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2 août 2011 2 02 /08 /août /2011 04:07

Yayoi period

The Yayoi period lasted from about 400 or 300 BC until 250 AD. This period followed the J?mon period and completely supplanted it. This period is named after Yayoi town, the subsection of Bunky?, Tokyo, where archaeological investigations uncovered its first recognized traces.Sony VAIO VPCP116KG Battery

The start of the Yayoi period marked the influx of new practices such as weaving, rice farming, shamanism, and iron and bronze-making. Bronze and iron appear to have been introduced simultaneously into Yayoi Japan. Iron was mainly used for agricultural and other tools; whereas, ritual and ceremonial artifacts were mainly made of bronze. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/B Battery

Some casting of bronze and iron began in Japan by about 100 BC, but the raw materials for both metals were introduced from the Asian continent.

Japan first appeared in written records in 57 AD with the following mention in China's Book of the Later Han: "Across the ocean from Lelang are the people ofWa. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/D Battery

Formed from more than one hundred tribes, they come and pay tribute frequently". The book also recorded that Suish?, the king of Wa, presented slaves to the Emperor An of Han in 107. The Sanguo Zhi, written in the 3rd century, noted the country was the unification of some 30 small tribes or states and ruled by a shaman queen named Himiko of Yamataikoku.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/G Battery

During the Han and Wei dynasties, Chinese travelers to Ky?sh? recorded its inhabitants and claimed that they were the descendants of the Grand Count (Tàibó) of the Wu. The inhabitants also show traits of the pre-sinicized Wu people with tattooing, teeth-pulling, and baby-carrying. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/P Battery

The Sanguo Zhi records the physical descriptions which are similar to ones on haniwa statues, such as men with braided hair, tattooing, and women wearing large, single-piece clothing.

The Yoshinogari site in Ky?sh? is the most famous archaeological site of the Yayoi period and reveals a large settlement continuously inhabited for several hundred years. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/W Battery

Archaeological excavation has shown the most ancient parts to be from around 400 BC. It appears the inhabitants had frequent communication and trade relations with the mainland. Today, some reconstructed buildings stand in the park on the archaeological site.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC Battery

Kofun period

The Kofun period began around 250 AD, is named after the large tumulus burial mounds (kofun) that started appearing around that time.

The Kofun period (the "Kofun-Jidai") saw the establishment of strong military states, each of them centered around powerful clans (or zoku). Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/B Battery

The establishment of the dominant Yamato polity was centered in the provinces of Yamato and Kawachi from the 3rd century AD till the 7th century, establishing the origin of the Japanese imperial lineage. And so the polity, by suppressing the clans and acquiring agricultural lands, maintained a strong influence in the western part of Japan.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/P Battery

Japan started to send tributes to Imperial China in the 5th century. In the Chinese history records, the polity was called Wa, and its five kings were recorded. Based upon the Chinese model, they developed a central administration and an imperial court system, with its society being organized into various occupation groups. Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/W Battery

Close relationships between the Three Kingdoms of Korea and Japan began during the middle of this period, around the end of the 4th century.

During the Asuka period (538 to 710), the proto-Japanese Yamato polity gradually became a clearly centralized state, defining and applying a code of governing laws, such as the Taika Reforms and Taih? Code.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/B Battery

The introduction of Buddhism led to the discontinuing of the practice of large kofun.

Buddhism was introduced to Japan in 538 by Baekje, to which Japan provided military support, and was promoted by the ruling class. Prince Sh?toku devoted his efforts to the spread of Buddhism and Chinese culture in Japan.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/D Battery

He is credited with bringing relative peace to Japan through the proclamation of theSeventeen-article constitution, a Confucian style document that focused on the kinds of morals and virtues that were to be expected of government officials and the emperor's subjects. Buddhism would become a permanent part of Japanese culture.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/G Battery

A letter brought to the Emperor of China by an emissary from Japan in 607 stated that the "Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises (Japan) sends a letter to the Emperor of the land where Sun sets (China)", thereby implying an equal footing with China which angered the Chinese emperor. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/P Battery

Nara period

The Nara period of the 8th century marked the first emergence of a strong Japanese state, and is often portrayed as a golden age. Hall 1966 concludes that "Japan had been transformed from a loose federation of uji in the fifth century to an empire on the order of Imperial China in the eighth.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/W Battery

A new theory of state and a new structure of government supported the Japanese sovereign in the style and with the powers of an absolute monarch." traditional political and economic practices were now organized through a rationally structured government apparatus legally define functions and precedents. Sony VAIO VPCP119JC Battery

Lands were surveyed and registered with the state. A powerful new aristocracy emerged which control the state, and was supported by taxes that were efficiently collected. The government built great public works, including government offices, temples, roads, and irrigation systems.Sony VAIO VPCP119JC/BI Battery

Soon dramatic new cultural manifestations characterized th Nara period, lasting some four centuries.

