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History of Japan

  • The 47 Ronin Incident

    The 47 Ronin Incident
    Source In 1701, Lord Asano was insulted in Edo Castle by Kira Yoshinaka, a court offical, and pulled his sword out against him. The Shogun (the ruler of Japan) was angered and ordered Ansan to commit suicide. Asano's samurais became ronins (samurais with no master) and vowed to get revenge for their dead lord. One night, after a long time wandering to avert suspicion, they broke into Kira's home and cut off his head, which they put on Asano's grave. The ronins were then made to commit suicide.
  • The Temme Famine

    The Temme Famine
    Source From 1782 to 1787, a famine devasted Japan. Terrible weather, such as cold winds, flooding and the erruption of a volcano destroyed crops and many people starved. The Shogun's efforts to help were ineffective. Many people went to extremes to find food, including eating strange roots, dogs and cats, and even cannibalism.
  • Foreign Ships Banned From Japan

    Foreign Ships Banned From Japan
    Source #2Source #1 Japan's government banned foreigners from entering Japan as well as Japanese citizens from leaving the country. If anyone did, then they would be punished by death. This was called Sakoku (which means locked country in Japanese), and was done so Japan could keep itself out of interactions with any western nation.
  • Matthew Perry Demands Trade

    Matthew Perry Demands Trade
    Source American Commodore Matthew Perry sailed to Japan in an attempt to make the isolated country open to trade and diplomacy. He was rude and haughty, and told the Japanese government that he would be back in a year to negotiate on his own terms.
  • Perry Comes Back for Treaty

    Perry Comes Back for Treaty
    Source In Feburary, 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry returned to Japan to demand it to open to trade. Perry and the Japanese government negotiated for many days before any agreement could be made. Finally, the Kanawaga Treaty was made, which helped Japan open to trade with the western nations.
  • Tokugawa Yoshinobu Becomes the Last Shogun

    Tokugawa Yoshinobu Becomes the Last Shogun
    Source #2Source #1 At thirty years old, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, after the early death of Tokugawa Iemochi, became the fifteenth shogun. During his rule, a civil war (called the Boshin War) between those loyal to the shogun and those who favored the emperor broke out. Yoshinobu, after suffering many major losses, resigned so Japan could reunite.
  • The Meiji Restoration Begins

    The Meiji Restoration Begins
    Source #2Source #1 The Meiji Restoration started after Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned and ended the shogunate. A series of different events after the resignation caused imperial rule in Japan to be brought back to power with Emperor Meiji at the top. Edo was renamed to Tokyo, and Japan became even more open to western nations and became more modernized.
  • Japan Debuts the Yen

    Japan Debuts the Yen
    Source In 1871, to follow international gold standards, the Japanese government makes the yen, which was equal to 1.5 grams of gold. A year later, the government introduces new banknotes that were made in Germany.
  • The Ganghwa Treaty

    The Ganghwa Treaty
    Source The Ganghwa Treaty was an unfair treaty between Korea and Japan that gave the latter country an upper hand. A small Japanese gunboat attacked a few of Korea's ports to show how much stronger Japan was, then the government pressed Korea to sign a treaty. The treaty, like the treaty made by Matthew Perry, opened Korea up for trade.
  • Korean Uprising (The Imo Incident)

    Korean Uprising (The Imo Incident)
    Source During 1882, Koreans began to rise against the government, which was looking to modernize and reform the country. Also, anti-Japanese feelings began to grow and riots broke out, causing a Japanese legation to flee Korea, and the Japanese government to later send troops. China slso sent troops and warships to help stop the uprising because it had interests in Korea.
  • Japan's First Prime Minister

    Japan's First Prime Minister
    Source Ito Hirobumi becomes Japan's first prime minister on December 22, 1885. He was originally a prince, and was assassinated in 1909 by a Korean nationalist. Hirobumi was also Japan's fifth, seventh and tenth prime minister.
  • First Sino-Japanese War

    First Sino-Japanese War
    Source The first Sino-Japanese war was between China and Japan. Both countries were fighting for control over Korea. Japan continuously won victories while China was showed its failure in modernization. Chinese influence retreated from Korea, but Japan was unable to take over as Russia intervened.
  • Russo-Japanese War

    Russo-Japanese War
    Source Russia, having taken control of Korea after Japan had fought China for it, is attacked in Manchuria by the Japanese. Then, Japan destroys Russia's fleet at Port Arthur and invades into Korea. The Russian ruler was convinced that he would win, and continued to fight, but in the end, Japan won.
  • Korea is Annexed

    Korea is Annexed
    Source On the twenty-second of August, 1910, Japan annexed Korea with the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910. This terminated the Korean Choson Dynasty.
  • World War I

    World War I
    Source Japan enters the war formally by declaring war on Germany on the 23 of Augest, 1914. Japan secured parts of the sea near the Pacific and Eastern Asia from Germany. Also, the Imperial Japanese Navy, acting independently from the rest of the Japanese government, took over German-controlled islands in the Pacific and attacked German posts in China.
  • Manchuria Invasion

    Manchuria Invasion
    Source The Japanese army, acting without approval from Tokyo, invaded Manchuria in September of 1931. The invasion ends with Japan occupying the area.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    Source The Japanese Imperial Navy attacks the United States' fleet at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese sink many huge U.S. navy ships, and pulles the United States' into World War II.
  • Bombing of Hiroshima

    Bombing of Hiroshima
    Source The United States attacks the Japanese city of Hiroshima with an atomic bomb. Around 90,000–166,000 people were killed as a result of the atomic bomb.
  • Bombing of Nagasaki

    Bombing of Nagasaki
    Source Just days after Hiroshima was bombed, the United States bombs the city of Nagasaki, also with an atomic bomb. Around 39,000–80,000 people died because of the bomb. The bombings ended World War II.
  • The Emperor's Status After WWII

    The Emperor's Status After WWII
    Source After WWII, the Emperor was forced to reject the ancient claim that the Imperial family were the decendents of gods. He had to give up his 'divine' power on Japan, and, though the Emperor and his family could still remain, the rest of his power was taken away.
  • Third Economic Power

    Third Economic Power
    Source Japan moves ahead of the European countries and becomes the third economic power in the world, after the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster

    Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster
    Source In March of 2011, an earthquake and tsunami cause the death of about 18,800 people on Japan's central island. A neclear disaster happens in Fukushima after the tsunami and earthquake, causing many people to abandon their homes.