Japan Timeline

  • 712 BCE

    First Record of Kami in Japan

    First Record of Kami in Japan
    Kami were the Japanese form of gods. They were deities that could take the form of a object or person. Like gods, Kami were worshiped and given offerings of rice and clothing. The Kojiki contains the earliest record of these myths. Today, this religion has grown and evolved into the spiritual beliefs of Confucianism.
  • Period: 660 BCE to 585 BCE

    Reign of Emperor Jimmu

    Known as the first emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu has a vast history in Japanese mythology. He is said to be a decedent of the sun goddess, Amaterasu, and the storm god, Susanoo. During his reign, he launched many military expeditions, and very well established his power. He is still celebrated today, on National Foundation Day (February 11).
  • 600 BCE

    Founding of Japan

    Founding of Japan
    According to history, it is said the Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu. The country was isolated from the Western world until 1542; when a ship docked there instead of in China.
  • Period: 300 BCE to 300

    Yayoi Era

    During this time, extensive work went into the cultivation and production of rice. This was done at paddy fields. The country then transitioned into a settled agricultural society. Today, much of our rice comes from this country.
  • 23 BCE

    The First Sumo

    The First Sumo
    Held at annual harvest festivals, sumo matches would be held at the emperors will. The every first match was held in 23 BC, and would continue until one man was to wounded to continue. Today, it is considered the national sport of the nation and continues to be a popular gathering today.
  • 400

    Japan becomes Literate

    Japan becomes Literate
    Though it may have come earlier, it is unlikely that Japan encountered writing until this time. By adopting Chinese characters, they were able to come up with Logographic Kanji and Syllabic Kana. Much of the language today contains bits and pieces from many different scripts; which all branch off of Kanji or Kana.
  • 552

    Buddhism comes to Japan

    Buddhism comes to Japan
    Buddhism was brought into Japan from Korea. Today, along with Confucianism, it is one of the most heavily practiced religions in Japan. Originally, it took many years to become widespread due to the complex thoughts and beliefs that it brought on.Today, about 90 million people in Japan practice Buddhism.
  • 607

    Completion of the Horyuji Temple

    Completion of the Horyuji Temple
    Known as of one the oldest wooden structures in the world, the Horyuji Temple was founded by Prince Shotoku. The prince was known as one of the earlier supporters of Buddhism. Today, the temple is a popular tourist attraction and was designated as a world heritage site in 1993.
  • 663

    First Ascent of Mount Fuji

    First Ascent of Mount Fuji
    Tough not much is known about the first ascent of Mount Fuji, historically it is said that a monk was the first to make the way up the mountain. Today, it is a cultural staple; the center piece of many works of art. It is one of the biggest things Japan is known for.
  • Period: 1185 to

    Feudal Era

    During this time in Japan, it is said the there was a heavy increase in the population of warriors. There was also the domination from a new rolling class of warriors, known as the samurais.
  • Period: to

    Modern Era

    This modern era came to be when the American Navy forced Japan to open themselves up to the western world. This forced Japan to end their time of seclusion from the world as they signed the Convention of Kanagawa; a treaty between the countries.
  • Imperial Japanese Navy is Founded

    Imperial Japanese Navy is Founded
    Japan is often known for their precise navigation of the sea. The sea has acted as a protective barrier against attacks and invaders for thousands of years. Being a country of the sea, meant that they had to have a strong presence of the navy. It came to be one of the third largest navy's in the world. This also allowed for agricultural growth. By 1945, and the end of World War 2, the navy was disbanded.
  • Tokyo becomes Capital

    Tokyo becomes Capital
    Originally named Edo, Tokyo is currently the capital of Japan. After the end of the Edo period and the Meji Restoration, imperial rule was restored. When this happened, the emperor moved to Edo. It was then renamed as Tokyo and made the capital.
  • Period: to

    Boshin War

    The Boshin War, or Japanese Revolution, was a civil war the took place in Japan. The forces of different rulings fought to return power back to the Imperial Court. Western Influence in the economy helped to push towards this revolution. The end of this war resulted in the country being lead by one singular rule by the Imperial Court.
  • Yen is Adopted by the Government

    Yen is Adopted by the Government
    Other currencies (such as the Spanish dollar or Hong Kong silver dollar) were commonly being circulated through the country. This pushed the government to adopted their own silver dollar currency. The Yen was officially adopted in 1917 by the Meiji government; and was gradually introduced into the country. "Yen" means "a round object" in Japanese.
  • Anime Arises in Japan

    Anime  Arises in Japan
    Japan, today, is known for its production of many different anime shows and movies. As a tourist destination, many people travel there to learn more about the production of their favorite shows.The first professional and publicly displayed anime began to arise. Some famous animators are Oten Shimokawa and Seitarou Kitayama.
  • Japan in World War 1

    Japan in World War 1
    Japan entered the first World War as a member of the allies. They were asked by the British government to assist in taking out German raiders; this was their first action in the war. From participating in the war, Japan gained a seat in the League of Nations. This set foot for their soon to be position in World War 2. Overall, Japan only experienced 1,000 casualties throughout the war.
  • Invention of the Electronic Calculator

    Invention of the Electronic Calculator
    Casio holds the title for the invention of the first electronic calculator. This was the worlds first all electric calculator, and was based on relay technology. The first of its kind was built into a desk. Today, we use these calculators often in math or science classes to help us make calculations.
  • Earthquake and Tsunami

    Earthquake and Tsunami
    In 2011, Japan experienced a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Due to the size of the earthquake, it sent a devastating tsunami towards Japan. The damages of this event included over 1,000 deaths, destroyed towns, and moved the island by 8 feet. The size of this earthquake made it to the list of one of the five biggest since 1900.
  • First case of COVID-19

    First case of COVID-19
    On this date, Japan had its first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Virus. Since then, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been able to pull together the legal frame work needed to declare a possibly state of emergency. As the virus progresses, Japan has been put at a level 2 alert.