Following an imperial rescript by Empress Gemmei, the capital was moved to Heij?-ky?, present-day Nara, in 710. The city was modeled on Chang'an (nowXi'an), the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/B Battery

During the Nara Period, political development was marked by a struggle between the imperial family and the Buddhist clergy as well as the regents, the Fujiwara clan. Japan did enjoy friendly relations with Silla as well as formal relationships with Tang China.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/B Battery

In 784, the capital was moved again to Nagaoka-ky? to escape the Buddhist priests and then in 794 to Heian-ky?, present-day Ky?to. At this time, Buddhism and Shinto began to form a syncretic system.

Historical writing in Japan culminated in the early 8th century with the massive chronicles, the Kojiki (The Record of Ancient Matters, 712) and the Nihon Shoki(Chronicles of Japan, 720).Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/D Battery

These chronicles give a legendary account of Japan's beginnings, today known as the Japanese mythology. According to the myths contained in these chronicles, Japan was founded in 660 BC by the ancestral Emperor Jimmu, a direct descendant of the Shint? deity Amaterasu, or the Sun Goddess. Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/D Battery

The myths recorded that Jimmu started a line of emperors that remains to this day. Historians assume the myths partly describe historical facts, but the first emperor who actually existed was Emperor ?jin, though the date of his reign is uncertain.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/G Battery

Since the Nara period, actual political power has not been in the hands of the emperor but has instead been exercised at different times by the court nobility, warlords, the military and, more recently, the Prime Minister of Japan.

Heian period

The Heian period, lasting from 794 to 1185, is the final period of classical Japanese history.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/G Battery

It is considered the peak of the Japanese imperial court and noted for its art, especially its poetry and literature. In the early 11th century, Lady Murasaki wrote Japan's (and one of the world's) oldest surviving novels, The Tale of Genji. The Man'y?sh? and Kokin Wakash?, the oldest existing collections of Japanese poetry, were compiled during this period.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/P Battery

Strong differences from mainland Asian cultures emerged (such as an indigenous writing system, the kana). Due to the decline of the Tang Dynasty, Chinese influence had reached its peak, and then effectively ended, with the last imperially sanctioned mission to Tang China in 838, although trade expeditions and Buddhist pilgrimages to China continued.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/W Battery

Political power in the imperial court was in the hands of powerful aristocratic families (kuge), especially the Fujiwara clan, who ruled under the titles Sessh? and Kampaku (imperial regents). The end of the period saw the rise of various military clans. The four most powerful clans were the Minamoto clan, the Taira clan, the Fujiwara clan, and the Tachibana clan.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/W Battery

Towards the end of the 12th century, conflicts between these clans turned into civil war, such as the H?gen and Heiji Rebellions, followed by the Genpei War, from which emerged a society led bysamurai clans under the political rule of the sh?gun.Sony VAIO VPCP11Z9E/B Battery

Buddhism began to spread during the Heian Period through chiefly two major sect, Tendai by Saich?, and Shingon by K?kai. Pure Land Buddhism greatly becomes popular in the latter half of the 11th century.

Feudal Japan (1185–1868)

The "feudal" period of Japanese history, dominated by the powerful regional families (daimy?) and the military rule of warlords (sh?gun), stretched from 1185 to 1868. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery

The emperor remained but was mostly kept to a de jure figurehead ruling position, and the power of merchants was weak. This time is usually divided into periods following the reigning family of the sh?gun.Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery

Kamakura period

The Kamakura period, 1185 to 1333, is a period that marks the governance of the Kamakura shogunate and the transition to the Japanese "medieval" era, a nearly 700-year period in which the emperor, the court, and the traditional central government were left intact but largely relegated to ceremonial functions.Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery

Civil, military, and judicial matters were controlled by the bushi (samurai) class, the most powerful of whom was the de factonational ruler, the sh?gun. This period in Japan differed from the old sh?en system in its pervasive military emphasis.Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery

In 1185, Minamoto no Yoritomo defeated the rival Taira clan, and in 1192, Yoritomo was appointed Seii Tai-Sh?gun by the emperor. Establishing a base of power called the Bafuku in Kamakura, Yoritomo ruled as the first in a line of Kamakura sh?gun. Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery

Minamoto no Yoritomi was married to Hôjô Masako of the Hôjô clan, herself a Sensei (master) in Kyudô (the art of the Bow) and Kendô (the art of the sword), and she contributed much to his ascent and organizing the Bafuku. However, after Yoritomo's death, another warrior clan, the H?j?, came to rule as shikken (regents) for the sh?gun.Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery

A traumatic event of the period was the Mongol invasions of Japan between 1274 and 1281, in which massive Mongol forces with superior naval technology and weaponry attempted a full-scale invasion of the Japanese islands. A famous typhoon referred to as kamikaze (translating as divine wind in Japanese) Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery

is credited with devastating both Mongol invasion forces in addition to the defensive measures the Japanese built on the island of Ky?sh?. Although the Japanese were successful in stopping the Mongols, the invasion attempt had devastating domestic repercussions, leading to the extinction of the Kamakura shogunate.Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery

Kemmu Restoration

In 1333, the Kamakura shogunate was overthrown in a coup d'état known as the Kemmu Restoration, led by Emperor Go-Daigo and his followers (Ashikaga Takauji, Nitta Yoshisada, and Kusunoki Masashige). The Imperial House was restored to political influence, but this only lasted three years, ending when samurai opposed to Go-Daigo enthroned Emperor K?gon.Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery

