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Japan History

  • 200

    Kofun Period

    200: Sushi is invented
  • 250

    Kofun Period

    250: The shintoist shrine of Ise is founded.
  • 300

    Kofun Period

    300: Large tombs (kofun) were built for the deceased leaders. Japan is for the first time (more or less) united
  • 500

    Kofun Period

    500: Japan adopts the Chinese alphabet
  • 538

    Asuka Period

    538: Introduction of Buddhism
  • 550

    Asuka Period

    550: The Sun (Soga) dynasty ascends to the throne. The capital of Japan is moved to their homeland, the Asuka valley in the central Yamato plain.
  • Jan 1, 604

    Asuka Period

    604: Prince Shotoku's Constitution of seventeen articles is promulgated
  • Jan 1, 645

    Asuka Period

    645: The Fujiwara era startsShotoku is succeese by Kotoku Tenno, who strengthens imperial power over aristocratic clans (Taika Reform), turning their states into provinces
  • Jan 1, 710

    Nara Period

    710: Nara becomes the first permanent capital.
  • Jan 1, 749

    Nara Period

    749: Shomu's daughter Koken, becomes empress
  • Jan 1, 784

    Nara Period

    784: The capital moves to Nagaoka
  • Jan 1, 788

    Nara Period

    788: The Buddhist monk, Saicho, founds the monastery of Mt. Hiei, near Kyoto, which will becomea vast ensemble of temples
  • Jan 1, 794

    Heian Period

    794: Kammu moves the capital to Heian (Kyoto)
  • Jan 1, 1016

    Heian Period

    1016: Fujiwara Michinaga becomes regent
  • Jan 1, 1159

    Heian Period

    1159: The Taira clan under Taira Kiyomori takes over the power after the Heiji war
  • Jan 1, 1175

    Heian Period

    1175: The Buddhist Jodo Sect (Pure Land Sect) is introduced
  • Jan 1, 1180

    Heian Period

    1180: Start of the Gempei War, the Minamoto clan puts an end to Taira supremecy.
  • Jan 1, 1185

    Heian Period

    1185: End of the Gempei War
  • Jan 1, 1191

    Kamakura Period

    1191: The Zen sect is introduced
  • Jan 1, 1192

    Kamakura Period

    1192: Minamoto Yoritomo is appointed shogun and establishes the Kamakura government
  • Jan 1, 1221

    Kamakura Period

    1221: The Jokyu Disturbance ends a struggle between Kamakura and Kyoto resulting in the supremacy of the Hojo regents in Kamakura
  • Jan 1, 1232

    Kamakura Period

    1232: A legal code, the Joei Shikimoku, is promulgated
  • Jan 1, 1274

    Kamakura Period

    1274: The Mongol's first attempt to invade Japan, failing mainly beacuse of bad weather conditions
  • Jan 1, 1281

    Kamakura Period

    1281: The Mongol's second attempt to invade Japan, again failing mainly beacuse of bad weather conditions
  • Jan 1, 1333

    Kamakura Period

    1333: The Kamakura bakufu falls
  • Jan 1, 1334

    Muromachi Period

    1334: Kemmu restoration: the emperor restores power over Japan
  • Jan 1, 1336

    Muromachi Period

    1336: Ashikaga Takauji captures Kyoto
  • Jan 1, 1337

    Muromachi Period

    1337: The emperor flees and establishes the Southern court in Yoshino
  • Jan 1, 1338

    Muromachi Period

    1338: Takauji establishes the Muromachi government and a second emperor in Kyoto (Northern court)
  • Jan 1, 1392

    Muromachi Period

    1392: Unification of the Southern and Northern courts
  • Jan 1, 1467

    Muromachi Period

    1467: The Onin war begins
  • Jan 1, 1477

    Muromachi Period

    1477: The Onin war ends
  • Jan 1, 1542

    Muromachi Period

    1542: Portuguese introduce firearms and Christianity to Japan
  • Jan 1, 1573

    Muromachi Period

    1573: The Muromachi bakufu falls
  • Jan 1, 1575

    Azuchi Momoyama Period

    1575: The Takeda clan is defeated in the battle of Nagashino
  • Jan 1, 1582

    Azuchi Momoyama Period

    1582: Nobunaga is murdered and succeeded by Toyotomi Hideyoshi
  • Azuchi Momoyama Period

    1588: Hideyoshi confiscates the weapons of farmers and religious institutions in the "Sword Hunt"
  • Azuchi Momoyama Period

    1590: Japan is reunited after the fall of Odawara (Hojo)
  • Azuchi Momoyama Period

    1592: Beginning of the unseuccessful attacks to invade Korea.
  • Azuchi Momoyama Period

    1598: End of the unseuccessful attacks to invade Korea.
  • Azuchi Momoyama Period

    1600: Tokugawa Leyasu defeats his rivals in the battle of Sekigahara
  • Edo Period

    1603: Leyasu is appointed shogun and establishes the Tokugawa government in Edo (Tokyo)
  • Edo Period

    1614: Leyasu intensifies persecution of Christianity
  • Edo Period

    1639: Almost complete isolation of Japan from the rest of the world because foreign travelling was forbidden and trade was limited
  • Edo Period

    1688: The Genroku era begins and culture flourishes
  • Edo Period

    1703: The Genroka era ends
  • Edo Period

    1792: The Russians unsuccessfuly try to establish trade relations with Japan
  • Edo Period

    Commodore Matthew Perry forces the Japanese government to open a limited number of ports for trade
  • Meiji Period

    1872: First railway line between Tokyo and Yokohama
  • Meiji Period

    1894: The Sino-Japanese war begins
  • Meiji Period

    1895: The Sino-Japanese war end
  • Meiji Period

    1904: The Russo-Japanese war begins
  • Meiji Period

    1905: The Russo-Japanese war ends
  • Meiji Period

    1910: The annexation of Korea
  • Meiji Period

    1912: Death of emperor Meiji
  • Taisho Period

    1914: Japan joins allied forces in World War 1
  • Taisho Period

    1923: The Great Kanto Earthquake devastates Tokyo and Yokohama
  • Showa Period

    1931: Manchurian Incident
  • Showa Period

    1937: Second Sino-Japanese war starts
  • Showa Period

    1941: Japanese attack the USA Pearl Harbor as part of World War 2 (Pacific War)
  • Showa Period

    1945: Japan surrenders in World War 2 after two atomic bombs are dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Showa Period

    1946: The new constitution is promulgated
  • Showa Period

    1956: Japan becomes a member of the United Nations
  • Heisei Period

    1995: The Great Hanshin Earthquake hits Kobe
  • Yayoi Period

    0 AD: Shintoism becomes the national religion and the "emperor" is merely an official in charge of preforming Shinto ritualsand symbolic ceremonies.
  • Heisei Period

    2009: The Democratic Party of Japan becomes the ruling party
  • Heisei Period

    2011: The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami at Tohoku