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Paleolithic Age

The Japanese Atlantis ? japanese history

Ainu Polynesian Yayoi

Japanese Atlantis ?

Legendary founding

Historical Records

 

Seas receded during ice ages of the Pleistocene epoch, Japan periodically connected to mainland Asia .Small bands of hunters follow mammoths and other game across these routes.

 

Earliest stone tools 30,000 BC, Earliest human bones 14,000 BC. Japan's acidic volcanic soil has not preserved many human fossil remains.

 

World-wide warming trend peaking around 3,000 BC, Japan cut off from Asia.

 

Finds by an amateur archaeologist pushing back the Japanese Paleolithic period hundred of thousands of years were proven to be a fraud by the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun in 2000.

Jōmon Period 縄文時代

14,000 - 300 BC

Jomon fertility figurine

Jōmon Dogū(土偶) figurine

 

Some of the first pottery in the world 14,000 BC. Pots formed by coiling clay and fired in open pits.  mon means 'cord marked' in Japanese.

 

Semi-sedentary hunters-gatherers and fishermen. Middins found near Jōmon sites.  These have yielded hooks,nets,Semi-permanent pit dwellings. Some regional trade salt and obsidian.

 

Dogū figurines appear in the middle period,most are female with 'snow goggle' eyes, some with limbs deliberately broken,perhaps to transfer illness and pain.

 

Modern Japanese are believed to be descendants of the immigrants mixed with the  Jōmon people

 

660BC legendary date for the founding of Japan under Emperor Jimmu . No critical research disputing this allowed  from the 1930s till 1945.

 

Yayoi  Period 弥生時代

300BC - 250 AD

Yayoi period stone sword

stone knives

 

Yayoi culture from southern Kyūshū to northern Honshū.

 

Pottery wheel used and kilns. Large jars used for burials. Bronze bells,mirrors,tools and weapons . Weaving appears.Dolmens similar to those in Korea.

 

Japan first appears in Chinese written records in 57 AD as Wa  (倭)

 

Wet-rice agriculture with  introduced from Asian mainland. Rice was stored in raised storehouses. Shamanistic religion.

 

Social rank more important in burials than in Joman period, where most are buried in the same manner.

 

Evidence of tattooing and teeth-pulling of the front teeth.

Kofun  Period 古墳時代 

250 - 500 AD

kofun keyhole tomb

Kofun keyhole tomb

 

Kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this time. The Nintoku tomb of the 5th cent rivals the pyramids of Egypt in mass. Gradually burials in Buddhist temples replace kofun style tombs.

 

Haniwa clay figurines buried in tombs,according to the Nihon shoki as a substitute for live people and animals. Horse riding aristocracy using saddles and stirrups.

 

Bronze and iron being worked by 1st century AD.

 

Growth of highly aristocratic statelets with militaristic rulers. Clan (uji) and hereditary guilds (be).Yamato clan grows to become main power in southern Japan .Yamato rulers become the origins of the Japanese imperial family and copy Chinese centralized administration. Emperor Kimmei (509-571),the 29th emperor is the first with verifiable historiography.

 

Yamato court had ties to the Gaya confederacy in Korea. Baekje and Silla sent their princes as hostages to the Yamato court in exchange for military support .

 

Man'yogana  a writing system using Chinese characters to representthe Japanese language developed, will evolve into Hiragana

 

Japan's imperial household agency which maintains tombs of this period agreed to open some tombs to archaeologists in 2007

 

 

 

A History of Japan    R.Mason.

A history of Japan, from the turbulent times of its medieval age to the emergence of modern day Japan as a leading economic power

 

 Japanese erasers

 

The Rising Sun  John Toland

Classic on the history of Imperial Japan

 

Japan History Links

Wikipedia

Nat Museum of Japanese History

Univ of Tokyo on Jōmon Period

Tokyo National Museum

Samurai-Archives.com

Sino Japanese War

Imperial Japanese Navy

Japan Bubble Economy

Korean History

 

Asuka Period

 飛鳥時代

Shitennoji temple

500 - 710 AD

 

538 Buddhism introduced to Japan in 538 by Baekje

 

573-621 Prince Shōtoku centralizes power on Confucian model with court ranks. Buddhism promoted, Buddhist

Hōryū-ji temple founded 607.