Muromachi period

During the Muromachi period, the Ashikaga shogunate ruled for 237 years from 1336 to 1573. It was established by Ashikaga Takauji who seized political power from Emperor Go-Daigo, exiling him to Yoshino and ending the Kemmu restoration. Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery

The early years (1336 to 1392) of the Muromachi period are known as theNanboku-ch? (Northern and Southern court) period because the imperial court was split in two. The Muromachi period ended in 1573 when the 15th and last sh?gun, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, was driven out of the capital in Kyoto by Oda Nobunaga.Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery

In the viewpoint of a cultural history, Kitayama period (14th end-15th first half ) and Higashiyama period (15th second half-16th first half ) exist in Muromachi period.

Sengoku period

The later years of the Muromachi period, 1467 to 1573, are also known as the Sengoku period (Period of Warring Kingdoms), Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery

a time of intense internal warfare, and corresponds with the period of the first contacts with the West—the arrival of Portuguese "Nanban" traders.

In 1543, a Portuguese ship, blown off its course to China, landed on Tanegashima Island. Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery

Firearms introduced by the Portuguese would bring the major innovation of the Sengoku period, culminating in the Battle of Nagashino where reportedly 3,000 arquebuses (the actual number is believed to be around 2,000) cut down charging ranks of samurai. Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery

During the following years, traders from Portugal, the Netherlands, England, and Spain arrived, as did Jesuit, Dominican, andFranciscan missionaries.

Azuchi-Momoyama period

The Azuchi-Momoyama period runs from approximately 1568 to 1603. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery

The period, regarded as the late Warring Kingdoms period, marks the military reunification and stabilization of the country under a single political ruler, first by the campaigns of Oda Nobunaga who almost united Japan and achieved later by one of his generals, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery

The name Azuchi-Momoyama comes from the names of their respective castles, Azuchi Castle and Momoyama Castle.

After having united Japan, Hideyoshi invaded Korea in an attempt to conquer Korea, China, and even India. Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery

However, after two unsuccessful campaigns towards the allied forces of Korea and China and his death, his forces retreated from the Korean Peninsula in 1598. Following his death, Japan experienced a short period of succession conflict. Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the regents for Hideyoshi's young heir, emerged victorious at the Battle of Sekigahara and seized political power.Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery

Edo period (1603–1868)

During the Edo period, also called the Tokugawa period, the administration of the country was shared by over two hundred daimy? in a federation governed by theTokugawa shogunate. Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery

The Tokugawa clan, leader of the victorious eastern army in the Battle of Sekigahara, was the most powerful of them and for fifteen generations monopolized the title of Sei-i Taish?gun (often shortened to sh?gun). With their headquarters at Edo (present-day T?ky?),Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery

the Tokugawa commanded the allegiance of the other daimy?, who in turn ruled their domains with a rather high degree of autonomy.

The Tokugawa shogunate carried out a number of significant policies. They placed the samurai class above the commoners: the agriculturists, artisans, and merchants. Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery

They enacted sumptuary laws limiting hair style, dress, and accessories. They organized commoners into groups of five and held all responsible for the acts of each individual. To prevent daimy? from rebelling, the sh?guns required them to maintain lavish residences in Edo and live at these residences on a rotating schedule;Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery

carry out expensive processions to and from their domains; contribute to the upkeep of shrines, temples, and roads; and seek permission before repairing their castles.

This 265-year span directly prior to seclusion was called "A peaceful state". Cultural achievement was high during this period, and many artistic developments took place.Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery

Most significant among them were the ukiyo-e form of wood-block print and the kabuki and bunraku theaters. Also, many of the most famous works for the koto and shakuhachi date from this time period.

Seclusion

During the early part of the 17th century, the shogunate suspected that foreign traders and missionaries were actually forerunners of a military conquest by European powers.Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery

Christianity had spread in Japan, especially among peasants, and the shogunate suspected the loyalty of Christian peasants towards their daimy?, severely persecuting them. This led to a revolt by persecuted peasants and Christians in 1637 known as the Shimabara Rebellion which saw 30,000 Christians, Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/P Battery

r?nin, and peasants facing a massive samurai army of more than 100,000 sent from Edo. The rebellion was crushed at a high cost to the sh?gun's army.

After the eradication of the rebels at Shimabara, the shogunate placed foreigners under progressively tighter restrictions. Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/PC Battery

It monopolized foreign policy and expelled traders, missionaries, and foreigners with the exception of the Dutch and Chinese merchants who were restricted to the man-made island of Dejima in Nagasaki Bay and several small trading outposts outside the country.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/T Battery

However, during this period of isolation (Sakoku) that began in 1635, Japan was much less cut off from the rest of the world than is commonly assumed, and some acquisition of western knowledge occurred under the Rangaku system. Russian encroachments from the north led the shogunate to extend direct rule to Hokkaid?,Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/W Battery

Sakhalin and the Kuriles in 1807, but the policy of exclusion continued.

