majority of the country's land. In the 8th century, Japan became unified into a strong state ruled by an emperor. In 794, Emperor Kammu moved the capital to what is today Kyoto. This started Japan's Heian period where much of today's distinct Japanese culture emerged including art, literature, poetry, and music.

In the 10th and 11th centuries Japan entered into a feudal era. During this time the samurai, a ruling class of warriors, came into power. The leader of the most powerful clan of samurais was called the shogun. In 1467 a civil war broke out call the Onin War. It was between the shogun and the feudal warlords, called daimyo. Japan was once again unified in 1590 under Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

During the 1500s the Portuguese arrived in Japan. They began to trade and learn about European society and the west. However, in the 1630s the shogun closed the country to outside contact and trade. This policy was called sakoku. Japan would remain closed to foreigners for over 200 years. In 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States forced Japan to reopen relations with the rest of the world. Japan became an empire ruled by an emperor.

In World War II Japan allied with the Axis Powers of Germany and Italy. On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked the United States bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. This caused the United States to enter the war on the side of the Allies. Japan surrendered in 1945 when the US dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1947 Japan adopted a constitution with a democratic government. Since then Japan has grown into a powerful nation with one of the world's largest economies.

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History >> Geography >> Asia >> Japan

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