The history of Japan ... in outline


Not easy to summarize the history of Japan in a few lines ... however, it is always interesting to be aware of the major events that have marked the history of the country that we visit. To us then we dive deeper into the periods that excite us.

Antiquity and the Middle Ages:
  • The first occupants of Japan are the Ainu a Paleo-Siberian people present in northern Japan for 12 000 years. They remained isolated until the XXth century.
  • The modern migration date from the VIIth century BC from China and Korea.
  • The Yamato period (250-710) marks the beginning of a real state with a prince, a regent and imperial court.
  • Buddhism is the Vth and VIth introduced century by Chinese and Korean monks.
  • Nara period (710-794) is marked by a fixed capital and development of myths and legends founder of the dynasty.
  • Heian period (784-1185) is a period of peace and development of the arts.
  • The feudal Japan is marked by clashes between local clans and warlords. It was not until 1590 that Japan was unified by Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

    From the sixteenth to the nineteenth:
    • Edo period, the XVII and XVIII century sees developing a centralized administration.
    • The first contacts with the West in XVIéme century are stopped and net for 2 centuries only some contacts with Chinese and Dutch merchants are allowed. Shogun is in power while the emperor has a symbolic role.
    • In 1854, the shelling of Japanese ports by Commodore Matthew Perry forces Japan to open up to the West. The Shogun must resign and the emperor returned to power.
    • The Meiji era in 1868 is an open period of the West and modernization to great train of the country. The feudal system was abolished, samurai trying to rebel but they are not developed by the new modern army. Japan rapidly industrializing.

      The XX:
      • The Japanese ambitions are not only economic: in 1895 Japan attacked China and Russia in 1904. Japan annex Korea in 1910.
      • The military expansionism is accompanied by a hard and authoritarian regime with Showa. In 1931, Japan seized Manchuria. China's invasion, accompanied by numerous atrocities against civilians continues.
      • Japan joined the Axis forces in 1940. Japan invaded French Indochina and an alliance with Thailand. However, they are stopped in Russia and after the war the United States the situation in the Pacific is degraded. Similarly, the Japanese experience difficulties in China.
      • Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender after the dropping of two atomic bombs on the territory in 1945.
      • After the war, Japan was demilitarized. The emperor renounces executive powers but continues to appoint the Prime Minister and the President of the Supreme Court.
      • We are witnessing a real Japanese economic miracle that made Japan the 3rd world power today.