End of seclusion

The policy of isolation lasted for more than 200 years. In 1844, William II of the Netherlands sent a message urging Japan to open its doors which was rejected by the Japanese.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXP Battery

On July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy with four warships—the Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, andSusquehanna—steamed into the bay in Yokohama and displayed the threatening power of his ships' cannons during a Christian burial which the Japanese observed. Sony VAIO VPCW111XXT Battery

He requested that Japan open to trade with the West. These ships became known as the kurofune, the Black Ships.

The following year at the Convention of Kanagawa on March 31, 1854, Perry returned with seven ships and demanded that the sh?gun sign the Treaty of Peace and Amity, establishing formal diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. Sony VAIO VPCW111XXW Battery

Within five years, Japan had signed similar treaties with other Western countries. The Harris Treaty was signed with the United States on July 29, 1858. These treaties were unequal, having been forced on Japan through gunboat diplomacy, and were interpreted by the Japanese as a sign of Western imperialism taking hold of the rest of the Asian continent. Sony VAIO VPCW115XG Battery

Among other measures, they gave the Western nations unequivocal control of tariffs on imports and the right of extraterritoriality to all of their visiting nationals. They would remain a sticking point in Japan's relations with the West up to the turn of the century.Sony VAIO VPCW115XGP Battery

Empire of Japan (1868–1945)

Beginning in 1868, Japan undertook political, economic, and cultural reforms, emerging as a unified and centralized state known as the Empire of Japan (also Imperial Japan or Prewar Japan). This 77-year period, which lasted until 1945, was a time of imperialism and absolutism. Japan became an imperial power, colonizing Korea and Taiwan.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/P Battery

Renewed contact with the West precipitated a profound alteration of Japanese society. Importantly, within the context of Japan's subsequent aggressive militarism, the signing of the treaties was viewed as profoundly humiliating and a source of national shame.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/T Battery

The Tokugawa sh?gun was forced to resign, and soon after the Boshin War of 1868, the emperor was restored to power, beginning a period of fierce nationalism and intense socio-economic restructuring known as theMeiji Restoration.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/W Battery

The Tokugawa system was abolished, the military was modernized, and numerous Western institutions were adopted–including a Western legal system and quasi-parliamentary constitutional government as outlined in the Meiji Constitution. This constitution was modeled on the constitution of theGerman Empire. Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/P Battery

While many aspects of the Meiji Restoration were adopted directly from Western institutions, others, such as the dissolution of the feudal system and removal of the shogunate, were processes that had begun long before the arrival of Perry. Nonetheless, Perry's intervention is widely viewed as a pivotal moment in Japanese history.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/T Battery

Russian pressure from the north appeared again after Muraviev had gained Outer Manchuria at Aigun (1858) and Peking (1860). This led to heavy Russian pressure on Sakhalin which the Japanese eventually yielded in exchange for the Kuril islands (1875).Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/W Battery

The Ryukyu Islands were similarly secured in 1879, establishing the borders within which Japan would "enter the World". In 1898, the last of the unequal treaties with Western powers was removed, signalling Japan's new status among the nations of the world.Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ Battery

In a few decades by reforming and modernizing social, educational, economic, military, political and industrial systems, the Emperor Meiji's "controlled revolution" had transformed a feudal and isolated state into a world power. Significantly, the impetus for this change was the belief that Japan had to compete with the West both industrially and militarily to achieve equality.Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/P Battery

Wars with China and Russia

Japanese intellectuals of the late-Meiji period espoused the concept of a "line of advantage", an idea that would help to justify Japanese foreign policy at the turn of the century. According to this principle, embodied in the slogan fukoku ky?hei, Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/W Battery

Japan would be vulnerable to aggressive Western imperialism unless it extended a line of advantage beyond its borders which would help to repel foreign incursions and strengthen the Japanese economy. Emphasis was especially placed on Japan's "preeminent interests" in the Korean Peninsula, once famously described as a "dagger pointed at the heart of Japan". Sony VAIO VPCW11AXJ Battery

It was tensions over Korea and Manchuria, respectively, that led Japan to become involved in the first Sino-Japanese War with China in 1894–1895 and the Russo-Japanese War with Russia in 1904–1905.

The war with China made Japan the world's first Eastern, modern imperial power, and the war with Russia proved that a Western power could be defeated by an Eastern state. Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/P Battery

The aftermath of these two wars left Japan the dominant power in the Far East with a sphere of influence extending over southern Manchuria and Korea, which was formally annexed as part of the Japanese Empire in 1910. Japan had also gained half of Sakhalin Island from Russia. Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/T Battery

The results of these wars established Japan's dominant interest in Korea, while giving it the Pescadores Islands, Formosa (now Taiwan), and the Liaodong Peninsula in Manchuria, which was eventually retroceded in the "humiliating" Triple Intervention.Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/W Battery

Over the next decade, Japan would flaunt its growing prowess, including a very significant contribution to the Eight-Nation Alliance formed to quell China's Boxer Rebellion. Many Japanese, however, believed their new empire was still regarded as inferior by the Western powers, and they sought a means of cementing their international standing. Sony VAIO VPCW121AX Battery

This set the climate for growing tensions with Russia, which would continually intrude into Japan's "line of advantage" during this time.

