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What in the World is Going On? Japan 1450 - 1900

  • Jan 1, 1467

    Onin War

    Onin War
    The Onin War, like so many before it, was simply based on power struggle. Both Hosokawa Katsumoto and Yamana Mochitoyo believed they were to become the rightful shogun after the death of Ashikaga Yoshimasa. As their disagreement quickly escalated, people began taking sides and war broke out. Whoever won would become the next shogun. However, after 10 years, there was no clear winner in the end. This civil war served as an indication of the political unrest that was soon to plague Japan.
  • Jan 1, 1549

    Francis Xavier & Christianity

    Francis Xavier & Christianity
    Francis Xavier went to Japan as a Christian missionary. Even though he was extremely eager to get as many people to convert to Christianity as possible, this proved to be a difficult task. Many were already devote followers of Shinto and Buddhist practices. Beyond that, the Japanese in general found the idea of the Christian god to be far-fetched. Regardless, Christianity was able to establish itself as an influencial religion of Japan.
  • Imjin War

    Imjin War
    With his first invasion taking place from 1592 to 1596, Toyotomi Hideyoshi made it his goal to conquer the Joseon Dynasty of Korea and later the Ming Dynasty of China. A stalemate was reached and peace agreements were attempted. From 1597 to 1598 another invasion was attempted, but this too was unsuccessful for the Japanese. The Council of Five Elders eventually put an end to the hostilities and Japanese troops were sent back home. This picture illustrates just how brutal the war really was.
  • Tokugawa Shogunate Divides into 5 Social Classes

    During the Tokugawa shogunate, Japan underwent many social changes. Among the most prominent of those was the altering of the class system. In an effort to create more stability, people were divided into four groups based on their occupation. At the top were the samurai, followed by peasants, artisans, and lastly merchants. The importance of each class was based off of Confucian beliefs as to how "pure" each job was.
  • Christian Expulsion Edict

    Christian Expulsion Edict
    Put into action by Iesayu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, this edict banned Christians and the practice of Christianity from Japan. This lead to many Christians fleeing to either Portugal or the Philippines.
  • Sakoku Edict of 1635

    The Sakoku Edict of 1635, third in a series issued by Tokugawa Iemitsu, made Japan into a highly isolated region. The Edict of 1635 was created largely in part to keep out the influence of Christianity. Strict regulations to religion were put in place, as were extremely harsh consequences for practicing Catholicism. Besides affecting religion, the Sakoku Edict of 1635 also placed heavy regulation on trade and travel outside of Japan.
  • Shimabara Rebellion

    Shimabara Rebellion
    Actions taken by the Tokugawa shogunate greatly angered both peasant and Christians so much that they decided to create an uprising. Among the starting factors were: tax increases and intense religios prosecution. 125,000 shogunate troops were sent to stop the rebellion. Aftermath of the Shimabara Rebellion included more religious restrictions and a more isolated Japan. These Buddhist statues were destroyed by Christians in the midst of the rebellion.
  • Period: to

    Sengoku Period

    Borrowing its name from the Warring States Period in China, the Segonku Period in Japan was a time of immense political, social, and military conflict. Social and economic changes led to the starting of the period which lasted about 200 years. Only in the mid nineteenth century was the Tokugawa shogunate able to put a stop to it
  • Keian Uprising

    Samurai without masters, or ronin, staged a coup d'etat against the Tokugawa shogunate. Taking advantage of the young shogun, Ietsuna, the ronin planned on sieging multiple castles. The plan, however, was ruined when information was leaked through a sick leader. Although the coup d'etat was unsuccessful, it symbolized the animostity felt towards the oppressive Tokugawa state.
  • Neo-Confucianism Adopted as Official State Philosophy

    During the later stages of the Kamakura period, Neo-Confucianism came to Japan. As the Tokugawa shogunate took control, Neo-Confucianism's influence spread. Ideas quickly came to shape Japan in both social and economic ways.
  • Treaty of Peace and Amity

    Treaty of Peace and Amity
    This treaty, signed betweent the United States and the Tokugawa shogunate, allowed for interaction between the US and Japan. Japan, for the first time in 200 years, opened up from its state of isolation and once again began regular trading.
  • Meiji Restoration

    Following the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, Japan underwent a period of great change. Lasting until 1912 and named after the emperor Meiji, Japan was reshaped to more closesly resemble what it is today. One of the chief goals of Meiji Restoration was to restore power to the emperor. Restoration was also largely responsible for the increase industrilization of Japan.
  • Rule of Emperor Meiji

    Rule of Emperor Meiji
    During Emperor Meiji's rule, which lasted until 1912, Japan transformed itself into a global power. Industrialization and the expulsion of isolation were key factors in this change. Among the other events happening during his rule, the Imperial Court was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo (illustrated in picture).
  • First Sino-Japanese War

    First Sino-Japanese War
    Fought between the Qing Dynasty of China and Japan, the Sino-Japanese war was fought over control of Korea. The war, a victory for Japan, showed just how powerful its military had become. By the same token, the defeat of China was the start to much turmoil and revolution, eventualy manifesting itself in the 1911 Revolution.
  • Russo-Japanese War

    Russo-Japanese War
    This war was fought between the Japanese and the Russians for control of Manchuria and Korea. The Russians wanted a warm-water port on the Pacific Ocean, while the Japanese wanted to expand their empire. With their new navy and military, the Japanese were able to defeat the Russians and claim victory.