History of Japan, Empire of Japan (1868–1945)

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Summary

The history of Japan encompasses the history of the islands of Japan and the Japanese people, spanning the ancient history of the region to the modern history of Japan as a nation state. Following the last ice age, around 12,000 BC, the rich ecosystem of the Japanese archipelago fostered human development. The earliest-known pottery found in Japan belongs to the Jōmon period. The first known written reference to Japan is in the brief information given in Twenty-Four Histories in the 1st century AD. The main cultural and religious influences came from China.

Details

Beginning in 1868, Japan undertook political, economic, and cultural transformations emerging as a unified and centralized state, the Empire of Japan (also Imperial Japan or Prewar Japan). This 77-year period, which lasted until 1945, was a time of rapid economic growth. Japan became an imperial power, colonizing Korea and Taiwan. Starting in 1931 it began the takeover of Manchuria and China, in defiance of the League of Nations and the US. Escalating tension with the U.S.—and western control of Japan's vital oil supplies—led to Japan's involvement in World War II. Japan launched multiple successful attacks on the U.S. as well as British and Dutch territories in 1941–42. After a series of great naval battles, the Americans sank the Japanese fleet and largely destroyed 50 of its largest cities through air raids, including nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered in late summer 1945, gave up its overseas holdings in Korea, China, Taiwan and elsewhere, and was occupied and transformed into a demilitarized democratic nation by the U.S.

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External Links

  • Wikipedia古事記~往古之追慕~日本古代史料本文データ古代史獺祭J-Texts (日本文学電子図書館)"Great Map of Japan"

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