Anglo-Japanese Alliance

The Anglo-Japanese Alliance treaty was signed between the United Kingdom and Japan on January 30, 1902, and announced on February 12, 1902. Sony VAIO VPCW126AG Battery

It was renewed in 1905 and 1911 before its demise in 1921 and its termination in 1923. It was a military alliance between the two countries that threatened Russia and Germany. Due to this alliance, Japan entered World War I on the side of Great Britain. Japan attacked German bases in China and sent troops to the Mediterranean in 1917. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/P Battery

Through this treaty, there was also great cultural exchange between the two countries.

World War I

In a manner perhaps reminiscent of its participation in quelling the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the century, Japan entered World War I and declared war on theCentral Powers. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/T Battery

Though Japan's role in World War I was limited largely to attacking German colonial outposts in East Asia, it took advantage of the opportunity to expand its influence in Asia and its territorial holdings in the Pacific. Acting virtually independently of the civil government, the Japanese navy seized Germany's Micronesian colonies. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/W Battery

It also attacked and occupied the German coaling port of Qingdao in the Chinese Shandong peninsula.

Japan went to the peace conference at Versailles in 1919 as one of the great military and industrial powers of the world and received official recognition as one of the "Big Five" of the new international order. Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/WZ Battery

It joined the League of Nations and received a mandate over Pacific islands north of the Equator formerly held by Germany. Japan was also involved in the post-war Allied intervention in Russia, occupying Russian (Outer) Manchuria and also north Sakhalin (with its rich oil reserves). Sony VAIO VPCW12AAJ Battery

It was the last Allied power to withdraw from the interventions against Soviet Russia (doing so in 1925).

The post–World War I era brought Japan unprecedented prosperity.

Fascism in Japan

During the 1910s and 1920s, Japan progressed towards democracy movements known as 'Taish? Democracy'. Sony VAIO VPCW12AKJ Battery

However, parliamentary government was not rooted deeply enough to withstand the economic and political pressures of the late 1920s and 1930s during the Depression period, and its state became increasingly militarized. This was due to the increasing powers of military leaders and was similar to the actions some European nations were taking leading up to World War II.Sony VAIO VPCW12AVJ Battery

These shifts in power were made possible by the ambiguity and imprecision of the Meiji Constitution, particularly its measure that the legislative body was answerable to the Emperor and not the people. The Kodoha, a militarist faction, even attempted a coup d'état known as the February 26 Incident, which was crushed after three days by Hirohito, the Emperor Sh?wa.Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/P Battery

Party politics came under increasing fire because it was believed they were divisive to the nation and promoted self-interest where unity was needed. As a result, the major parties voted to dissolve themselves and were absorbed into a single party, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association (IRAA), Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/T Battery

which also absorbed many prefectural organizations such as women's clubs and neighborhood associations. However, this umbrella organization did not have a cohesive political agenda and factional in-fighting persisted throughout its existence, meaning Japan did not devolve into a totalitarian state. Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/W Battery

The IRAA has been likened to a sponge, in that it could soak everything up, but there is little one could do with it afterwards. Its creation was precipitated by a series of domestic crises, including the advent of the Great Depression in the 1930s and the actions of extremists such as the members of the Cherry Blossom Society, who enacted the May 15 Incident.Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/L Battery

Second Sino-Japanese War

Under the pretext of the Manchurian Incident, Lieutenant Colonel Kanji Ishiwara invaded Inner (Chinese) Manchuria in 1931, an action the Japanese government ratified with the creation of the puppet state of Manchukuo under the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi.Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/P Battery

As a result of international condemnation of the incident, Japan resigned from the League of Nations in 1933. After several more similar incidents fueled by an expansionist military, the second Sino-Japanese War began in 1937 after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident.Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/T Battery

During the pre-1945 Sh?wa period, according to the Meiji Constitution, the Emperor had the "supreme command of the Army and the Navy" (Article 11). From 1937, Emperor Sh?wa became supreme commander of the Imperial General Headquarters, by which the military decisions were made. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/W Battery

This ad-hoc body consisted of the chief and vice chief of the Army, the minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Navy, the minister of the Navy, the inspector general of military aviation, and the inspector general of military training.

Having joined the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936, Japan formed the Axis Pact with Germany and Italy on September 27, 1940. Sony VAIO VPCW215AG/L Battery

Many Japanese politicians believed war with the Occident to be inevitable due to inherent cultural differences and Western imperialism. Japanese imperialism was then justified by the revival of the traditional concept of hakko ichiu, the divine right of the emperor to unite and rule the world.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC Battery

Japan fought the Soviet Union in 1938 in the Battle of Lake Khasan and in 1939 in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. Comprehensive defeat of the Japanese by the Soviets led to the signing of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact. The treaty held until August 1945 when the Soviets attacked.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/L Battery

World War II

Tensions were mounting with the U.S. as a result of public outcry over Japanese aggression and reports of atrocities in China, such as the infamous Nanjing Massacre. The U.S. strongly supported China with money, airmen, supplies and threats against Japan. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/P Battery

In retaliation to the invasion of French Indochina the U.S. began an embargo on such goods as petroleum products and scrap iron. On July 25, 1941, all Japanese assets in the US were frozen. Because Japan's military might, especially the Navy, was dependent on their dwindling oil reserves, Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/T Battery

this action had the contrary effect of increasing Japan's dependence on and hunger for new acquisitions.