 

646 Taika Reforms independence of regional officials curtailed, the imperial court becomes  a place of appeal for the people.cCuntry divided into provinces ruled by governors appointed by the court. Name of country changed from Wa to Nihon.Large Kofun tombs banned.

660 Yamato's ally in Korea, Baekje,sacked by Silla and Tang China. large number of refugees  flee to Japan,including royal family.

 

708 coining of copper money

Nara Period  

奈良時代

Chinese monk Ganjin

Ganjin

710 - 794 AD

 

710 Capital established at Nara,based on T'ang capital. Before this capital moved on emperor's death.Students sent to T'ang China to study.

 

Early 700s Kojiki the oldest extant chronicle in Japan written

720 Nihon Shoki Historical record

728 Tōdai-ji Buddhist temple founded. Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden),  is the largest wooden building in the world

 

754 Chinese Buddhist priest Ganjin arrives in Japan

Heian Period 

平安時代

Heian beauties

794 - 1185

 

794 Captial moved to Heian (Kyoto) Fujiwara clan controls emperor. High point of Classical Japanese art and literature

 

Wars against Emishi, descendants of Jōmon people who lived in northern Honshu.

 1002 Pillow Book by Lady Sei Shonagon

1010 Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki

1095 Soldiers monks march through Kyoto

1159 Heiji War Minamoto are defeated

1175 Honen founds Pure Land sect

1180-85 Gempei War Taira defeated by Minamoto

 Kamakura Period  

鎌倉時代

Gempei warrior

1185 - 1333

 

1185 Minamoto Yoritomo est Bakufu at Kamakura

1221 Jokyu War

1250 Tale of Heiki written

1253 Nichiren sect of Buddhism est

1274-81 Mongol invasions repulsed

1333 overthrow of Kamakura Bakufu Northern and Southern courts

 

 

Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters
Paul Schrader's stunning film biography of one of Japan's most celebrated post-World War II writers--Yukio Mishima

 watch trailer

 

Samurai Swords

 

 

Kimono

 

 

vintage pachinko machines

 

 

Ran (1985 Kurosawa) 

Magnificent costumes, breathtaking settings, and amazingly photographed battle sequences

watch trailer

 

Muromachi

室町時代

Muromachi court

1333 - 1568

 

1368-94 Ashikaga Yoshimitsu shogun rule

1392 Yoshimitsu unifies two courts

1467-77 Onin War Japan breaks up into feudal domains ruled by daimyo

 

Spread of Zen culture

Noh theater

1394 Golden Pavilion built

Tea ceremony develops

1500 Japanese pirates attack China,Korea,SE Asia

1543  Portuguese arrive introduction of firearms

1549 Francis Xavier arrives

Azuchi -Momoyama

安土桃山時代

Imjin war sea battle

1568 - 1600

 

1568 Oda Nobunga ends Ashikaga shogunate

1573 Nobunga conquers most of Japan

1582 Nobunga assassinated

Toyotomi Hideyoshi unifies Japan, rules as Kampaku

1587 Catholic missionaries banned

1588 sword hunt

1592 Hideyoshi invades Korea to attack China-Imjin War

 

Japanese pirates

(倭寇 wako)

Japanese pirates raids reached their heyday from 1545-1560

Edo

江戸時代

Edo castle

1600 - 1868

 

1600 Battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats clans of Western Japan, takes title as Seitaishogun in 1603

Bakufu est in Edo (Tokyo)