Many civil leaders of Japan, including Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro, believed a war with America would end in defeat, but felt the concessions demanded by the U.S. would almost certainly relegate Japan from the ranks of the World Powers, leaving it prey to Western collusion. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/W Battery

Civil leaders offered political compromises in the form of the "Amau Doctrine," dubbed the "Japanese Monroe Doctrine" that would have given the Japanese free rein with regards to war with China. These offers were flatly rejected by U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull; the military leaders instead vied for quick military action.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC Battery

Most military leaders such as Osami Nagano, Kotohito Kan'in, Hajime Sugiyama and Hideki T?j? believed that war with the Occident was inevitable. They finally convinced the Emperor to sanction on November 1941 an attack plan against U.S., Great Britain and the Netherlands. Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/L Battery

However, there were dissenters in the ranks about the wisdom of that option, most notably Admiral Yamamoto andPrince Takamatsu. They pointedly warned that at the beginning of hostilities with the US, the Empire would have the advantage for six months, after which Japan's defeat in a prolonged war with an enemy with a much larger economy would be almost certain.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/P Battery

The Americans were expecting an attack in the Philippines and sent bombers to deter Japan. On Yamamoto's advice, Japan made the decision to attack the main American fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. American strategists believed that Japan would never be so bold as to attack so close to its home base, and the US was taken completely by surprise.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/T Battery

The attack on Pearl Harbor, initially appeared to be a major success that knocked out the American battle fleet—but it missed the aircraft carriers that were at sea and ignored vital shore facilities whose destruction could have crippled US Pacific operations.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/W Battery

Ultimately, the attack proved a long-term strategic disaster that actually inflicted relatively little significant long term damage while provoking the United States to seek revenge. At the same time as the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese army attacked British Hong Kong and occupied it for nearly four years.Sony VA

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While Nazi Germany was in the middle of its Blitzkrieg through Europe, Japan was following suit in Asia. The Japanese Army invaded and captured most of the coastal Chinese cities such as Shanghai. Japan took over French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), British Malaya (Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore) Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/P Battery

as well as the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) while Thailand entered into an alliance with Japan. Japanese forces overwhelmed the British in Burma (thus cutting off supplies to China) and reached the borders of India and Australia. Its air raids devastated Darwin, Australia. Japan had soon established an empire stretching over much of the Pacific.Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/W Battery

However as Admiral Yamamoto warned, Japan's six month window of military advantage after Pearl Harbor ended with the Japanese Navy's offensive ability being crippled at the hands of the American Navy in the Battle of Midway, which turned the tide against them.Sony VAIO VPCW21AAJ Battery

It became a war of production and logistics, with the U.S. rebuilding a far stronger navy, much more numerous warplanes, and building a far superior logistics system. The Japanese had stretched too far and were unable to supply its forward bases—many soldiers died of starvation. Sony VAIO VPCW21AKJ Battery

American submarines destroyed the Japanese tankers, causing a severe shortage of fuel oil for ships and aviation gasoline. Japan built warplanes in large quantity but the quality plunged, and the performance of poorly trained pilots spiraled downward. Sony VAIO VPCW21AVJ Battery

The Navy lost a series of major battles, from Midway (1942) to the Philippine Sea (1944) and Leyte Gulf (1945), which put American long-range B-29 bombers in range. A series of massive raids burned out much of Tokyo and other major industrial cities beginning in March 1945 while Operation Starvation seriously disrupted the nation's vital internal shipping lanes. Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery

Regardless of how the war was becoming hopeless, the circle around the Emperor held fast and refused to open negotiations. Finally in August, two atomic bombs and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria demonstrated the cause was futile, and Hirohito authorized a surrender whereby he kept his throne.Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery

Total Japanese military fatalities between 1937 and 1945 were 2.1 million; most came in the last year of the war. Starvation or malnutrition-re­lated illness accounted for roughly 80 percent of Japanese military deaths in the Philippines, and 50 percent of military fatalities in China. Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery

The aerial bombing of a total of 65 Japanese cities appears to have taken a minimum of 400,000 and possibly closer to 600,000 civilian lives (over 100,000 in Tokyo alone, over 200,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, and 80,000-150,000 civilian deaths in the battle of Okina­wa).Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery

Civilian death among settlers who died attempting to re­turn to Japan from Manchuria in the winter of 1945 were probably around 100,000. Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery

State of Japan (1945–present)

After the collapse of the Empire of Japan, Japan changed into a democratic state, the State of Japan, more commonly the Postwar Japan (post–World War II Japan). During the postwar period, Japan became an economic power state. This period is characterized by the US-Japan Alliance such as the United States Forces Japan.Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery

Occupation of Japan

As a result of its defeat of World War II, the Empire of Japan was dissolved, Japan lost all of its overseas possessions and retained only the home islands. Manchukuo was dissolved, and Inner Manchuria and Taiwan were returned to the Republic of China;Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery

Korea was taken under the control of the UN; southern Sakhalin and the Kuriles were occupied by the U.S.S.R.; and the United States became the sole administering authority of the Ryukyu, Bonin, and Volcano Islands. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Trial), an international war crimes tribunal, was held, in which seven politicians were executed.Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery

Emperor Hirohito was not convicted, but instead was enthroned as the emperor of the new state.

The 1972 reversion of Okinawa completed the United States' return of control of these islands to Japan. Japan continues to protest for the corresponding return of the Kuril Islands from Russia.Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery

Defeat came for a number of reasons. The most important is probably Japan's underestimation of the industro-military capabilities of the U.S. The U.S. recovered from its initial setback at Pearl Harbormuch quicker than the Japanese expected, and their sudden counterattack came as a blow to Japanese morale. Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery

U.S. output of military products was also much higher than Japanese counterparts over the course of the war. Another reason was factional in-fighting between the Army and Navy, which led to poor intelligence and cooperation. This was compounded as the Japanese forces found they had overextended themselves, leaving Japan itself vulnerable to attack.Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery

Another important factor is Japan's underestimation of resistance in China, which Japan claimed would be conquered in three months. The prolonged war was both militarily and economically disastrous for Japan.

After the war, Japan was placed under international control of the American-led Allied powers in the Asia-Pacific region through General Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery

This was the first time since the unification of Japan that the island nation was successfully occupied by a foreign power. Some high officers of the Sh?wa regime were prosecuted and convicted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery

However, Emperor Sh?wa, all members of the imperial family implicated in the war such as prince Asaka, prince Chichibu, prince Takeda, prince Higashikuni, prince Fushimi, as well as Shir? Ishii and all members of unit 731 were exonerated from criminal prosecutions by MacArthur. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery

Entering the Cold War with the Korean War, Japan came to be seen as an important ally of the US government. Political, economic, and social reforms were introduced, such as an elected Japanese Diet (legislature) and expanded suffrage. The country's constitution took effect on May 3, 1947. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery

The United States and 45 other Allied nations signed the Treaty of Peace with Japan in September 1951. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty on March 20, 1952, and under the terms of the treaty, Japan regained full sovereignty on April 28, 1952.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery

Under the terms of the peace treaty and later agreements, the United States maintains naval bases at Sasebo, Okinawa and at Yokosuka. A portion of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, including one aircraft carrier (currently USS George Washington (CVN-73)), is based at Yokosuka.Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery

This arrangement is partially intended to provide for the defense of Japan, as the treaty and the new Japanese constitution imposed during the occupation severely restrict the size and purposes of Japanese Self-Defense Forces in the modern period.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery

After occupation during the Cold War

After a series of realignment of political parties, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the leftist Social Democratic Party (SDP) were formed in 1955. The political map in Japan had been largely unaltered until early 1990s and LDP had been the largest political party in the national politics.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery

LDP politicians and government bureaucrats focused on economic policy. From the 1950s to the 1980s, Japan experienced its rapid development into a major economic power, through a process often referred to as the Japanese post-war economic miracle.Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery

Japan's biggest postwar political crisis took place in 1960 over the revision of the Japan-United States Mutual Security Assistance Pact. As the new Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security was concluded, which renewed the United States role as military protector of Japan, massive street protests and political upheaval occurred, and the cabinet resigned a month after the Diet's ratification of the treaty.Sony VAIO VPCZ110 Battery

Thereafter, political turmoil subsided. Japanese views of the United States, after years of mass protests over nuclear armaments and the mutual defense pact, improved by 1972 with the reversion of United States-occupied Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty and the winding down of the Vietnam War.Sony VAIO VPCZ110GB/BI Battery

Japan had reestablished relations with the Republic of China after World War II, and cordial relations were maintained with the nationalist government when it was relocated to Taiwan, a policy that won Japan the enmity of the People's Republic of China, which was established in 1949. Sony VAIO VPCZ112GD/S Battery

After the general warming of relations between China and Western countries, especially the United States, which shocked Japan with its sudden rapprochement with Beijing in 1971, Tokyo established relations with Beijing in 1972. Close cooperation in the economic sphere followed. Sony VAIO VPCZ112GX/S Battery

Japan's relations with theSoviet Union continued to be problematic after the war, but a Joint Declaration between Japan and the USSR ending the state of war and reestablishing diplomatic relations was signed October 19, 1956. Sony VAIO VPCZ114GX/S Battery

The main object of dispute was the Soviet occupation of what Japan calls its Northern Territories, the two most southerly islands in the Kurils (Etorofu and Kunashiri) and Shikotan and theHabomai Islands, which were seized by the Soviet Union in the closing days of World War II.Sony VAIO VPCZ115 Battery

Throughout the postwar period, Japan's economy continued to boom, with results far outstripping expectations. Given a massive boost by the Korean War, in which it acted as a major supplier to the UN force, Japan's economy embarked on a prolonged period of extremely rapid growth, led by the manufacturing sectors.Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/B Battery