1609 Catholicism prohibited

Dutch allowed trading post at Hirado

Neo-Confucian influence

Kabuki woodblock prints

1615 Siege of Osaka castle

1635 Japanese citizens forbidden to travel abroad

1637 Shimbara Christian rebellion

1701 47 Ronin affair

1781-88 Temmei famine

1853 Capt. Perry and American black ships force Japan open

Meiji

明治時代

Meiji fashion

1868 - 1912

 

1868 overthrow of Bakufu, imperial restoration

1871 Daimyo lands returned to emperor

1872 Tokyo-Yokohama railroad opened

Emperor Mutsuhito moves court to Edo,reamed Tokyo

1890 Meiji constitution,political parties formed,House of Representatives

1894-5 Sino Japanese War

Taiwan taken from China

1904-5 Russo-Jaoanese War

1910 Japanese annexation of Korea

 

 

Taisho

大正時代

1912 - 26

 

1912 Death of Emperor Meiji, Taisho Emperor

Two party civilian government till 1932

 

1914 Japan declares war on Germany, gains Germany's Pacific colonies and Qingdao

 

1918-22 70,000 Japanese troops sent to Siberia

 

1920 Japan admitted to League of Nations

 

1923 Great Kanto quake

 

1922 Washington Naval Conference

 

1924 U.S. Japanese Exclusion Act

 

1925 radio broadcasts

Showa

昭和時代

1926 - 89

 

1926 Accession of Showa emperor,Hirohito

1931 October Incident failed coup d’etat by rightist Army officers.Thearmy,moving

independently of the government invades Manchuria

1932 Manchukuo puppet state created

1933 Japan withdraws from League of Nations

1936 February 26 Incident, about 1,500 Ultranationalist army troops marched upon central Tokyo,ended by emperor

1937 July 7 Marco Polo Bridge incident Japan declares war on China Nanking Massacre

1939 Japanese forces defeated by Soviets at Nomonhan in Mongolia.Army gives up idea of siezing Siberia,decides to strike south.

1940 Tripartite Pact was signed

1940 Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere announced

1941 July U.S.,U.K. and Dutch gov in exile stop selling oil,iron ore and steel to Japan,due to Japanese invasion of China. .Japan only has enough oil to last a few months.

1941 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor

1942 Battle of Midway

1945-52 Allied Occupation of Japan

1946 Emperor renounces divinity land reforms

1949 MITI created

1953 TV broadcasts

1954 Seven Samurai released

1956 Japan joins United Nations

1964 Bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka 1964 Summer Olympics in Japan

1970 Yukio Mishima commits ritual suicide by seppuku after trying to start a coup d'etat

1972 Okinawa returned to Japanese rule

1974 Lockheed bribery scandal

1988 Seikan tunnel between Honshu and Hokkaido

Heisei

平成

1989 - now

 

Hirohito's son, Akihito, succeeds to the throne

 

1986-91 Bubble economy

 

1988 Recruit scandal

 

1995 Kobe Earthquake, Sarin attack on the Tokyo subway by Aum Shinrikyo

 

1998 Akira Kurosawa dies

 

2009 Yukio Hatoyama Prime Minister

 

 

Timeline of Japanese History

 

Japanese History Quiz

 

 List of post war prime ministers

 

Japanese historical movies

 

Glossary of Terms with Pronunciation in Japanese

 

 

 

One Thousand Years of Manga 

 

 

Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy 

For almost 20 years, more than 200 reels of microfilmed Japanese naval records remained in the custody of the U.S. Naval History Division, virtually untouched. This unique book draws on those sources and others to tell the story of the Pacific War from the viewpoint of the Japanese

 

woodblock print t-shirts 

 

Japanese History Videos

100,000 years of Japanese history in 8 minutes

Japanese history from the Edo to Meiji period

 

The naval battle of Tsushima 1905

color photographs of Meiji Japan

Japan

1931-42

Japanese economic slump

 

 

 

 

 

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Bushido: The Way of the Samurai
In eighteenth-century Japan, Tsunetomo Yamamoto created the Hagakure, a document that served as the basis for samurai warrior behavior

 

 

 

 

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