Japan emerged as a significant power in many economic spheres, including steel working, car manufacturing and the manufacturing of electronic goods. Japan rapidly caught up with the West in foreign trade, GNP, and general quality of life. These achievements were underscored by the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and the Osaka International Exposition in 1970.Sony VAIO VPCZ115FC/S Battery

The high economic growth and political tranquility of the mid to late 1960s were tempered by the quadrupling of oil prices by the OPEC in 1973. Almost completely dependent on imports for petroleum, Japan experienced its first recession since World War II.Sony VAIO VPCZ116 Battery

Another serious problem was Japan's growing trade surplus, which reached record heights during Nakasone's first term. The United States pressured Japan to remedy the imbalance, demanding that Tokyo raise the value of the yen and open its markets further to facilitate more imports from the United States.Sony VAIO VPCZ116GX/S Battery

After the Cold War

Japan after the Cold War is also called as the Heisei period, which starts from the year of the Revolutions of Eastern Europe. 1989 marked one of the most rapid economic growth spurts in Japanese history.Sony VAIO VPCZ117 Battery

With a strong yen and a favorable exchange rate with the dollar, the Bank of Japan kept interest rates low, sparking an investment boom that drove Tokyo property values up sixty percent within the year. Shortly before New Year's Day, the Nikkei 225 reached its record high of 39,000.Sony VAIO VPCZ117FC/B Battery

By 1991, it had fallen to 15,000, signifying the end of Japan's famed bubble economy. Unemployment ran reasonably high, but not at crisis levels. Rather than suffer large scale unemployment and lay-offs, Japan's labor market suffered in more subtle, yet no less profound effects that were nonetheless difficult to gauge statistically. Sony VAIO VPCZ118 Battery

During the prosperous times, jobs were seen as long term even to the point of being life long. In contrast, Japan during the lost decade saw a marked increase in temporary and part time work which only promised employment for short periods and marginal benefits. Sony VAIO VPCZ118GC/B Battery

This also created a generational gap, as those who had entered the labor market prior to the lost decade usually retained their employment and benefits, and were effectively insulated from the economic slowdown, whereas younger workers who entered the market a few years later suffered the brunt of its effects.Sony VAIO VPCZ118GX/S Battery

In a series of financial scandals of the LDP, a coalition led by Morihiro Hosokawa took power in 1993. Hosokawa succeeded to legislate a new plurality voting election law instead of the stalematedmulti-member constituency election system. Sony VAIO VPCZ119 Battery

However, the coalition collapsed the next year as parties had gathered to simply overthrow LDP and lacked a unified position on almost every social issue. The LDP returned to the government in 1996, when it helped to elect Social Democrat Tomiichi Murayama as prime minister.Sony VAIO VPCZ119FJ/S Battery

The Great Hanshin earthquake hit Kobe on January 17, 1995. 6,000 people were killed and 44,000 were injured. 250,000 houses were destroyed or burned in a fire. The amount of damage totaled more than ten trillion yen. In March of the same year the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo attacked on the Tokyo subway system with sarin gas and killed 12 and hundreds were injured. Sony VAIO VPCZ119GC/X Battery

Later the investigation revealed that the cult was responsible for dozens of murders that occurred prior to the gas attacks.

Junichiro Koizumi was president of the LDP and Prime Minister of Japan from April 2001 to September 2006. Koizumi enjoyed high approval ratings. Sony VAIO VPCZ119L Battery

He was known as an economic reformer and he privatized the national postal system. Koizumi also had an active involvement in the War on Terrorism, sending 1,000 soldiers of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to help in Iraq's reconstruction after theIraq War, the biggest overseas troop deployment since World War II.Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/B Battery

The ruling coalition is formed by the liberal Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the leftist Social Democratic Party and the conservative People's New Party. The opposition is formed by the liberal conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Sony VAIO VPCZ119R/S Battery

Other parties are the New Komeito Party, a theocratic Buddhist political party based on the Buddhist sect S?ka Gakkai and the Japanese Communist Party. On 2 June 2010 Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama officially resigned from his position as leader of the DPJ, Sony VAIO VPCZ11AFJ Battery

citing the failure to fulfill his campaign promise of removing a U.S. base from the island of Okinawa as his main reason for stepping down.

On March 11, 2011, Japan suffered the strongest earthquake in its recorded history, affecting the north-east area of Honshu. Sony VAIO VPCZ11AGJ Battery

The magnitude 9.0 quake was aggravated by a tsunami and also caused numerous fires and damaged several nuclear reactors. On March 12, 2011 reactor 1 at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant suffered a build-up of hydrogen gas, and caused an explosion. On March 13, 2011 there was another explosion, at reactor 3.Sony VAIO VPCZ11AVJ Battery

Radiation levels in the air were below legal limits, however. On March 15, 2011, the Fukushima plant experienced another explosion, this time at reactor 2. There was also a fire at reactor 4.There was a brief spike of radiation, but this then fell back below legal limits. It has since been announced that temperatures in reactors 5 and 6 are rising.Sony VAIO VPCZ11CGX/X Battery,Sony VAIO VPCZ11DGX/SJ Battery,Sony VAIO VPCZ11FHX/XQ Battery,Sony VAIO VPCZ11V9R/B Battery,Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9E/B Battery

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